Grayson’s Grades: Eagles vs. Giants
PHILADELPHIA - The Philadelphia Eagles went nearly two months without a win at home before knocking off the New York Giants 25-22. That snapped a streak of three straight losses inside Lincoln Financial Field.
It was yet another slow start for the Eagles as they failed to score a single point in the first quarter for the ninth time in 11 games this season. New York held a 19-3 lead in the second quarter when the Philadelphia offense finally came to life. Carson Wentz hit Zach Ertz for a touchdown and followed that up with a Corey Clement run for the two-point conversion to cut the deficit to 19-11.
The offense continued the second half where it left off in the first half. The Eagles racked up nearly 200 yards of total offense and scored 14 points in that half to complete the comeback. Meanwhile, the defense gave up 131 total yards and two touchdowns to Saquon Barkley in the first half and managed to hold him to just eleven yards the rest of the game.
The slow start coupled with the comeback resulted in a mixed report card for this week, but a definite improvement from the record amount of F's issued following the loss to the Saints last week.
Jake Elliott - Elliott's foot kept the Eagles in the game and ultimately won it for them. He booted a 43-yard field goal with 22 seconds remaining in the game to give the Eagles a 25-22 win. Elliott also added field goals from 42 and 28 yards earlier in this contest.
Josh Adams - Had a nice 52 yard touchdown run called back due to holding by Jason Kelce. Adams continued to be fed the ball as the game went on and it paid off for the Eagles. Adams produced with solid runs up the middle including a one-yard plunge for the go-ahead touchdown. He added a two-point conversion. Adams carried the ball 22 times for 84 yards and a touchdown.
Corey Clement - After some carries for little yardage, Clement broke one for 32 yards in the second quarter. He also added yards through the air. Clement carried the ball five times for 45 yards and caught two passes for 31 yards.
Zach Ertz - Ertz had another productive game and continued his prolific season. He hauled in a 15-yard touchdown. He was able to break a tackle on his way into the endzone for the score. Ertz was once again a favorite and reliable target for Wentz as the two connected seven times for 91 yards and a touchdown.
Michael Bennett - Bennett made a great read on the blocker in front of him to juke him one way and cut inside resulting in a clear path to Eli Manning. Manning backed up and then went down seeing Bennett coming. The sack put the Giants at their own two-yard line. Bennett again got some pressure on Manning and forced him to try and evacuate the pocket. In doing so, Manning met Chris Long who picked up a sack. Bennett has been more and more productive here as the season progresses. His stats don't do the justice that his impact had on the game. He finished with a tackle, a sack, a tackle for a loss and a quarterback hit.
Chris Long - Long did a nice job early in the fourth quarter of getting past his man and sacking Eli Manning after Michael Bennett forced him in his direction. He was part of a group of defensive linemen who had a more productive impact on the game for the Eagles in the second half. Like Bennett, his stats do not do his performance the justice that it deserved. He finished with a tackle, a sack, a tackle for a loss and a quarterback hit.
Kamu Grugier-Hill - He did a great job filling in for the injured Jordan Hicks. Grugier-Hill had several opportunities for one-on-one tackles and typically made them. One of those was on a third-and-long where the defense dropped six guys even with the first down marker. The pass was short and in the flat and Grugier-Hill took the man down to force a punt. He also made the tackle at the end of the game after the Giants tried a lateral. He took out Beckham's legs to end the game. Grugier-Hill led the team with seven tackles. Two of those tackles went for a loss.
Fletcher Cox - Cox got pushed around along with the rest of the defensive line early in the game. However, he rebounded in a big way and started having a big effect as the game continued. Cox became more assertive in the pass rush and helped generate more pressure on Eli Manning. He also helped stop the run better. Cox led the team with three quarterback hits. He also added a pair of tackles.
