During the first quarter and a half of Sunday’s game, it looked as though the Eagles could well be on their way to another humiliating loss.
The Giants held a 19-3 lead, and were moving the ball at will. The offense was stalling out. Many of the same problems that had hurt this team in recent weeks were rearing their ugly heads once again.
Then the team began to put things together. Doug Pederson rediscovered the running game, going with a two-pronged attack featuring Josh Adams and Corey Clement. A six-play, 75-yard drive capped by a Zach Ertz touchdown and a Clement two-point conversion got the momentum going Philadelphia’s way. A Malcolm Jenkins interception before the end of the first half was a punch in the gut for the Giants, costing them a valuable opportunity to go up by two scores.
In the second half, the running game took over again, with Josh Adams anchoring a seven-play, 61-yard drive that resulted in a touchdown run and two-point conversion for the undrafted rookie to give the Birds their first lead. While the Giants would manage to tie the game with about five minutes to go, the team had one more scoring drive left in them to put the winning field goal on the board.
- Carson Wentz wasn’t great, but did a solid job managing the Eagles through this game. I thought there were still times where he held on to the ball too long, or didn’t have a good feel for where the pass rush was coming from. However, he still made some big throws in key moments, and hopefully as the running game continues to progress, so will he.
- Great job by the Eagles of mixing Josh Adams and Corey Clement in the running attack today. Adams carried the ball 22 times for 84 yards and a touchdown. Clement added 45 yards on five carries, and another 31 yards through the air.
- Adams gave the team a legitimate threat between the tackles, while Clement had his best game since early in the season. Shortening the running back rotation, cutting pass protection liability Wendell Smallwood out of the picture, and allowing these two to get into a groove was the key for today.
- The Golden Tate trade looks like such a waste of a third round pick. Tate hasn’t added anything to the offense, and has only made the receiver position murkier. Just before the Tate trade, the Eagles were beginning to carve out roles for Nelson Agholor and Jordan Matthews, and since the trade, not one of those three receivers have been regularly effective. Even Alshon’s effectiveness has taken a bit of a hit.
- It didn’t help matters when Tate dropped an easy pass in the second half, and nearly fumbled away a punt return.
- Dallas Goedert surfaced for the first time in about a month, catching three passes for 33 yards. Here’s to hoping he doesn’t go MIA again.
- The Eagles played about as ugly a first half as you can imagine. The Giants encountered next to no resistance in the first half, as the Eagles struggled to stop the run and defend the pass.
- Saquon Barkley torched the Eagles for over 100 yards and two touchdowns in the first half. In the second half, moronic head coach Pat Shurmer cut him out of the game plan. Barkley got just two carries in the second half, and put up 13 total yards.
- The defensive line played better in the second half, sacking Eli Manning in two key spots. However, Jim Schwartz once again refused to send any kind of additional pressure through the blitz to support this group.
- Chandon Sullivan was having a really rough game before leaving with an injury. Sullivan missed at least three tackles in the first half alone, and gave up several big plays.
- I thought Cre’von LeBlanc and De’Vante Bausby actually did a pretty decent job in the second half on Odell Beckham and the Giants’ receivers.
- Kamu Grugier-Hill had two big tackles for losses.
- Some were concerned about Jake Elliot after his early-season struggles, but he came through today with three field goals, including the game-winner.
At 5-6, the Eagles’ season isn’t over yet. The team will live to fight another week.
The Eagles have really lacked confidence in their running game all year long. With Josh Adams emerging, and Corey Clement finally showing some signs of life, the return of a reliable ground game could be what the team needs to find their groove on offense.
Carson Wentz has been asked to do too much throughout the year. Asking your quarterback to throw the ball 40+ times a week while only running 10 times isn’t a formula for success, especially with a young quarterback coming off of a serious injury. With balance in the offense, Wentz will begin to settle in and see the field much more clearly.
They haven’t been able to string together back-to-back wins all season. It may finally be time for that to happen.