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Eagles vs. Giants: 10 winners, 6 losers, 6 IDKs

Final thoughts from Philadelphia’s Week 16 win.

New York Giants v Philadelphia Eagles Photo by Adam Hunger/Getty Images

The Philadelphia Eagles are 11-4 after a vintage 2023 Eagles win (read: not as enjoyable as it could've been!) over the New York Giants. Time to hand out some winners, losers, and IDKs.

WINNERS

D’ANDRE SWIFT

20 carries for 92 yards (4.6 average) and one touchdown.

The Eagles’ final drive began with five straight Swift runs that went for 48 yards. He helped his team reach field goal range to go up eight points while forcing the Giants to burn their remaining timeouts.

Despite being 42 touches ahead of his previous career-high in one season, Swift looks like he has plenty of juice to offer. The Eagles should keep feeding him if he’s proving to be hard to stop.

DEVONTA SMITH

DeVonta in the first half: four targets, three receptions, 72 yards, 1 TD.

The Giants didn’t have an answer for him ... but the Eagles only targeted him once in the second half.

KELEE RINGO

Ringo was targeted three times and allowed just two receptions for nine yards, according to Pro Football Focus charting. He also intercepted Tyrod Taylor’s desperation pass into the end zone on the final play of the game.

Ringo is the youngest player on the Eagles’ roster, turning 21.5 today on December 27. He’s obviously still largely untested; we’ve yet to see how he handles playing against a non-backup quarterback. He’s off to an encouraging start, though.

SHAQ LEONARD

Leonard looked pretty cooked in his first two games with the Eagles. Thrust into a starting role with Zach Cunningham and Nicholas Morrow injured, however, Leonard stepped up and had some flashes.

His limitations are clear at times; he looked so slow with Taylor running by him for 15 yards and a first down on a 3rd-and-6 play.

But he ultimately finished with a team-high seven tackles (including two TFLs) and one sack. Leonard exceeded low expectations.

I like the energy he played with. Making his Linc debut, Leonard was regularly trying to pump up the crowd throughout the game.

BEN VANSUMEREN

Despite only playing 57% of the defensive snaps, BVS rank tied for second on the team in total tackles with six. The undrafted rookie free agent did not look out of place. That’s a win considering he was making his NFL debut on defense.

HAASON REDDICK

Reddick didn’t have a sack but he did have four of the Eagles’ six quarterback hits and a key TFL on Saquon Barkley for a turnover on downs to prevent the Giants from converting a 4th-and-1 at the Eagles’ 21-yard line.

BRITAIN COVEY

Covey gave the Eagles an immediate spark with a 54-yard return after the Giants’ opening three-and-out. That return set Philly up to take over at New York’s 13-yard line. Two plays later, the Eagles went up 7 to 0.

All told, Covey had three punt returns for 66 yards. That gives him a league-leading 409 punt return yards. His 14.6 average is only behind Derius Davis of the Los Angeles Chargers.

It was nice to see the Eagles reward Covey with his first career catch, which was a screen play that gained seven yards.

After the game, Nick Sirianni campaigned for Covey to make the Pro Bowl.

Q. WR Britain Covey setting the tone with the punt return, but also you got him involved with the bubble screen and north/south.

SIRIANNI: Yeah, that’s why we wanted to get him that opportunity there. I think he gained about seven on that one and he’s going to tell me he should have housed it. What a weapon. Do you all have votes for Pro Bowl? Vote for that guy. Who is returning the ball better than him? Who is a better punt returner in the NFL than Britain Covey? Shoot, he put one on the ground. He’s upset about that. But he changes games. That first one after the defense gets a big stop and then Britain coming and doing what he did, he’s a special returner. He has turned himself into a very special football player who’s a weapon for us. So, Philadelphia, get out there and vote for Britain Covey for Pro Bowl, because I haven’t seen anybody play better than him and return the ball better than him. He’s a stud.

JAKE ELLIOTT

4/4 on field goals, 3/3 on PAT kicks for 15 total points. He’s only scored more in two other games.

GRANT CALCATERRA

Calcaterra didn’t have a target before Week 16. He had two in this game (the first on a broken play after a bad snap went over Jalen Hurts’ head) for two catches and 21 yards. The first one converted a 3rd-and-3 into 1st-and-goal at the 8-yard line. The second converted a 1st-and-10 at the Eagles’ 28-yard line into a new set of downs at the Eagles’ 40-yard line.

Grant Calcaterra: secret weapon!

Not really but it probably shouldn’t have taken until Week 16 to get him a target? Could be worth mixing in occasionally.

RICK LOVATO

Logged his first career forced fumble by making a tackle on punt coverage! Too bad the Giants were able to recover.


LOSERS

NICK SIRIANNI

I’m cautious about blaming coaches because I think they tend to get a disproportionate amount of blame.

That being said, how can you watch the Eagles and not feel like this is a poorly coached team? In what way is Sirianni giving this team an edge?

There was too much dumb and bad stuff in this game.

  • Sirianni admittedly not realizing the clock didn’t stop after Gainwell fumbled out of bounds with 0:50 left in the first half. He didn’t call the timeout until 0:31, wasting 19 seconds in a scenario where the Eagles ultimately had to settle for three points despite reaching the Giants’ 3-yard line.
  • Jalen Carter failing to get off the field in time after a third down stop to turn a 4th-and-6 punt into the Giants going for it on 4th-and-1 and moving the chains. Carter obviously deserves blame here (and we’ll get to him next) but Sirianni still could’ve recognized it and called a timeout.
  • Sirianni deciding to go for it on 4th-and-5 from the 30-yard line (good) but turtling up at 4th-and-goal from the 5-yard line (bad). You’re scared of giving the ball back to the Giants at the 5 but not the 30?
  • Sirianni has to insist the team runs the Brotherly Shove on a 3rd-and-1 play where Swift instead got dropped for a loss of four yards to bring up a three-and-out.
  • Nine total Eagles penalties (65 yards) to the Giants’ three (13 yards).

