LOCATION: MetLife Stadium (East Rutherford, NJ)
BETTING LINE: NYG (-3)
FINAL LINE SCORE
PLAYER OF THE GAME
Player Stats: 22/36, 257 yards, 4 TD, 2 INT
If it weren’t for two interceptions on the day, one of which was honestly just an amazing play by Eagles defensive back Nolan Carroll II, many would be heralding the return to form for Eli Manning. Completing 61% of his passes for 257 yards and 4 touchdowns is generally a decent outing in any quarterback’s book, but Eli has had his fair share of tough games so far this season. And the poise and ability he showed on Sunday afternoon should silence all but the most fervent of doubters. Credit is due to Big Blue’s offensive line as well; even after losing guard Justin Pugh early in the second quarter, the unit held their own to give Manning plenty of time against a daunting Philadelphia pass rush.
EAGLES POSITION GROUP RATINGS
TIGHT ENDS: 7/10
Perhaps the lone bright spot in this dismal Eagles’ game, Zach Ertz finally saw some targets and converted on almost every one of them. It only took 8 games into the season, but Dougie P finally started drawing up some plays to get the versatile tight end open across the middle for some big gains. Not only that, but Trey Burton continues to impress in his limited playing time. He caught all 3 balls thrown his way and was a reliable check down receiver for Wentz, something he desperately needed all game.
This was by far the worst game of Carson Wentz’s young career. Granted, he did not get a ton of help from his interior line, but even when he had time in the pocket, Wentz missed some open receivers badly. With the current crop of wide receivers Wentz has to throw to, he really has no room for error on missing wide-open throws. Two notable misses comes to mind. One, being the first Landon Collins interception where Wentz scrambled from the pocket and made an ill-advised throw down the field that was high and picked off. The second was the bigger one, thought not as noticeable, and came in the 4th quarter after Jordan Matthews picked up a huge 1st down on 4th & 9. The Birds were set up in the redzone with just over 4 minutes left in the 4th and down by 8 points. Dorial Green-Beckham was one-on-one with an undersized cornerback and had inside position on a skinny post at the goal-line. If Wentz puts that ball where it needs to be, DBG’s huge frame should have allowed him to box out that corner and make an easy TD catch. Instead, the throw was way too high for Green-Beckham to have a chance, and the Eagles settled for a field goal.
Even the supposed two best players in our secondary had off games against the Giants. Both Rodney McLeod and Malcolm Jenkins missed coverage assignments and open field tackles over the course of the game. Jaylen Watkins had a tough game at the strong safety spot and Leodis McKelvin does not seem to be at full speed coming back from that hamstring injury.
Back-to-back poorly coached games by Doug Pederson does not bode well with Eagles’ fans. If it weren’t for the Jordan Matthews catch on 4th & 9, the Eagles were about to go 0 for 4 on 4th down tries. I have no problem with going for it on 4th down, but the play calling on those plays were just too predictable and stale. The Giants’ keyed on Darren Sproles on almost every 3rd or 4th down conversion, and Wentz simply did not see any other options to go to.
This was really an ugly game on both sides, but the Giants were able to win the crucial NFC East matchup to keep pace with the division leading Cowboys. Odell Beckham Jr only broke free for one big completion, but was able to haul in 2 touchdowns against the Eagles’ undersized and not so fast cornerbacks. While each team had drives where it seemed as if they would take control of the game, the Giants’ offense capitalized when it mattered most.
The “Big 3” of the Giants’ receiving corps were held in check from stretching the field on big plays, but this NFC East showdown came down to redzone efficiency. The Eagles were a dismal 2 for 6 in the redzone while the Giants seemed to find open receivers against a porous Eagles’ secondary all game long. The real heroes for the Giants on Sunday were their defensive linemen. Besides Jason Peters and perhaps Big V (who’s name was not mentioned all game, a very good sign), the Eagles’ o-line was dominated by “Snacks” Harrison and the rest of the Giants’ front line. Wentz performed admirably under pressure during the first couple games in the season, but it seems that constant pressure is starting to wear on the young rookie.
With the win, the Giants improve to 5-3, good for 2nd place in the NFC East, while the Eagles fall to the bottom of the division at 4-4 on the year (0-3 in the division).
GIANTS POSITION GROUP RATINGS
RUNNING BACKS: 5/10
I hesitate to say that this was a good game for New York’s running backs because, well, it wasn’t. But I would like to give rookie Paul Perkins a shout out for some solid rushes late in the game that the Giants have sorely been lacking for a long time now. Despite this, Perkins and veteran back Rashad Jennings were both held to under 3 yards a carry, and barely made 50 yards on the day between them. Its promising that the rookie is getting some more playing time, as Jennings has shown very little outside of pass protection to justify his starting spot, but a lot of work needs to be done to get this running game going.
WIDE RECEIVERS: 6/10
Eli and the Giants were more than happy to spread the love this game, with 8 players notching receptions in a sporadic passing attack that came in waves all game. The electric trio of Beckham, Cruz and Shepard all had their moments, however Cruz was sidelined early by an ankle injury after only a single reception; all be it a beauty for 46 yards. Roger Lewis proved to be a serviceable replacement though, and despite some obvious growing pains early scored his second touchdown of the year. There is no doubt this unit has some fire, it’s just lacking the consistency.
DEFENSIVE LINE: 8/10
Once again New York showed why its free agent spending spree has paid dividends with its defensive line. While defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo toyed with some creative blitz packages at times, it was the front four that really gave both Carson Wentz and the Eagles rushing attack headaches. Wentz seemed flustered early, despite finding his groove at times, and Philadelphia were held under 100 yards on the ground. Special mentions to both Jason Pierre-Paul and Damon ‘Snacks’ Harrison for some critical stops.
It was another big day for safety Landon Collins. Notching another interception for 3 on the year, 12 total tackles and a sack, Collins is really starting to make a name for himself. Andrew Adams also had solid game, the rookie free safety tallied his own interception and made a number of key plays. Unfortunately the rest of the secondary group had a disappointing showing, particularly cornerback Eli Apple and safety Nat Berhe, both being burnt deep on multiple plays.