Giants (5-11) Philadelphia (11-5)
On Sunday the Philadelphia Eagles held a 21-6
lead at the half in their game with the Arizona Cardinals. They didn't score again
until the fourth quarter, while the Cardinals added 29 points to hand the Eagles
a 35-31 loss.
The Giants had opportunities to win in their game at home last
week against the Los Angeles Rams. They also made mistakes that overrode their
efforts, and took a 26-25 loss.
Eagles won the NFC East Division last year, and continued winning, to have a Super
Bowl matchup with the Kansas City Chiefs. In that game the Eagles held a ten point
lead at halftime, but found themselves down by eight in the fourth quarter. The
Eagles tied the score, but the Chiefs went on to score a field goal, which gave
them the lead, and their subsequent 38-35 Super Bowl win. The Eagles were off
to a great start this year in their bid to get back to the Super Bowl.
were atop the NFC East with an impressive 10-1 record, before losing three straight
games. One of those losses was to the Dallas Cowboys, who are now leading the
division, and one more win will secure that spot. The Eagles need to beat the
Giants, and see the Cowboys lose to the Washington Commanders to claim the NFC
East title for the second straight year. It would also give the Eagles home field
advantage in the first two playoff games.
team relies heavily on quarterback Jalen Hurts, and what he can accomplish for
them on the field. Looking back on their Super Bowl matchup with Kansas City,
Hurts threw a pass to DeVonta Smith for 45 yards to get them to where he was able
to run the ball in for a touchdown. Hurts also ran with the ball for their two-point
conversion, which tied the score. Hurts had 3 touchdown runs and 1 touchdown pass,
but all that and two field goals, was not enough after the Chiefs moved ahead
with a field goal to take the win.
Aside from his passing skills last year,
Hurts was the top quarterback, with his 165 carries and 13 rushing touchdowns.
Hurts hasn't let up in that area, and this year he has 155 carries for 601 yards,
and his 15 rushing touchdowns have him tied at the top with Josh Allen. Hurts
3 touchdown passes last week against the Cardinals put him up one ahead of last
year with 23, but he's thrown 8 more interceptions, a total of 14, second to the
most behind Allen
Wide receiver A.J. Brown is Hurts top target, and he has
7 touchdown catches, as well as DeVonta Smith, but Smith will miss his first game
of the season after suffering an ankle injury last week. In that game Hurts completed
7 of 10 passes to those top receivers, and tight end Dallas Goedert caught 5 of
6 passes with one touchdown. Julio Jones hasn't seen much action this year, a
career low nine receptions on 15 targets, but he is the one who caught Hurts other
two touchdown passes in the game.
With Smith out, and from what they've just
seen, Jones might be in for a bigger role this Sunday. D'Andre Swift has to be
happy that the Eagles traded a fourth round pick to Detroit to get him on the
team. Swift is the fourth leading receiver, and has one touchdown catch along
with five rushing touchdowns, with a career high 229 carries for 1049 career high
yards. Swift is listed as questionable for this game with an illness.
correct some defensive issues that seemed to be growing, and after losing two
straight games, head coach Nick Sirianni made a change. Defensive coordinator
Sean Desai was moved up to the booth area, and Matt Patricia became the new defensive
play caller on the sidelines. Patricia didn't have much time to implement many
adjustments before their game with the Seahawks, and though the defense showed
some improvements, they ended things by allowing backup quarterback Drew Lock
a game-winning touchdown drive in the final two minutes.
In that game the
Eagles held Seattle to 100 rushing yards, an improvement on their rushing defense
which had slipped as opponents had averaged more than 135 rushing yards in four
of their the previous five games. It was good again allowing 106 yards in the
following game with the Giants, but last week they gave up 221 rushing yards to
Philadelphia's best edge
rusher is Haason Reddick, who leads the team with 11 sacks. Defensive end Josh
Sweat is next with 6.5 sacks. Then there is Jalen Carter with 6, and Fletcher
Cox with 5. They haven't been as productive in that area since the coordinator
change. No one would expect the Eagles to come up with the 70 sacks they had last
year, and they currently have 41 on the year. That aside, they are one of the
top teams with their quarterback pressures.
