Eagles Steamroll Giants, Secure Playoff Berth

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The Eagles entered their first game against the Giants in the 2022 season with a chance to lock up a playoff berth in week 14.

The first half was nothing short of dominant for the Birds

The Eagles ate up clock with long drives to score 24 points in the first half. In fact, the only time they didn’t put points on the board were the 20 seconds before the half where they just ran out the clock and the three-and-out they had in their own end zone. This led to a blocked punt, an injured punter, and the Eagles defense having only a 15-yard field to defend.

The defense did allow a touchdown on that 15-yard field that was allowed by the blocked punt, but otherwise limited the Giants offense to punts throughout the entire first half of this game.

The second half was a bit of a different story.

The Eagles offense came out firing, but DeVonta Smith paid no attention to his feet and stepped out of bounds on a play where he should have easily been able to tap his foot and probably register a touchdown. This forced the Eagles to settle for a field goal.

Then the Eagles defense saw more coverages just not happening because K’Von Wallace has absolutely no clue what he’s doing and Darius Slay opening up running lanes for Daniel Jones that allowed the Giants offense to put together their first drive of the game and make it a competitive game in the third quarter again.

The Giants throwing that count punch must have re-woke the Eagles as they marched down the field on the following possession then forced a three an out. The Eagles offense, behind Miles Sander put together a back-breaking drive that made the game 41-14 with six minutes left.

Brandon Graham remained in the game for force a fumble on the next drive and allowed Boston Scott a short field to kill clock and punch in his own touchdown to make this game look even worse on paper for the Giants fans who may have already tuned out.

This was the third game in the Eagles 13 regular season contest where the Eagles sat their starters in the second half while cruising to a victory.

Offensive MVPs: Jalen Hurts/Miles Sanders

I really don’t want to pick Hurts every week, but you simply can’t not pick him with performances like this. His 217 passing yards with two touchdowns and 77 yards and a touchdown on the ground were a massive reason they won this game as handily as they did, not even mentioning the multiple drops from Smith, Brown and Watkins that would have added yardage and at least an additional touchdown.

Miles Sanders was impressive in his own right, with 144 yards and two touchdowns in 17 carries. That’s a ludicrous average of 8.2 yards per carry. He also had a reception for 11 yards.

Defensive MVP: Brandon Graham

The pass rush was really good against this Giants offensive line and Graham was a big part of that. Graham stayed in the game late, however, and really took any hope of a positive away from the Birds’ New Jersey-based rivals. He added two sacks, including a strip that lead to the Eagles second-team offense scoring a touchdown on a short field. He ended with four tackles and three sacks as well as a forced fumble.

Game Notes

  • The Eagles pass rush, particularly early on, made a huge impact on this game as the Giants gave Jones no time (and barely even formed a pocket) leading the Giants to call far more quick-developing plays to try and neutralize that rush.
  • The Giants utilized their most potent weapon (their cheap turf) well in this one to force multiple injuries that they could try to take advantage of in this game.
  • Looking at the safety spot without Blankenship, the Eagles may actually want to bring in Malcolm Jenkins. There are actually also two veteran safeties who were in camp with the Eagles and should know the defense that are free agents right now: Anthony Harris and Jaquiski Tartt.
  • Marquette King is a top punter who is available but has been black-balled by the league for some time. Brett Kern is a free agent and punted last season for the Titans. Matt Araiza, a rookie who will no longer face criminal charges, was great in college but would undoubtedly be a controversial signing that the Birds may want to shy away from.

Injury Notes

  • Safety Reed Blankenship went down of an apparent leg injury caused by the turf in New Jersey. This could be a significant loss for the Eagles as their next safety up is K’Von Wallace, who shouldn’t even been sniffing a roster let alone playing. Blankenship was carted into the locker room.
  • Quez Watkins also appeared to suffer a leg injury due to the turf on a deep ball. He did return to the field after the half.
  • Punter Arryn Siposs suffered a leg injury on the blocked punt (and his subsequent run) and was replaced by Britain Covey (holder) and Jake Elliott (punter). He was carted off the field, so the Birds may need another punter.
  • Kyron Johnson was ruled out in the second half of the game with a shoulder injury, leaving a void on special teams.
  • Grant Calcatera limped off in the third quarter, but returned shortly after.
  • Lane Johnson exited in the fourth quarter with an abdominal injury and was replaced by Jack Driscoll. It’s unclear if he would have left had the game had it been a close game since the Eagles

Philadelphia Eagles at New York Giants – December 11, 2022

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