Extra Points: Start Spreading the News
There's a point on the northbound New Jersey Turnpike where the road splits.
Exit 16W takes you to Giants Stadium in East Rutherford. Exit 16E dumps you at the Lincoln Tunnel in New York City.
I veered left this weekend and took my wife, Karen, to see "Harry Potter and the Cursed Child" at the Lyrics Theater on Broadway, thus passing on Sunday's Eagles game against the Giants.
Turns out I made the right turn.
The play, which chronicles the exploits of Harry Potter's son, Albus, and Draco Malfoy's son, Scorpius, was magnificent. It was shortened to three hours from the original six, but still packed plenty of suspense, humor and magic. Karen also drew kudos from fellow theatre-goers for her Gryffindor sweatshirt - Gryffindor traded up in the first round to draft her ahead of Hufflepuff, Ravenclaw and Slytherin - and matching Hogwarts face covering, which is required along with proof of vaccination status to attend a Broadway show.
The Eagles' play in their 13-7 loss to the Giants didn't come close to matching it. It was as if Harry himself had visited the Meadowlands, waved his wand, and cast a spell over quarterback Jalen Hurts, wide receiver Jalen Reagor and coach Nick Sirianni.
Hurts played his worst game of the season, throwing three interceptions. He's believed to be the first Eagles quarterback to throw at least three picks in a game since Mark Sanchez had three against Tampa Bay on Nov. 22, 2015.
"When you turn the ball over like that, you don't deserve to win the game," Hurts said.
At least he didn't have a butt fumble.
I still think Hurts has a bright future, but my confidence level is a tad lower.
Reagor did him no favors by dropping two passes down the stretch, conjuring memories of Nelson Agholor, circa 2016. Agholor was in such a funk that season that then-coach Doug Pederson benched the 2015 first-round draft pick to help him regain his confidence. Agholor rebounded with an outstanding season in 2017, but he had reverted to his old ways in 2019, prompting an Eagles fan who responded to a house fire to say, "We were catching babies, unlike Agholor."
Agholor benefitted from a change of scenery. He caught 48 passes for 848 yards and eight TDs for the Raiders last season. This year, playing for the Patriots, he has 29 receptions for 404 yards and three TDs through 12 games.
Reagor had two receptions for 31 yards against the Giants. Most notably, he was targeted a team-high seven times, including twice in the final drive. Meanwhile, rookie standout DeVonta Smith had two catches for 22 yards on four targets and tight end Dallas Goedert had one reception for zero yards.
Focusing on Reagor was either a ridiculous decision by Sirianni or a directive from owner Jeffrey Lurie and general manager Howie Roseman. It might be time to sit Reagor for a game or two in favor of practice squad member John Hightower. Reagor, who will forever be tied to Vikings wide receiver Justin Jefferson, whom the Eagles bypassed to draft Reagor in 2020, might also be better off elsewhere next year.
"You gotta take the heat," Reagor said. "Whatever's going to be said is going to be said. I just have to stay positive, take ownership of it, and move on."
At 5-7, the Eagles are going to have to take ownership of the fact that a playoff berth is highly unlikely. They are two and a half games behind the Cowboys (7-4) in the NFC East race and there are five teams ahead of them in the race for three wildcard spots.
On the bright side, four of their final five games are against divisional foes - two against Washington (4-6), a rematch with the Giants (4-7) and a season finale against the Cowboys.
The non-divisional game is next week, when the Eagles make a return trip to Exit 16W against the Jets (2-8).
I might take 16E. I think the Rockettes Christmas show is playing next Sunday.
I'd much rather watch them kick than Jake Elliott.