Grayson’s Grades: Eagles vs. Giants
PHILADELPHIA - The Philadelphia Eagles won at their home stadium for the second time in less than a week when they blew out the New York Giants 34-10. The Eagles outscored the Giants 31-7 in the second half.
This game got off to a slow start tied at three at the half. Then the Eagles exploded and the second half featured everything from a Jalen Reagor 39 yard punt return that set up a touchdown to a miraculous touchdown catch by DeVonta Smith and even a touchdown reception by Lane Johnson.
The Eagles defense also deserves credit forcing two turnovers in the game including a pick six by Alex Singleton. They stuffed the Giants offense from start to finish and held them to just 192 total yards with most of that coming during the fourth quarter when the game was already decided.
If the playoffs started today the Eagles would be in as the seven seed. They are currently tied with the 49'ers for sixth but lose the tiebreaker due to their head-to-head loss to the niners earlier this season.
The first half report card for this team was brutal but the Eagles finished with a great effort and were rewarded with solid marks. Here is the latest edition of Grayson's Grades:
Lane Johnson - Lane Johnson caught a touchdown pass. Yes, you read that right. He sold the block perfectly and peeled off to the side of the endzone and was wide open for his first career touchdown reception. Oh yea, he also blocked well. Johnson missed time due to mental health issues and has provided this team a huge spark on the offensive line in his return.
DeVonta Smith - Smith is having a great rookie season and made one heck of a touchdown catch in this game. He was going out of bounds and somehow controlled the ball while falling out of bounds and managed to drag his feet to complete the catch. It was impressive and a huge grab on third and goal. Smith finished this game with five catches for 80 yards and that touchdown.
Jalen Hurts - Hurts got off to a slow start and it was not all his fault. His receivers dropped three passes that hit them in the hands in the first half. He is clearly still bothered by the high ankle sprain that sidelined him earlier this month. His mobility is not what it was when he was healthy. That showed also in the box score. He only carried it two times for seven yards. Hurts delivered some good throws downfield that helped to get this offense going and kept his eyes downfield to find those receivers. He completed 17 of 29 passes for 199 yards and two touchdowns.
Offensive Line - The Offensive Line did a great job of once again winning the battle at the line of scrimmage, particularly in the second half. Hurts was not under pressure too much when he did drop back to pass. The Eagles rushed for 130 yards. The line also got a boost having Landon Dickerson return after missing the last game on the Covid list. Credit Dickerson, Jordan Mailata, Jason Kelce, Jack Driscoll and Lane Johnson for another solid outing.
Quez Watkins - Watkins took full advantage of his opportunities in this one. He also made a huge catch to bring in a deep ball with a defender on his back. Watkins caught three passes for 43 yards. It was nice to see him get a few more targets this week than he has in the past few games.
Alex Singleton - Singleton seemed to get off to a slow start this season but has played well of late. He had a big play in this one when he picked off a pass and returned it for a touchdown. Singleton has attacked the line of scrimmage better in the run game lately and read this pass well to pick it off. He finished second on the team with 12 tackles.
Fletcher Cox - Cox had another solid outing. He was a force to be reckoned with in the middle of that defensive line. Cox stuffed the run and also created some pressure on the quarterback. Cox does not always show up in the box score, but his effect on the line allows others to make plays. He finished with three tackles including two tackles for a loss.
Rodney McLeod - McLeod benefitted from some pressure created by the Eagles defensive line. Jake Fromm was hit as he threw and it sent the ball right into Rodney McLeod's arms for an interception early in the third quarter. He returned it 24 yards and that led to an Eagles touchdown. That really sparked the entire team in the second half. McLeod finished with one tackle and two passes successfully defended.
T.J. Edwards - Edwards was flying around the field today. He almost had a couple of interceptions. Edwards was also heavily involved in stopping the run. He led the team with 16 tackles and had one pass successfully defended. Edwards and Singleton are playing well together at the Linebacker position for this defense.
Nick Sirianni - Sirianni missed part of the week when he was added to the Covid list. He came off that list on Saturday and was able to be back on the sideline for this game. He attended and watched practices virtually while quarantining in a hotel room. Sirianni clearly drew up some extra plays and used one of them when he called a touchdown pass for Lane Johnson. Sirianni has this team believing in themselves and never feeling like they are ever out of a game. There was no panic in this team when it went into the locker room tied at three. I felt he came out of the gate and threw the ball way too much in the first quarter. It was obvious he expected the Giants to sell out and defend the run. Some of those pass plays would have worked if the receivers caught the passes that hit their hands. However, this team thrives on the run game. Sirianni let the run game do its job in the second half and it led to a points explosion.
Jonathan Gannon - Gannon had a great game plan in place for the Giants. They stuffed the run holding the Giants to just 84 rush yards. They also kept Saquon Barkley from getting anything going limiting him to just 32 yards on 15 carries. That combined with the points in the second half allowed them to make the Giants one-dimensional and allowed the defensive line to rush hard after the quarterback. The only touchdown they gave up in this game was when the score was lopsided and were playing looser on the receivers trying to keep everything in front of them.
Jalen Reagor - Reagor's biggest contribution on this game came early in the third quarter when he fielded a short punt and broke through a hole returning it 39 yards positioning the Eagles offense in the red zone to start a drive. He also made a nice catch on the sideline to move the chains. A defender got his hand right in front of his line of sight but Reagor showed nice focus to pull it in. He only caught two passes for 15 yards and he certainly needs to be more consistent as a receiver. Reagor did have a bad drop in this one, but rebounded to contribute with that catch and punt return.