Just goes to show you what a little urgency, some big plays — and a timely game against the New York Giants can do for the defending Super Bowl champions.
Carson Wentz threw a season-high three touchdown passes and the Eagles got an early lift from their defence and special teams in beating the struggling Giants 34-13 on Thursday night, avoiding their first three-game losing streak since the 2016 season.
The Philadelphia Eagles got three touchdown passes from Carson Wentz and four sacks on Eli Manning to create a 34-13 win over the New York Giants on Thursday night. Saquon Barkley produced 229 total yards but the Giants struggled with situational offense, finishing 4-for-14 on third down and 0-for-3 in the red zone. The Eagles led 14-3 after one quarter and 24-6 at halftime, allowing Doug Pederson's team to cruise to a much-needed victory.
“Its a big win for us,” said Wentz, who finished 26 of 36 for 278 yards and no interceptions. “NFC East and the conference. Its huge. Being 3-3 is better than 2-4. This is more like who we are. We can build from this.”
The first 30 minutes of TNF has produced a one-sided affair, with three touchdowns giving the Eagles a 24-6 lead over the Giants at the half. Carson Wentz has thrown for 175 yards and two touchdowns. Saquon Barkley has 149 total yards, helping set up both field goals, but it hasn't been enough. The Giants are 0-8 on third down.
The win put the Eagles into a first place tie with Washington (2-2) in the NFC East with Dallas (2-3) a half game back. The Giants are fading fast.
Wentz sandwiched touchdowns passes of 13 and 1 yard to Alshon Jeffery around a 10-yarder to tight end Zach Ertz to help the Eagles build a 31-6 lead. They beat the Giants (1-5) for the fourth straight time and seventh in eight games.
In what was the fastest start of the season, the Birds had 227 yards of offense from scrimmage before halftime — nearly two thirds of their usual 363.8 per game. If you factor in New Yorks 46 penalty yards in the first half, they moved the ball quite a bit more than usual
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“This is finally the game where we played like the Philadelphia Eagles,” said Ertz, who was limited to seven passes for 43 yards. “Were finally the Eagles again.”
Rookie halfback Saquon Barkley scored on a 50-yard run and rushed for 130 yards in one of the few bright spots for the Giants offence, which was booed repeatedly in losing at home for the third time. Aldrick Rosas had field goals of 33 and 21 yards.
This was seen as a must-win game for both teams in the weak and wide-open NFC East, and the Eagles went out and grabbed it.
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They came into the game having scored seven points in the first quarter and they doubled that against New York.
Eli Manning was under pressure all night from the Eagles. They sacked him four times and hit him 13 other times. He finished 24 of 43 for 281 yards.
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“We want to get after the passer every week,” coach Doug Pederson said. “These games are battles. It all comes down to which team gets after the passer. We hit Eli and put him on the ground. That was big.”
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Kamu Grugier-Hill intercepted Mannings pass that was tipped by fellow linebacker Jordan Hicks and he returned it to Giants 16. Three plays later, Wentz was forced out of the pocket and found Jeffery after getting all day to throw.
“More on #Eagles OT Lane Johnson: My understanding is this high-ankle sprain he was battling is something that will make it difficult for him to play,” he then added. “Hes going to do everything he can and will test it pre-game. But he has an uphill battle. Halapoulivaati Vaitai is his backup.”
A 46-yard run by Barkley set up Rosas 33-yarder to cut the gap to 7-3, but the Eagles took control later in the quarter after DeAndre Carter returned a punt 23 yards to the New York 44. Passes of 17 to Jeffery and 14 to Clement set up Clements touchdown run.
“I dont regret anything. I dont regret anything that I said,” Beckham said to Giants reporters after the game. “If it took that for us to come together as a team like we did today, I can take that every single time. I spoke to the team just to kind of relay the message that sometimes stuff comes off the wrong way. Words can be portrayed in any kind of light. The conversation is between us. But the way we responded as a team to what was said, I felt like it wouldve been too easy after what was said, and after what I said to them, for us to come in here and have heart, energy and all that stuff. Grit, whatever the words you want to use for that, we had it, and we came up short, but Im proud of this team, and this is the team that we are going to be for the rest of the season. Like I said, if it took that to get us going, I can take that.”
