Up-down drill: The best and the worst from the Eagles' win over the Giants
Nick Foles, Ronald Darby and other highlights and lowlights from the Eagles' 34-29 win over the Giants.
UP – Was he Carson Wentz? No. But Foles didn't need to be that spectacular. He was Steady Eddie and tossed four touchdowns without a turnover. If Foles can play at this level in the playoffs the Eagles have a shot to advance as long as …
DOWN – … The defense doesn't perform as poorly as it did for most of Sunday. Jim Schwartz's unit struggled against the Seahawks and the Rams in the two previous games, but that was against a red hot quarterback in Russell Wilson and a red hot offense in Los Angeles. But to allow over 500 yards and 29 points to the woeful Giants was inexcusable.
Eagles special teams
UP – They didn't break off any big returns, but Dave Fipp's special teams were responsible for a blocked extra point (Derek Barnett), a blocked punt (Kamu Grugier-Hill) and a blocked field goal (Malcolm Jenkins). The Eagles denied the Giants four points and scored seven points off those three plays – more than the margin of victory.
DOWN – Aside from one play (more on that later), Darby had an utterly forgettable day. He was targeted by Eli Manning on countless throws, was penalized three times and was victimized by the double move.
Ronald Darby (again)
UP – But if it wasn't for Darby's second quarter interception and 37-yard, tackle-breaking return, which reversed momentum, the Eagles might not have won.
DOWN – Mills settled down in the second half, unlike Darby, but he struggled in the red zone early on. The Eagles cornerback was flagged for holding on an early third down stop. The Giants scored after the second chance. And Mills bit on a Tavarres King double move that resulted in a 13-yard touchdown.
UP – He's gradually becoming the featured running back. Ajayi hasn't been a workhorse over the last three games, but he's been the lead ball carrier and is getting more looks in the passing game. He converted an early third and 8 and took a screen pass 32 yards in the third quarter.
DOWN – He started at middle linebacker even though the Eagles had Joe Walker back for the first time in three weeks. And Goode was fine on defense. But he took a costly penalty on a Giants punt when he jumped in the neutral zone. The Giants were given a first down and scored a touchdown after the second chance.
Big Three Receivers
UP – Alshon Jeffery (nine), Zach Ertz (eight) and Nelson Agholor (eight) added to their team highs in receiving touchdowns. The Eagles as a whole have 37 passing touchdowns on the season.
UP – Burton, a free agent this offseason, is going to get paid. He caught his fifth touchdown on the season and has 11 catches for 128 yards and three touchdowns over the last three weeks.
UP – He held the Eagles together after Wentz's season-ending injury and put together a game plan that played to Foles' strengths without changing the look of the offense. Pederson's decision to kick a late field goal and force the Giants to score a touchdown turned out in his favor.
First round bye
UP – It's huge. All that's left to win is home field advantage throughout the playoffs. A Vikings loss to the Packers on Saturday or a win against the Raiders on Christmas night would seal the deal.