If you are a Giants fan, I hope you have the Mets to fall back on.
For the second straight year, the Philadelphia Eagles beat the New York Giants by 20-plus points at home, during a prime-time “blackout.” However, it did not appear that would happen at first. One the first drive of the game, the New York Giants moved down the field with no resistance coming from the Eagles. Then the Eagles first drive was all too familiar, three and out. It looked like the Giants were well on their way to putting an early strangle hold on the division, and effectively ending the Eagles season as they have a date with the Panthers next Sunday night. That was not the case. The man they call “Mufasa,” DeMeco Ryans, made the game changing play by ripping a pass away from Larry Donnell is Eagles territory. The Eagles did not look back from there. The Eagles went on to score 27 unanswered points the rest of the way en route to a 20 point victory, and somehow captured the lead of the NFC East.
This was a game that showed me a lot about each team. Even though Chip Kelly is the “mastermind” behind the Eagles offense, it is their defense that is the strength of their team. It is a defense that is predicated on their ability to get after the quarter back and stop the run. They are led by the man who I think is the best player in the league, Fletcher Cox. Cox came into this one after claiming NFC Defensive Player of the week in week 5 and continued his strong play. He finished the game with a sack, putting him in fifth place among league leaders, 4 tackles and a forced fumble. Aside from the first drive, Eli Manning was uncomfortable all evening. The defense finished with three sacks, three turnovers, and forced two intentional grounding penalties. They also had a pick-6 from Nolan Carroll. To this point in the season, the Eagles defense ranks 6th best in points allowed, 4th best in yards, 2nd in takeaways, and 3rd in rushing yards per play. This defense is playing at an elite level, Eagles fans just have to hope the offense catches up.
The Eagles put up 27 in this game, but it was obvious the offense was struggling. With the way the defense played, it did not matter that they struggled, but it is worrisome. The most concerning part of the offense was the offensive line, now it is the quarterback. Sam Bradford was bad. That does not even begin to describe it. He had three horrendous interceptions. He overthrew Zach Ertz, under threw Zach Ertz, and then threw a pass that was not even within 20 yards of Riley Cooper. It was a pass that reminded me of of one Brett Favre threw to Brian Dawkins back in 2004 (skip to 3:03). Another big concern is how the Eagles scored in this game. The Eagles faced, yet another, third and long on their second drive deep in their own territory. Bradford threw an incomplete pass but was saved by an egregious roughing the passer penalty. This led to the under thrown touchdown pass to Riley Cooper, who played very well during the “blackout.” Yes, that was intended. Anyway, The second touchdown the offense scored was on a drive that was kept alive by a roughing the punter penalty. As I said earlier, I learned a lot about both teams. The Giants, for a revenge game and first place, came up very small. With all of these drive saving penalties, they were hurting themselves. As well as the Eagles defense played, the Giants hurt themselves time and time again on defense.
This may have been a season changing game for both teams. The Eagles stay alive, and after starting 0-2, are in first place. The Giants have looked good until this game but they will get another shot, probably with a healthier Odell Beckham Jr., when they meet again in week 17. This time it will be in MetLife Stadium. I am willing to bet a playoff berth will be on the line then.