Malcolm Jenkins - Jenkins said after the game that he asked Jim Schwartz to simplify their defense a little given all of the injuries that side of the ball has suffered. He moved all over the field and made plays. Perhaps no bigger play was made than the one he made just before halftime. The Giants appeared to be on the verge of scoring some points when Jenkins intercepted the pass at the goal line keeping it a 19-11 game at the half. Jenkins finished tied for second on the team with six tackles. He added a forced fumble, a pass successfully defended and an interception.
Doug Pederson - Pederson oversaw yet another scoreless first quarter. It is much harder to win in this league when that is the case. The Eagles have scored just 21 points in the first quarter through 11 games this season and were held scoreless in the first quarter in nine of those games. On third and two in the second quarter, he ran a QB keeper off tackle for no gain. There were eight men in the box leaving just three defenders on receivers, that should have been a pass. It resulted in a field goal by Elliott. Great call and play call to go for it on fourth and two from the Giants 42 yard line and pass up a 60 yard field goal attempt. Wentz hit Agholor for a 12-yard gain to the Giants 30 at the two-minute warning. That drive ended with a game-winning 42-yard field goal by Jake Elliott. Pederson did a much better job counting on the running game. It did two things, particularly in the second half. It kept the Giants offense off the field. It also helped take some of the pressure off of Carson Wentz.
Jim Schwartz - Schwartz was working with a depleted secondary and that is not doing the situation enough justice. Corners Jalen Mills, Sidney Jones and Avonte Maddox were all out of this game and Rasul Douglas was limited due to injury. That forced Chandon Sullivan and De'Vaunte Bausby into the starting lineup. Linebacker Jordan Hicks was also out forcing Nathan Gerry into a starting role. All of that created issues for the defense. However, that being said, Schwartz should have blitzed more to help create pressure on Manning. Poor tackling has been an issue for this defense all season and that continued in this one. It is understandable to assume that Saquon Barkley would get his yards, but the key is to prevent the huge gains. The Eagles failed to do that several times allowing Barkley to account for 131 total yards and two touchdowns in the first half. Schwartz did a much better job in the second half of containing Barkley as well as generating pressure on Manning. The result was several sacks and much less productivity for Barkley. He had just eleven total yards in the second half.
Carson Wentz - Wentz was hit and miss in this game. He had Golden Tate with a step on the defender early in the game and threw it over his head. Later in the game, he got hot with some nice passes to Zach Ertz and Alshon Jeffery that ultimately ended with a touchdown pass to Ertz. Wentz was faced with a fourth-and-one with 2:39 left in a tie game. He found a wide-open Nelson Agholor over the middle for a 12-yard gain. Wentz has had opportunities to lead his team to a victory late in the game and failed to finish those opportunities. He did not do that this team. Wentz showed more patience late in the game. However, over the past few weeks he has looked uncertain and not confident in his reads. He has double and triple-clutched the ball and most of the time when he does that it results in an incompletion or interception. Wentz completed 20 of 28 passes for 236 yards and a touchdown.
Golden Tate - Tate made a great catch early in the game to essentially take a ball thrown behind him away from the defender for a catch. He made a nice third down grab in traffic on the Eagles first possession of the second half to move the chains. However, later that drive he dropped a pass that with nobody around him. That drive eventually ended with a punt. Tate still has not had the breakout game many expected with the Eagles yet. He saw eight targets and caught four passes for 30 yards.
Cornerbacks - Chandon Sullivan and De'Vaunte Bausby were overmatched in this game. Odell Beckham, Jr. had his way with them on the outside. They were forced into action due to all of the injuries to Philadelphia corners ahead of them on the depth chart. Beckham beat Bausby on a deep ball in the first quarter for a 39-yard gain to the Philadelphia ten. Cre'Von LeBlanc came in after an injury to Chandon Sullivan and had his ups and downs. He slipped in coverage allowing a third down conversion to Beckham. Later that drive he made a great play to tip the ball away from Beckham in the endzone resulting in a field goal that tied the game at 22 in the fourth quarter.