Amazing what 30 minutes can mean for a football team. At halftime, the Eagles were barreling toward a loss to one of the worst teams in the NFL in the NFC East rival Giants and another report card filled with F’s. Then, out of nowhere, the Eagles with a ragtag offense and much maligned defense launched a comeback, turning a 14-point deficit into a 23-17 overtime victory.
Good grades for all! Well, good grades for most, and satisfactory grades for all, as a home win over New York shouldn’t have been quite that difficult.
Carson Wentz: 33/50, 325 YDS, 2 TD
For two-and-a-half quarters, it appeared Wentz was headed for another uneven performance everybody could nitpick all week. Then, improbably, with only two healthy wide receivers and his right tackle sidelined, he got into a rhythm. Wentz completed 22 of 31 for 228 yards in the second half and overtime, leading three scoring drives on the Eagles’ final five possessions. And when you consider the supporting cast he did it with, it’s even more surprising. Giants or no, this was a signature win for the fourth-year signal caller.
Boston Scott: 10 CAR, 59 YDS, TD, 6 REC, 69 YDS
The numbers weren’t stellar, but Miles Sanders (15 CAR, 45 YDS, 4 REC, 24 YDS) gave maximum effort, running with a purpose, jumping and juking, trying to create explosive plays. Protected his quarterback, too. The big gainers just weren’t there – couldn’t make that last guy miss or slip one last tackle. With Sanders apparently hurting, Boston Scott got an extended look in the second half and went off, which played a huge part in changing the game.
Wide receivers and tight ends
Zach Ertz: 9 REC, 91 YDS, 2 TD
Once Alshon Jeffery was lost to injury, the Eagles were extremely shorthanded here, so it’s no surprise Ertz was the only member of either unit with better than 5 catches (Joshua Perkins) or 41 yards (Dallas Goedert). The cherry on top was Greg Ward dropping a touchdown pass right on is hands, one of five in nine targets that went for incompletions. J.J. Arcega-Whiteside came up with a highlight-reel over-the-shoulder grab for 22 yards on the game-tying drive in the fourth quarter though.
Jason Peters will have nightmares about this one. The future Hall of Famer was tossed aside like a rookie when his man sacked the quarterback into Lane Johnson, causing the right tackle’s nasty-looking ankle injury. The line was only adequate otherwise, paving the way for a ho-hum 3.7 yards per carry on the ground and allowing 10 quarterback hits and three sacks in 54 dropbacks.
Vinny Curry: 2 TFL, 2.0 SK
The Eagles limited the Giants to 3.9 yards per carry on the ground, then the front four turned up the rush in the second half, with Curry killing a pair of drives. It was clear New York’s game plan was to get the ball out quickly, so there were only five hits on the quarterback, but the line definitely affected the passer.
Nate Gerry: 5 TKL, PD
Not hugely impactful in terms of volume, as Gerry and Nigel Bradham combined for nine tackles. However, the duo also combined for a couple of pass breakups, which were no small potatoes.
Malcolm Jenkins: 4 TKL, TFL, 2 PD, FF
Hope you like your Ronald Darby extra crispy. The corner missed a tackle to turn a short slant into a 35-yard score, then was involved in a mix-up with Rodney McLeod on a 55-yard bomb for another six, which Jenkins accepted the blame for postgame. The secondary settled down after that, allowing just 24 yards through the air in the second half – but those plays almost proved costly.
Cameron Johnston: 48.4 AVG, 5 IN20
Are the Eagles even in this game if Johnston doesn’t continuously pin the Giants in their own end? Probably not. Jake Elliott missed a 47-yard field goal attempt in the fourth quarter that, as it turned out, would’ve helped the Eagles put the game away in regulation – no harm, no foul, I guess.
Eagles’ record: 6-7
Was all set to give the staff an F after a pitiful first half, but look at what this team accomplished. Jim Schwartz’s unit limited the Giants to two first downs and 29 yards of total offense in the second half, and Doug Pederson’s offense put together three touchdown drives with Boston Scott, Greg Ward, J.J. Arcega-Whiteside and Joshua Perkins among Carson Wentz’s primary targets, not to mention with Lane Johnson out of the game. They rallied the troops, and Giants or no, took care of business in dramatic fashion.
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