Takeaways: Eagles Embarrass Giants to Soar Atop NFC East
The New York Giants failed to live up to the hype again, as they fell 34-13 to the Philadelphia Eagles on Thursday night at MetLife Stadium.
The defending Super Bowl champions, who were coming off a rather demeaning loss to the Minnesota Vikings the week prior, had no issues with the Giants. Once Eli Manning threw an interception on the second play of the game, the dagger was already in the proverbial corpse. Eagles quarterback Carson Wentz would hit a wide open Alshon Jeffery in the end zone for an early 7-0 lead…and would never look back.
Here are some takeaways, the good and the bad.
No Belief in Eli
The talk this past week has been all about Eli Manning. He has been subject to criticism, from Odell Beckham Jr. to rapper Lil Wayne. Manning had the opportunity to silence those critics…and he didn’t step up.
We’ll get to the Giants offensive line issues later. This is all about the play of Manning. The longtime quarterback has not been at the top of his game this year. Even with the weapons he was given this offseason, his passes were overthrown and had no power behind them. When given adequate time in the pocket, he settles for short screen passes or the dreaded checkdowns. Even head coach Pat Shurmur was shown on the sidelines extremely irritated, and you could read his lips perfectly.
“Throw the ball.”
Manning would complete just 24-of-42 passes for 281 yards and one interception.
It’s hard for an offense with Beckham and Barkley to succeed with the current play Manning shows on the field. Although the division is still within reach, it may be time to consider activating rookie Kyle Lauletta just in case things really start spiraling out of control.
Wentz, Philly Offense On Point
On the flip side, Carson Wentz put to rest any doubts about his playing abilities following knee surgery. Wentz was systematic in his approach, completing 26 of his 36 passes attempts for 279 yards and three touchdowns. While he was banged up at certain points in the game, Wentz showcased his ability to get rid of the ball when facing pressure, and to completely embarrass the Giants secondary with deep bazooka passes. Nelson Agholor and Zach Ertz made Janoris Jenkins and Eli Apple look foolish by roasting them on routes in the first half.
Philadelphia was also able to take advantage of New York’s inability to tackle, as each receiver was able to bounce off defenders like pin balls.
Make no mistake about it, the offensive potential is still there, even without Jay Ajayi in the lineup for the remainder of the season.
Just Give it to Saquon
Saying Saquon Barkley was the entire Giants offense is an understatement. Barkley single-handedly gave the Giants multiple opportunities to get onto the scoreboard, but for a majority of them, they weren’t able to do that.
The rookie made the Eagles rush defense look foolish at points. Between juking past defenders to the outside for a huge 46-yard gain in the first quarter, and hurdling two defenders for a first down. Perhaps the best play on the night for Barkley came on his screen pass reception, in which he maneuvered his way through a majority of the Eagles defense to gain 55-yards in one of the greatest catch and runs you’ve ever seen. Barkley would equate for New York’s only touchdown on the night, taking a carry 50 yards to the house for a rather easy touchdown.
Barkley would finish his night with 229 yards from scrimmage, while the rest of the Giants offense garnered 171 yards.
The method to succeeding in this offense is there for the Giants: feed the ball to Barkley as much as possible. He can carve his way through a defense and give New York an opportunity to put more points on the board.
Eagles Pass Rush Feasts
The Eagles pass rush looked like monsters on the field, and it’s nowhere close to being Halloween yet.
Philadelphia took advantage of a lackluster performance from the Giants offensive line. Michael Bennett, Nigel Bradham, Fletcher Cox, and Destiny Vaeao were all able to get to Manning, who was sacked a total of four times on the night. The torture placed upon the veteran signal caller only increased, as he was hit ten times by the vaunted Eagles pass rush.
Perhaps the most telling play came in the first half, when Bennett sped his way around left tackle Nate Solder and caused a Manning fumble. Add that to the multiple incomplete passes and checkdowns, the Eagles had their way with the Giants and the entire o-line.
Quick Beckham Update
Social media had a field day once they saw Odell Beckham Jr. walk to the locker room before the half was over and when the Giants were attempting a Hail Mary. Not only that, but he returned just after the kickoff in the second half. Many attacked the star wide receiver for his actions and questioning his leadership.
However, Shurmur would determine that Beckham was dehydrated and needed an IV.
So there you have it, crisis averted. Oh, and he punched a cooling fan on the sidelines, in case you were curious.
The Eagle will now take their 3-3 record next week, as they face the Carolina Panthers, looking to extend their lead over the division. As for the Giants, who are now 1-5 on a disappointing season, will have some extended rest, as they face off against the Atlanta Falcons on “Monday Night Football” in Week 7.
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