Zone Read: Eagles-Giants, the Day After



This was a no-brainer. McCoy ran 22 times for 149 yards, averaging 6.8 YPC. He looked exactly like the player who led the NFL in rushing last season. In his previous three games, McCoy ran 53 times for 120 yards (2.3 YPC). And keep in mind, the Giants were a team that limited him to 94 yards on 35 attempts last season.

McCoy had nine runs of 5 yards or more and six runs of 10 yards or more. He’ll now get a week of rest and then will look to carry this offense in the final 10 games.


He was relentless. Barwin normally does a lot of little things that don’t always show up in the box score: He sets the edge against the run, he jams receivers within the 5-yard window, he bats down passes at the line of scrimmage. But on Sunday night, it was impossible not to notice Barwin.

He finished with five tackles, three sacks, two tackles for loss and two QB hits. Barwin now has six sacks in his last three games. He is the glue guy on this defense, a standout teammate who accepts a variety of roles and does pretty much everything well.

Against the Giants, Barwin turned in perhaps his best game as an Eagle.



“It was a combination of great coverage and Billy Davis calling a great game with different looks. I think the offensive line and the quarterback were a little confused. And then there was great coverage in the back end.” — CONNOR BARWIN

I think Billy Davis deserves a lot of credit for arguably his best game plan as Eagles defensive coordinator. In his previous three games, Manning had completed 70.1 percent of his passes and thrown eight touchdowns against one interception. He looked like a guy who was getting more comfortable in a new offense. On Sunday, Manning completed 13 of 23 passes for 151 yards and was sacked six times.

The Eagles lack talent in certain areas on defense, but on Sunday night, the franchise notched its first shutout since 1996. And while the players were the ones who executed, Davis put them in great positions to succeed.



1. I think you should be feeling good on this Monday if you’re an Eagles fan. The team is 5-1 going into the bye, and the running game appears to be back on track. The defense has turned in its best performances against Andrew Luck and Eli Manning. And the special teams are making huge plays on a weekly basis.

Barring a setback, the Eagles will get Kelce and Mathis back in Week 10 against the Panthers. And Mychal Kendricks is expected to return some time after the bye as well. There are still issues to iron out, but this team is in excellent shape to make a run in the final 10 games.

2. Rough moment in the third quarter when Victor Cruz beat Brandon Boykin on a corner route, but dropped the ball in the end zone and immediately grabbed his right knee.

According to reports, he has a torn patellar tendon and will be out for the year. With Cruz on the ground, several Eagles players surrounded him and took a knee.

“Any time you see anybody grab their knee, it’s always serious,” said Boykin. “And then I was standing there just throughout the process and they were trying to straighten his knee out, and he was just screaming. So it was serious, and really I just hope that he can come back and come back really quickly. I know injuries, ACLs or whatever it is, are never easy. But he’s a great player. And I know he’s gonna have the mentality to come back.”

“When I was over there, he was screaming, like really screaming, screaming at the top of his lungs. So I was trying to signal for somebody to come over.”

Added Cary Williams: “It’s a brotherhood. The National Football League is a brotherhood. Regardless of who you’re playing against, everyone is talented. Victor Cruz is a special player in this league and means a lot to everybody. You don’t want to see a guy like that go down, and it’s unfortunate to see him go down the way he did. …We’re competitive, we’re going to compete until the clock hits double zero. But when you see those guys go down, you don’t ever want to see that. To see a guy in that kind of pain, especially because he’s a workhorse. He’s a guy that the offense leans on and is just a tremendous person.”

3. I think the Eagles’ cover guys deserve a lot of credit for the eight sacks generated up front. Manning came into the game drawing rave reviews for his ability to get rid of the ball quickly in the Giants’ new offense. The Eagles disrupted the timing of New York’s routes and made him hold onto the ball.

“Eli holding the ball, that surprised me,” said Trent Cole. “Because with Eli, he’s a guy that gets it out quick, gets it to his receivers. …But our secondary man, hats off to our secondary. He was holding the ball. When the quarterback held that ball that much, they set the stage for the guys up front, and it was wide open. They did their job. Now we’ve gotta go do our job. And the guys did what they were supposed to do.”

The Eagles finished the game with eight sacks. The Giants had only allowed seven in their first five games.

“From a secondary standpoint, we knew we had to do a good job on the line of scrimmage pressing the receivers, taking away his first read,” said safety Malcolm Jenkins. “With their offense, they do a good job of getting rid of the ball quick. If you give them open windows early in the down, your rush never gets a chance to get there. So we wanted to be aggressive, take away those early windows in the first two seconds of the down. And when we’re able to do that, our D-Line got home.”

4. When asked about the success of the sweep play mentioned in the opening, Matt Tobin said: “The key is the tight end. The tight ends did well, we got out around there, and the running backs followed us, so it worked well.”

Kelly went out of his way to praise Brent Celek specifically.

“I also think Brent Celek had an outstanding game kind of blocking to get us to the perimeter,” Kelly said. “So a combination of our tackles and I thought Brent was outstanding blocking today.”

Pressed further on Celek, Kelly said: “I think he’s awesome. I love the way he approaches everything. He’s got the right demeanor. He’s everything you want. He’s totally selfless. He’s exactly what you want. When you talk about what a Philadelphia Eagle looks like, Brent Celek is what a Philadelphia Eagle looks like.”

Kelce, DeMeco Ryans, Jason Peters and Sproles probably make the short list. But if I’m naming Kelly’s personal favorite on the 53-man roster, the nod goes to Celek.

5. Kelce hung out in the locker room after the game and congratulated his teammates. He was bummed that he couldn’t be on the field, but pumped that the Eagles found answers in the run game after struggling against the Giants a year ago.

“There were some great plays that we really hadn’t had in that Chip and them were able to get to and take advantage of the way they were playing some things,” said Kelce. “I thought that we had a really good game plan and a feel for what they were gonna try to do to us.”

While the coaches took the lead, Molk credited Kelce for his help throughout the week.

“There was a couple things that we talked about,” Molk said. “And there were some things that were more of a conversation, especially when we were going into our outside zoneish plays and me reaching the nose [guard] and how they played it. So I was able to anticipate what they were gonna do and what they were gonna give me, which gave me great opportunity to really shut ‘em down in that situation.”

Molk played his best game of the season and will try to buy time for two more games until Kelce returns.