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A spectacular tackle-breaking run by Barkley on a 55-yard screen pass helped cut the lead to 14-6 in the second quarter but Wentz hit a wide-open Nelson Agholer on a third and 3 and connected with Ertz for a 21-6 lead on the next play.
Elliott made it 24-6 just before halftime and Philadelphia put the game out of reach with a 75-yard drive that ended with a short Jeffery TD catch.
“We didnt do anything well enough to win tonight,” Giants coach Pat Shurmur said. “Credit Philadelphia. Good football team.”
“I dont regret anything. I dont regret anything that I said,” Beckham said to Giants reporters after the game. “If it took that for us to come together as a team like we did today, I can take that every single time. I spoke to the team just to kind of relay the message that sometimes stuff comes off the wrong way. Words can be portrayed in any kind of light. The conversation is between us. But the way we responded as a team to what was said, I felt like it wouldve been too easy after what was said, and after what I said to them, for us to come in here and have heart, energy and all that stuff. Grit, whatever the words you want to use for that, we had it, and we came up short, but Im proud of this team, and this is the team that we are going to be for the rest of the season. Like I said, if it took that to get us going, I can take that.
“How do I feel about my performance tonight?” Barkley asked rhetorically. “Doesnt matter to me. We didnt win.”
Odell Beckham Jr. headbutted a giant cooling fan during a second-half fit that also included him screaming from the sideline and eventually being calmed by Barkley. Beckham also left for the locker room before the end of the first half, though Shurmur said Beckham was excused early because of cramping.
“I was just trying to get myself going,” he said. “I felt like some of those plays where I was getting myself going was some of my best stuff. So I was just trying to get myself fired up. I did that and it helped me.”
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Thursdays scene comes a week after Beckham bemoaned the lack of downfield passes from Manning and the teams subpar energy following a 33-31 loss to Carolina. Beckham had six catches for 44 yards Thursday, and his longest reception was 12 yards.
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INJURIES: Eagles LT Jason Peters left with a biceps injury. Backup cornerback Sidney Jones left in the first half with a hamstring injury. The Giants had LB Ray Ray Amstrong (concussion), WR Cody Latimer (hamstring) and CB Antonio Hamilton (illness) leave the game.
BARKLEY GAINS: Barkley has gained at least 100 yards from scrimmage in each of his first six career games. He is one off the NFL rookie record set by Kansas Citys Kareem Hunt.
“Jay is a big part of what weve done, so its an injury that will impact us here until we get the guys back out there,” offensive coordinator Mike Groh said. “Wendell, hes done a really nice job in the playing time hes gotten thus far in the season; really pleased with his production. Hes done a nice job. Coreys progressing with his injury. Were happy with the guys we got. We think we still have talented players to be really good at the running back position.”
The New York Giants season arguably hangs in the balance in their Thursday night matchup with the Philadelphia Eagles, and some in the organization are laying the blame at the franchises feet for the 1-4 start.
Several Giants players have expressed frustration with Eli Mannings performance, sources told ESPNs Jordan Raanan, with one player specifically taking issue with the veterans inability to attack zone and Cover 2 defenses.
While Mannings raw statistics – career-high 71.7 completion percentage, 1,381 passing yards, six touchdowns to three interceptions – appear solid, advanced measurements highlight the two-time Super Bowl champions struggles.
Manning has been accurate on just 29.2 percent of his deep passes, ahead of only Ryan Tannehill and rookie Josh Allen, according to Pro Football Focus. Moreover, he ranks 21st in Football Outsiders DVOA metric, which rates players, per play, over an average player in the same game situations.
His inability to push the ball deep was emphasized by Odell Beckham Jr. in his controversial interview prior to Week 5 when he said he “didnt know” if the quarterback was to blame for the offenses struggles.