EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. — The Eagles drove up the New Jersey Turnpike on Sunday and won their second straight road game. With the 34-29 victory over the Giants, they earned a first-round bye and cliched a 12-win season for the first time since 2004.
That was the good news.
The bad news: Jim Schwartz's defense played what was arguably it's worst game of the season (see Roob's observations). Arguably its worst game since he became defensive coordinator.
"There's a lot of positive and a lot of negative," safety Malcolm Jenkins said. "Obviously, defensively, I don't anybody is happy with the way we performed."
It's not hard to figure out why.
The Eagles' defense got off to a horrible start Sunday afternoon at MetLife Stadium and ended up allowing a two-win Giants team to score 29 points — the second-most the Eagles have given up all season and the most the Giants have scored all year.
The Giants also had 504 yards of total offense after the Eagles had given up 400 yards just twice all season.
The 504 yards of offense the Eagles gave up is the most in 30 games under Schwartz. The last time the Birds gave up 500-plus was the last game with Billy Davis in charge.
Despite all that, the Eagles didn't seem too worried after the game.
"The sky isn't falling," defensive end Chris Long said. "It wasn't falling when they scored 24 on us in the third week of the season. We're going to improve, we're going to get better. And we're going to be at our best."
Like they did against the Rams last week, the Eagles' defense improved as the game went on. After giving up 23 first-half points to the Giants, they tightened up in the second half, when they gave up just six.
And after bending in the fourth quarter, they didn't break. Corey Graham got a huge pass breakup in the end zone on fourth down with under a minute to play.
"We found a way to win," Fletcher Cox said. "That's really all that matters. As a defense, I know we'll come in and look at it and be critical of ourselves. We'll get it corrected next week."
It seems like the Eagles just struggle against the Giants. They gave up 24 points to them earlier this year. And three of the last four times the Eagles have given up 500-plus yards they were playing the Giants.
On Sunday, the New York didn't use any kind of trickery to beat the Eagles. They used the same formula that has worked for them before. Slants, sluggos, Eli Manning getting the ball out of his hand quickly.
The common theme between last week's lackluster defensive showing against the Rams and Sunday's performance was that the opposing offense used no-huddle and tempo to get the Birds off balance. Jenkins said it's not surprising because of how much the Eagles like to rotate their defensive linemen and use different personnel packages, especially on third down.
When asked if it's concerning to see these types of defensive performances late in the season as the playoffs near, several Eagles players said it's not. Long said he's seen the team struggle and come back the next week with a solid performance.
So it's not concerning?
"No, it's not," cornerback Jalen Mills said. "You see the mistakes, you correct them, and you move on."