The game (mis)management stuff is especially annoying since one would think he should be on top of that as a head coach who 1) constantly talks about being keyed in on situational football and 2) doesn’t call plays.

Also, what was going on here?

Is Sirianni pulling his weight when it comes to fostering good vibes?

Hardly seems like it.

At the moment, the Eagles seem like a pretty unserious team with bad vibes.

You have someone from inside the organization saying it was “the most miserable 10-1 team” prior to a three-game losing streak.

You have A.J. Brown too frustrated to even talk to reporters ... AFTER A WIN.

You have DeVonta Smith saying he’s “not happy” with how the Eagles are playing.

This team is relatively joyless despite having a realistic chance at clinching the No. 1 seed if they get some help.

Not good.

JALEN CARTER

As previously mentioned, Carter helped the Giants extend a drive by not getting off the field fast enough to turn a 4th-and-6 punt into a 4th-and-1 conversion. Carter was fortunate that Reddick was ultimately able to force a turnover on downs.

Carter was also fortunate that the refs questionably called the Giants for a false start instead of getting him for being offside. Down 10 points, the Giants would’ve had 1st-and-10 at the Eagles’ 40-yard line instead of punting from 4th-and-9.

THE PASS RUSH

The Eagles’ defensive line generated zero sacks and five quarterback hits against a team allowing the most sacks in the NFL (5.4 per game).

They have just five sacks in their last three games combined.

That’s really not good enough for a pass rush that’s supposed to be elite considering the extensive resources invested in that unit.

JAMES BRADBERRY

For the second week in a row, a backup QB was able to have success driving against the Eagles’ defense late in the fourth quarter by going after Bradberry in coverage.

BOSTON SCOTT

For the first time ever, Scott did not find the end zone against the Giants.

The fumble was fluky and it’s easy to say in hindsight ... but why return the kickoff and not just signal for a fair catch?

QUEZ WATKINS

Quez appears to be in the dog house; he played just one offensive snap against the Giants. He earned his place there.


I DON’T KNOWS

JALEN HURTS

The good:

  • Hurts’ 3rd-and-20 throw to A.J. Brown was pretty awesome. Watching live from the press box, it looked like he might get picked off by the underneath defender. Instead, he was able to find A.J. Brown for a crucial conversion instead of having to punt while only up two points.
  • Hurts picking up a bad snap that went over his head and delivering a throw to Calcaterra for an unlikely 3rd-and-3 conversion was big. Not just any QB makes that play; others probably dive on the ball and take the loss.
  • Ripping accurate, in-rhythm completions over the middle to DeVonta (for his touchdown) and A.J.
  • Hurts threw for 301 yards, his fourth-highest total this season.

The bad:

  • The end of second quarter sequence was just so bad. Hurts simply HAS to get out of bounds there with zero timeouts remaining. He almost cost the Eagles their shot to get at least three points. Had he stepped out, he could’ve had another throw into the end zone to potentially set the Eagles up 24 to 3 entering halftime. Alarmingly bad awareness.
  • Hurts unnecessarily committing the horse-collar penalty on the pick-six he threw. That flag set the Giants up for a successful two-point conversion from the 1-yard line. That additional point ultimately allowed it to be a one-possession game at the end.
  • Hurts was not to blame for his interception since Dallas Goedert slipped ... but he nearly threw a pick on the play prior. So, it’s not like he didn’t put the ball in harm’s way at all. Luck evened out a bit there.

A.J. BROWN

On one hand, he led the Eagles in receiving. On the other hand, he dropped a pass and was too frustrated to talk after a win. What’s going on?

MATT PATRICIA

The Eagles’ defense allowed 17 points last week.

They allowed 17 this week. Seven of those came after the fumbled kickoff that allowed the Giants to take over at the Eagles’ 14-yard line. Another three came on a 52-yard field goal.

Hard to say Patricia alone is making a huge difference since the Eagles are playing much worse quarterbacks than they were prior to Sean Desai’s promotion. But it’s still good to see that it hasn’t gone terribly on that side of the ball?

REED BLANKENSHIP

If the Giants are going to score while down 12 points with about six minutes remaining, they can’t do it quickly. The Eagles have to make them at least take some time off the clock.

And yet Blankenship getting beat deep by Darius Slayton allowed the Giants to in just 42 seconds.

Blankenship has done a lot of good things in his second season and it should be noted he’s played the most snaps of any defender (when including special teams snaps). But it feels like he’s cooled off since returning from the bye.

Blankenship’s first seven games: two interceptions, 10 passes defensed, two TFLs.

Blankenship’s last six games: zero interceptions, zero passes defensed, zero TFLs.

NOLAN SMITH

Doesn’t hurt to give Smith a look at off-ball linebacker. But it’s clear that’s not a natural fit for him.

OLAMIDE ZACCHEAUS

From the press box view, it looked like OZ purposely tackled Boston Scott to force a fumble. Obviously, that’s not the case. But it was still a really bad mistake that he played a part in.

That said, OZ’s pancake block to pave the way for DeVonta’s TD was pretty awesome. OZ continues to make the case for being WR3.

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