Devastating injuries. An awful first half. An impressive fourth quarter and overtime by Carson Wentz. Former practice-squadders who stepped up and fueled the comeback.
Now it’s time to hand out the grades:
The Eagles rushed for just 35 yards on 12 carries in the first half as the Giants’ run defense continually frustrated Miles Sanders. But Boston Scott came off the bench midway through the third quarter and gave both the run game and pass game a big lift. He rushed for 59 yards on 10 carries in the second half and had a two-yard touchdown run late in the third quarter that got the Eagles within seven.
Working with a patchwork receiving corps, Carson Wentz struggled for the better part of the first three quarters. But he lit it up in the fourth quarter and overtime, completing 17 of his final 24 passes for 195 yards and two touchdowns to tight end Zach Ertz. He got big plays from the likes of former practice-squadders Scott, Josh Perkins and Greg Ward, who combined for 15 catches for 140 yards.
The Eagles defense, which got worked over pretty good by Saquon Barkley in two games last season, did a good job of keeping the Giants’ star running back under control Monday night, holding him to 66 yards on 17 carries. He had just 27 yards on seven carries in the second half. The Eagles’ ability to neutralize him put a lot more pressure on Eli Manning and the Giants’ passing game.
Ronald Darby had more trouble in the first half with Giants rookie Darius Slayton than he did last week with Devante Parker, giving up two touchdowns to Slayton. But the second half was another story. Jim Schwartz made some schematic adjustments and the Eagles held Eli Manning to four completions for 24 yards in the second half
Jake Elliott missed a 47-yard field goal attempt five minutes into the fourth quarter that could’ve put the Eagles within four points. Rasul Douglas got flagged for a holding call on a fourth-quarter punt that forced the Eagles to start their game-tying TD drive at their own 15. Greg Ward averaged 7.7 yards on three punt returns, and P Cam Johnston had a 44.5-yard net average.
The Eagles lost two important offensive chess pieces early (Alshon Jeffery, Lane Johnson), which goes a long way in explaining the offense’s struggles the first three quarters, but not why their defense could stop Saquon Barkley and not Darius Slayton. But the defense got its act together in the second half and Carson Wentz put together one of the best fourth quarters of his career with a lot of help from a bunch of former practice-squadders who came up big. But let’s not lose sight of the fact that this was the bad-awful Giants they had to come back against. Still, they needed to win and they did.