The Giants were in upset-mode today, and the Eagles came very close to dropping their third game of the season.
Jim Schwartz’s defensive unit was miserable today. The New York Giants came into this game one of the worst offenses in football. Depleted by injury, and plagued by mistakes, the Giants offense put out one of their best showings of the season, with Eli Manning dropping over 400 yards and three touchdowns. The Giants converted 10 of 18 third down attempts. They gained over 500 yards on the day.
This is the second week in a row where Jim Schwartz’s defense has really left a lot to be desired. Last week, the defense offered little to no resistance against the Rams for most of the game, and this week to allow an offense as pathetic and beat up as the Giants to put on such a show was embarrassing.
Yes, the Eagles managed to fend off the Giants during their final attempt at a touchdown late in the fourth quarter, but the struggles over the last two weeks are pretty concerning.
The Eagles are going to face a pretty good team in their first-round of the playoffs. Whether its the Falcons, Panthers, Seahawks, Saints, or Rams, there’s a lot of good quality quarterback play coming the Birds’ way.
If Schwartz can’t figure out how to stop Eli Manning and his no-name weapons from carving up his defense, he’s really going to have issues in the playoffs.
We’ve seen the Eagles’ defense play much better than they’ve been the last two games, so we know they’re capable of a much higher level of play, but its concerning that the defense has begun to show these troublesome signs this late in the year.
Foles Does His Part
Nick Foles, making his first start as an Eagle since 2014, passed his first test with flying colors.
Foles completed 24 of 38 passes for 237 yards, delivering four touchdown passes, the most he’s had in a game since his seven-touchdown effort against the Raiders in 2013.
Foles was exactly what you would have hoped for. A solid veteran presence, capable of making every throw that the Eagles needed him to make. There were a couple moments where he showed a little bit of rust, but he was able to step right in and guide the offense to a 34-point effort.
- Stefen Wisniewski missed today’s game with the same ankle problem that knocked him out of last week’s game. Chance Warmack got the start and played the entire game at left guard. Warmack wasn’t great, but at least he didn’t play so poorly that the Eagles had to pull him for Isaac Seumalo again.
- Great game by Jason Kelce, he’s really played at a tremendous level all year.
- The offensive line as a whole gave up just one sack today.
- Nelson Agholor made one of the toughest touchdown receptions you’ll ever see today, but made just as terrible of a drop in the second half on a play that would have given the Eagles a first down.
- LeGarrette Blount was given a very minimal role, used only in short-yardage situations and to run out the clock at the end of the game. A little surprising considering that Blount had one of his best games of the year against the Giants back in September.
- Zach Ertz had his biggest game in several weeks, catching six passes for 56 yards and a touchdown.
- Trey Burton came down with his fifth score of the season today, impressive total from a second tight end.
- Ronald Darby came down with a key interception in the first half that set the offense up with a short field, and broke up a pass in the endzone late in the fourth quarter.
- The defensive line managed just one sack, with Brandon Graham the only player to get to Manning today.
- Sterling Shepard abused the Eagles throughout the game, catching 11 balls for 139 yards and a touchdown.
- The slant routes were open for the Giants all day, the defense never really adjusted to them.
- Nigel Bradham led the team with 11 tackles, but also dropped another easy interception for the second week in a row.
- Poor tackling throughout the entire defense for a second week in a row. This has got to get better moving forward.
- Special teams had ups and downs this week. On the positive side of things, there were three blocked kicks. Derek Barnett blocked an extra-point on the Giants’ first drive of the game, Kamu Grugier-Hill blocked a punt, and Malcolm Jenkins blocked a field goal in the second half. From that perspective, special teams saved the Eagles’ four points, and set them up for seven more.
- However, special teams also gave the Giants seven points in the second half with a costly five-yard penalty on a fourth-and-four, which extended a drive and led to a New York touchdown.
For all of the defensive struggles, the Eagles came away with the win, remaining undefeated within the division, and officially clinching a first-round bye in the playoffs.
The team is now one win, or a Minnesota loss, away from wrapping up the top seed in the NFC.
Nick Foles had a solid first game as begins to settle in to the starter’s role. Depending on if the Vikings lose to the Packers next week, the Birds may have everything wrapped up before they take the field against the Raiders on Christmas night.