Instant Observations: Eagles 27, Giants 0
Here’s what we saw during the Eagles’ 27-0 win against the New York Giants. The Birds improved to 5-1 and are in a first-place tie with the Dallas Cowboys in the NFC East. They have a bye next week before returning to action against the Cardinals in Arizona.
* For the first time all season, the Eagles’ run game looked like the version that pummeled opponents in 2013. LeSean McCoy carried 21 times for 147 yards (7.0 YPC), and the Birds totaled 195 yards on 31 rushes as a team. McCoy got going early. On the first drive, he had runs of 12 and 18. Later in the first half, McCoy added runs of 18 and 15. The Eagles ran sweeps and a lot of split zone. They had a number of runs with Nick Foles under center. In the third quarter, McCoy got outside and gained 28. Darren Sproles capped off the drive with a 15-yard TD.
* The Eagles were still playing without starting offensive linemen Jason Kelce and Evan Mathis. But the guys up front did a much better job, and it looked like they faced less crowded boxes.
* Foles went 21-for-34 for 248 yards and a pair of touchdowns, but he turned it over two more times, making six in his last three games. He tried to find Sproles in the flat in the second quarter, but paid no attention to Antrel Rolle who was there waiting for the interception. In the third quarter, he rolled to his right and looked for Jordan Matthews, but was picked off again.
* In the first quarter, Foles found Zach Ertz for 23 yards on a crossing route. He then laid one out for Ertz on a corner route in the end zone, and the second-year tight end made a tremendous grab for a 15-yard TD.
* Three Eagles tight ends (Brent Celek, James Casey and Ertz) had catches of 20+ yards. Celek caught a 24-yarder, and Casey got open for a 26-yard touchdown off play-action in the second.
* Riley Cooper had his most productive game of the season with five catches for 59 yards. Ertz had three for 47. Matthews added four for 50. And Celek had four for 45.
* Sproles suffered an injury in the second half. Rookie tight end Trey Burton was the team’s emergency RB with Chris Polk inactive.
* The defense played its most inspired game of the season, keeping the Giants off the scoreboard. New York had 12 possessions that resulted in 10 punts, a fumble and a turnover on downs. This was the Eagles’ first shutout since 1996.
* The pass-rush and coverage worked in sync, as Billy Davis had his guys clicking on all cylinders. Connor Barwin had three sacks, and Vinny Curry added two more. Trent Cole got one too, and Brandon Graham added another late. And Brandon Bair had one on the final play. The Giants had only given up seven sacks total in their first five games. They allowed eight tonight
* Right tackle Justin Pugh had a rough go for the Giants. Meanwhile, Barwin was everywhere for the Eagles. He had five tackles, three sacks, two tackles for loss and two QB hits.
* Tough moment for the Giants in the second half. Victor Cruz beat Brandon Boykin on a corner route, but Cruz reportedly injured his patellar tendon, and his season is likely over.
* At times, the Eagles stayed in their base defense against the Giants’ 11 personnel. It only seemed to cost them on the first drive.
* Eli Manning was 13-for-23 for 151 yards, no touchdowns and no interceptions. he was under pressure all game long.
* The Eagles shut down the Giants’ ground game. Andre Williams carried 16 times for 58 yards. Ryans, Casey Matthews and Fletcher Cox were among those who made nice plays against the run. Cox and Matthews had five tackles apiece.
* Aside from Bradley Fletcher, the secondary held up sell. Fletcher allowed a number of completions to his side of the field. But the Giants only had one pass play of 20+ yards with Manning in the game. That went to TE Daniel Fells against DeMeco Ryans.
* Special teams once again came up big. Sproles had a 43-yard punt return. He got a big block from Burton on the play. Chris Maragos got his hand on a Giants punt. And Cody Parkey connected on field goal attempts from 31 and 45 yards, respectively.