Tyrod Taylor will be the starting
quarterback in this final game of the season. Last week Taylor threw for 319 yards,
completing 27 of 41 passing attempts for 1 touchdown and 1 interception. Taylor
was the lead rusher with 6 carries for 40 yards, one more than Saquon Barkley
had on his 12 carries. It was a busy day for Taylor who was also sacked 6 times
to bring his total to 16. That's a modest amount, considering Tommy DeVito has
taken 36 sacks in the 8 games he's played. The Giants lead the league, having
given up 83 sacks on the year.
It was a tough game for Taylor who was limited
in practice this week due to a back injury, and hopefully he'll get better protection
from the offensive line this week. The Giants have to be eyeing how many rushing
yards the Eagles just gave up in their loss to the Cardinals. Barkley had 23 carries
for 80 yards and 1 touchdown two weeks ago against them, and is currently 84 yards
short of recording his second straight 1,000-yard rushing season.
In that game
Darius Slayton caught a 69-yard touchdown pass from Taylor that brought the Giants
to within five points of the Eagles lead, but Taylor threw an interception on
the Giants next drive, having no choice on the final play of the game but to toss
it into a mob in the end zone hoping that something would work out. Last week
Taylor hit Slayton with an 80-yard touchdown, so they look to have established
a good connection.
Taylor and Barkley were certainly not on the same page
for two sure passes that became incompletions. One of them cost the Giants the
two point conversion they needed to take the lead over the Rams, with three and
a half minutes left in that game. They'll have to work on that and take advantage
of a defense that has been off on its game on getting to the quarterback, and
giving up big plays late in the game.
Last week the defense held the
Rams scoring down to 26 points, aided by safety Dane Belton's two interceptions,
and his fumble recovery. Belton doesn't see the field much, but starter Jason
Pinnock injured his foot in the first quarter of the game, and Belton got an opportunity
to show he can make some big plays. Belton will be back in again, as Pinnock has
been ruled out for this game. Cornerback Adoree' Jackson caused the fumble that
Belton recovered, but he also made a poor tackle attempt on Puka Nacua near the
sidelines, allowing the Rams receiver to run 80 yards down the field to the Giants
two yard line.
The Giants secondary can't afford mistakes like that and have
to take note that while wide receiver A.J. Brown is not the only threat, it was
two targets and two touchdown catches by wide receiver Julio Jones, a 12 and a
22 yarder, that helped the Eagles to their 21-6 halftime lead over the Cardinals
last week. The Giants didn't have rookie cornerback Deonte Banks last week, and
that hurt, as he's been very effective covering opposing teams top receivers.
They're hopeful that Banks can play, but currently he's listed as doubtful.
front they have their work cut out for them dealing with Jalen Hurts and D'Andre
Swift. Last time they held Hurts to 1 touchdown pass and had 1 interception, but
he kept the ball moving with 24 completions for 301 passing yards. Swift had 20
carries, his second highest of the season, averaging 4.6 yards a carry for 92
yards, and he had 1 touchdown run. With Hurts in the mix with his touchdown, the
Giants gave up 170 rushing yards. The Giants have allowed opponents to score 24
rushing touchdowns, and gave up 3 to Rams running back Kyren Williams last week.
They came up with 4 sacks on Matthew Stafford, 2 interceptions, and a fumble recovery
for a total of three turnovers, and they'll have to keep that up this week without
As the season draws to a close, the Philadelphia Eagles have not lived up to expectations
as evidenced by their loss last week to a 3-12 Cardinals team. The Eagles have
only one win in their last five games, and that was against the Giants. That win
officially eliminated the Giants from any playoff contention, no matter how slim
that would have been. The Giants have shown that despite the record, they are
a team that can't be overlooked in their efforts to win in any game they play.
Their mixture of good plays has been overshadowed by their bad ones, and resulted
in lost games they could have won. The Eagles may have to fight off distractions,
as the Cowboys and Commanders are playing at the same time. The Giants would like
to end this season for their fans in MetLife Stadium on a high note. A win over
the Eagles would do that, as well as keep them from repeating as the NFC East
Sunday at 4:25pm Eagles (11-5)
at Giants (5-11)
Sunday at 4:25pm Cowboys (11-5) at Commanders (4-12)
Eagles and Cowboys are the NFC East teams favored to win in these games.
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