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Eagles 34, Giants 29: Five quick observations on Nick Foles, Alshon Jeffery and the woeful defense

It's like Nick Foles never left. He showed a wonderful grasp of the scheme, but looked at times as though he was running in mud.

Kamu Grugier-Hill delivered a big block of a punt during the Philadelphia Eagles’ win over the New York Giants.
Kamu Grugier-Hill delivered a big block of a punt during the Philadelphia Eagles’ win over the New York Giants.Read moreYong Kim/Staff Photographer

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. — Five quick observsations on the Eagles' 34-29 win over the Giants Sunday afternoon at MetLife Stadium:

St. Nick

It's like Nick Foles never left. Playing in place of Carson Wentz, who was lost for the season last week with a torn ACL, Foles, as always, showed a wonderful grasp of the scheme.

As always, he threw to the right guy at the right time; 24-for-38 for 237 yards, four touchdowns, zero interceptions. As always, he threw some terrifically awful passes, had play-clock problems and looked as though he was running in mud. So, a lot like the guy who was exactly mediocre when he last played for the Eagles, in 2014.


With Wentz done, the defense needs to play better … right? They can start any time. The Eagles surrendered a season-high 497 yards and gave up more than 300 yards and more than 23 points for the third consecutive game, after holding opponents under those numbers for four games in a row.

Eli Manning finished 37-for-57 with three TDs, 434 yards and an interception. It was his ninth 400-yard regular-season game, his second against the Eagles (12-28-14) and his first since Oct. 16, 2016, against the Ravens.

Cornerbacks Ronald Darby and Jalen Mills had their moments, but had bad days overall. Darby's interception in the second quarter began the Eagles' comeback, and he defended a late TD pass well, but he gave up a 57-yard touchdown to Tavarres King in the third quarter and committed a holding penalty. Mills committed two holding penalties and got toasted for a 13-yard touchdown.


No. 1 receiver Alshon Jeffery caught four passes for 49 yards and had a brilliant, 3-yard TD catch in the back of the end zone, his ninth TD catch of the season.

Slot receiver Nelson Agholor, who has been brilliant on the road the past three games, collected seven more catches for 59 yards and a 10-yard touchdown, his eighth of the season. His 14-yard catch during the Eagles' first possession was his best: He caught the ball, it came free when he got clobbered by Darien Thompson, and Agholor regrouped and caught the ball again.

Zach Ertz, returning from a concussion, caught six passes for 56 yards and a touchdown, also his eighth.

Extra special

A week after re-signing Bryan Braman to bolster their struggling special teams, the Eagles blocked three kicks. Derek Barnett blocked the extra point after the Giants' first touchdown, Kamu Grugier-Hill blocked a punt late in the second quarter — which led to the Eagles' third touchdown — and Malcolm Jenkins blocked a 48-yard field goal early in the fourth quarter that would have put New York ahead.

Holding the line

For all of the justifiable hand-wringing concerning the left side of the Eagles' offensive line, second-year tackle Halapoulivaati Vaitai and last-chance guard Chance Warmack played well enough. They got lots of help from tight ends and backs, and had several passing plays run away from them, but that just made sense.

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