New York Giants media and fans would say it was a serious defensive pass interference call on Philadelphia Eagles cornerback NOLAN CARROLL, who went up against Giants receiver STERLING SHEPARD just after the two-minute warning. Others would say it was a great pass breakup by Carroll. Either way, the Philadelphia Eagles who are in the NFC East basement even with tonight’s win, will take this 24-19 victory over the Giants at Lincoln Financial Field.
The Eagles (6-9 overall, 1-4 NFC East) will not be in the postseason when that part of the season starts near mid-January and they of course are not going to win the NFC east. But that didn’t mean that tonight’s game and the rest of the season doesn’t matter to them. The way they played tonight on both sides of the ball, one wishes they were in the postseason. But the Eagles squelched their own playoff hopes earlier this month.
Meanwhile, it took a pass breakup by the aforementioned Carroll and a game-ending interception by backup Eagles strong safety TERRENCE BROOKS to preserve this victory.
As for the Giants (10-5 overall, 3-2 NFC East), they needed to win this game to clinch a playoff berth for themselves. But now they have to beat Washington on New Years Day to get that playoff berth.
The Philadelphia Eagles had their hands full tonight with New York’s receivers, and those same receivers almost helped the Giants pull out a victory. But luckily for the Eagles, Giants quarterback ELI MANNING misfired on some crucial passes on their last offensive drive of the contest. Manning finished the game 38 of 63 for 356 yards, 1 touchdown pass and three interceptions.
Eagles quarterback CARSON WENTZ (13 of 24 for 152 yards, 1 touchdown pass and 1 interception) didn’t exactly have that good of a game. But he came through in other ways, such as using his feet to get some key rushing yards. And he used his pocket awareness and his blocking to keep him form getting sacked (he was not sack at all tonight).
Plus, Wentz got help from his running game as DARREN SPROLES and RYAN MATHEWS combined for 86 yards and 1 score on 25 carries. Yes, those numbers weren’t anything to brag about, but those two did just enough to keep the Giants from just teeing off on Wentz and the Eagle receivers.
Near the ten minute mark of the first quarter and on 2nd down and 1 from the NYG 26-yard line, the Eagles put the first points on the board. And those points came courtesy of a Sproles 26-yard touchdown run, in which he received some good edge blocks on the right side from right tackle LANE JOHNSON and tight end ZACH ERTZ. At the 9:48 mark of the first quarter the Eagles led 7-0.
But not long after that Sproles touchdown run, the Eagles got on the scoreboard again. This time it was a defensive score. Eagles strong safety MALCOLM JENKINS jumped in front Giants tight end WILL TYE at the NYG 34-yard line, to pilfer a pass from Manning. Jenkins took that theft 34 yards down the right side for a score and to give his team a 14-0 lead at the 8:20 mark of the first quarter.
That was Jenkins’ sixth pick-six of his eight-year career. And that theft gave him three straight years in which he has taken at least one of his interceptions back for a touchdown.
The Eagles furthered their lead later in the third quarter, when receiver NELSON AGHOLOR got behind the Giants defense for a 40-yard score. That was his first score since Week 1, when the Eagles beat the Cleveland Browns 29-10. That scoring play gave the Eagles a 21-6 lead at the 4:59 mark of the second period.
Near the tail end of the second quarter, Shepard took a Manning pass and slithered past Jenkins and fellow Eagles defensive back JAYLEN WATKINS into the end zone for a 13-yard scoring play. At the 33 second mark of the second quarter the Giants were able to pull to within 21-13 of the Eagles.
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