Eagles-Giants Instant Observations
The Eagles beat the Giants, 24-19, to pick up their first NFC East win of the season. Here’s what we saw:
*Carson Wentz got off to a rough start by throwing an early interception, but he also connected with Nelson Agholor for a 40-yard touchdown pass in the second quarter. Wentz’s throw was on the money, although the Eagles also benefited from what looked like a potential blown coverage (or miscommunication) that led to Agholor getting so open. Wentz finished the game by completing 13 of his 24 passes for 152 yards, one touchdown, one interception and a 70.1 passer rating.
*As for his interception, Wentz’s elusiveness was impressive. It also looked like Bryce Treggs should’ve come back to the ball and made a better play on the pass, but Wentz still tried to fit the ball into an extremely tight window. It will be interesting to look at the All-22 coaches film to see what Wentz’s other options on that play were, but he probably wants that one back. In the beginning of the third quarter, Wentz was close to throwing another interception on a similar play.
*One more thing that stood out about Wentz’s play tonight: his escapability. Wentz somehow eluded pressure up the middle and picked up 11 yards on this play:
— Chris Burke (@ChrisBurkeNFL) December 23, 2016
*Lane Johnson’s presence was immediately felt. The Eagles opened their first series with a 17-yard run behind Johnson as he pushed the defensive end vertically into the backfield before pealing off quickly and serving as a leader blocker for Ryan Mathews. The Birds ran behind Johnson again a few plays later for a five-yard gain to set up third-and-1, and then took advantage of his presence on Darren Sproles’ 25-yard touchdown run. Sproles displayed his impressive quickness as he scampered in for the score, but Johnson also had a crucial block to seal Giants safety Landon Collins inside.
*Agholor had a bad drop in the first quarter on a quick slant, but he also led the Eagles in receiving with two catches for 47 yards. Brent Celek led the Birds in receptions with three (totaling 27 yards).
*Jim Schwartz’s unit allowed five scoring drives, but they only conceded one touchdown in the Giants’ five red zone trips. Eli Manning finished the game by completing 38 of his 63 pass attempts for 356 yards, one touchdown, three interceptions and a 61.3 passer rating. The Giants also ran the ball 25 times for 114 yards, averaging 4.6 yards per carry.
*Malcolm Jenkins came up big early in the game. On the Giants’ second drive, he picked off Manning and returned the interception 34 yards for a touchdown. Jenkins made a nice play, but Manning also made a head-scratching decision as the Eagles double-covered Will Tye — Manning’s intended target. On the first drive, Jenkins helped force a three-and-out. Manning under-threw the pass, but Jenkins also bailed out Nolan Carroll as he hit Odell Beckham, Jr. to knock the ball out after Beckham beat Carroll. On the next play, Jenkins was in coverage in the slot against Beckham as Manning targeted Beckham but couldn’t complete the pass.
🚨🚨 PICK-6 ALERT! 🚨🚨
🚨🚨 PICK-6 ALERT! 🚨🚨
🚨🚨 PICK-6 ALERT! 🚨🚨
📺: NBC + NFLN #TNF https://t.co/rTIDv3Ei42
— NFL (@NFL) December 23, 2016
*However, Jenkins also gave up a touchdown. Sterling Shepard beat the safety in the slot for the 13-yard score late in the second quarter.
*Then, in the second half, Jenkins again picked off Manning:
*Terrence Brooks, who was only in the game because of Jaylen Watkins’ concussion, came up with the game-ending interception as Manning tried to target Tye near the goal line. Tye was open, but Manning was late with the throw. Brooks also forced a fumble earlier in the game on the Eagles’ punt team.
*Nigel Bradham was all over the field as he led both teams with 14 tackles, including a few to make up for tackles his teammates missed. Brandon Graham was also very disruptive as he tallied four quarterback hits and pressured Manning a few more times than that.