Observations: Eagles 36, Giants 21

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The Eagles beat the Giants, 36-21, at MetLife Stadium to improve to 2-3 on the season. Here’s what we saw.

 

OFFENSE

* Nick Foles came in to the game late in the first half and went 16-for-25 for 197 yards and two touchdowns. After the Mychal Kendricks interception in the fourth quarter, Foles rolled to his left and then found Brent Celek for a 25-yard score. After the Brandon Boykin interception, Foles threw a beautiful ball to DeSean Jackson for a 5-yard score.

* Michael Vick left the game late in the first half with what appeared to be a hamstring injury. He suffered it while scrambling and running out of bounds in the second quarter. On the following drive, Vick played one snap, threw the ball away and then was pulled.

* Vick was not sharp in the first half as a passer, completing 6 of 14 passes for 105 yards. Fifty-six of those yards came on a bomb to DeSean Jackson that went right through the hands of Giants cornerback Trumaine McBride. The big play set up the Eagles’ first touchdown, a 1-yard score by LeSean McCoy.

* Vick, however, was outstanding with his legs, picking up 79 yards on seven carries. At least three of those were designed sweeps or read-option runs. The others came when Vick scrambled, including one 34-yarder.

* DeSean Jackson had a monster game with seven catches for 132 yards and a touchdown. He stopped momentarily and then ran the fade in the fourth for the 5-yard score.

* LeSean McCoy had 20 carries for 46 yards. He also added six grabs for 46. His biggest run – a 17-yarder – came on a read-option play where Vick froze Justin Tuck. McCoy had eight carries for -2 yards after Foles came into the game.

* Zach Ertz continued to pick up big chunks of yardage when he’s targeted. He had a 24-yard catch, his fourth grab of 20+ yards on the season. Ertz also had a 14-yard catch.

* The Eagles were 2-for-5 in the red zone. One one second-quarter possession, Vick had Jason Avant open, but missed him.

DEFENSE

* The game turned for the Eagles in the second half when they came away with three straight interceptions. On the first one, Brandon Boykin and Trent Cole pressured Eli Manning. The ball was deflected, popped up in the air and was picked off by Mychal Kendricks. Cole hit Manning’s helmet on the play, but no flag was thrown.

* On the second interception, Boykin made a leaping grab of a Manning pass intended for Victor Cruz. Cruz had it initially, but Boykin fought for the ball for the turnover. The final pick looked like a miscommunication between Manning and the receiver as Cary Williams picked it off.

* Overall, Manning went 24-for-52 for 334 yards, two touchdowns and three interceptions. The Giants averaged just 3.1 yards per carry on the ground.

* The Giants wasted no time testing the Eagles deep. On their first possession, Rueben Randle beat Nate Allen, but Bradley Fletcher broke the pass up at the last second. On the very next play, though, Fletcher got beat by Hakeem Nicks for a 49-yard gain to set up the Giants’ first touchdown, a 5-yard David Wilson run.

* The Eagles gave up touchdowns on consecutive possessions in the third quarter. The secondary had a rough go on the first drive. Earl Wolff caught got out of position on a 24-yard completion to tight end Brandon Myers. Manning hit Randle for a 20-yard gain. It looked like he was Williams’ responsibility. Manning then hit Randle for a 26-yard score. Nate Allen missed a tackle, and Wolff took a bad angle on the play.

* On the other touchdown drive, Boykin was called for a questionable pass interference penalty against Cruz. Boykin also got called for fair catch interference (also seemed like a questionable call) to start the drive. In the red zone, Cole pressured Manning, but he rolled to his left and found Randle for a 12-yard score in front of Wolff and Williams.

* Fletcher got tested deep all half long. On a couple occasions, it looked like he might have gotten away with some contact, but the flags weren’t thrown. The Giants scored on their first possession, but didn’t do much for the rest of the first half. On their remaining five possessions, they punted four times and fumbled once.

* On New York’s second possession, the Eagles got some help from Manning. He slipped as he was dropping back and then was whistled for intentional grounding. The Giants were called for a false start on the very next play.

* Jacobs must have felt left out because on a second quarter play, he fumbled without being touched, and Kendricks recovered.

* Connor Barwin suffered a leg injury in the second, and the Eagles went with a four-down look featuring Brandon Graham, Vinny Curry, Fletcher Cox and Trent Cole. Barwin returned the third.

* Cedric Thornton really could have had a safety in the first, hitting David Wilson in the end zone, but the officials ruled forward progress.

* The Eagles came away with four takeaways on the day after being shut out in that department the previous two weeks.

Follow Sheil Kapadia on Twitter and e-mail him at skapadia@phillymag.com.
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