The Philadelphia Eagles ran rampant over the New York Giants on Monday Night, but not from an Offensive stand point. The Eagles Defense were the stars of the show, allowing the Offense to put up 24 unanswered points whilst sacking Eli Manning four times, forcing three fumbles and giving up just 251 yards on route to a 27-7 victory at the Linc.
The game didn’t start as intended however for the dominant Eagles Defense. Eli Manning was able to march his Giants down the field for a total of 80 yards with no apparent pressure or pass rush from the birds. The Defense were unable to stop The Giants on a single third down who in return took a seven point lead..but it would be the last time they would score in the entire game.
The Offense responded in the only way it knew how in the first quarter with another quick three and out to give the ball back to the Giants before the first huge defensive play took place. DeMeco Ryans stripped the ball out of Larry Donnell’s hands…literally.
The interception would not only set the tone for the Eagles Defense for the rest of the game but give the Offense a much needed confidence boost as Sam Bradford later ripped one down the field to Riley Cooper to tie things up.
And as mentioned, the winds of change began to blow. Just a drive later, two huge one yard stops by the Eagles Defensive line gifted possession back to Sam Bradford and the Offense before Nolan Carroll came up with his first ever interception as an Eagle just a few plays later. Carroll slotted perfectly between two receivers, reading Manning’s eyes and intercepting the pass to return it for a pick 6.
Eli Manning just threw a touchdown pass to Nolan Carroll.
— ESPN (@espn) October 20, 2015
But as one unit was prevalent, the other began to struggle. Sam Bradford threw his seventh interception of the season in what was a terrible decision..the second time he has made a worryingly bad read early on in two weeks. Bradford’s woes were set to continue as Riley Cooper stopped running on a play during the third quarter to essentially set up an arm punt…yep, Sam Bradford threw a punt to the Giants because of miscommunication.
Very solid punt by Sam Bradford https://t.co/Ed2NylQfdj
— SneakerMob.com (@SneakerMob) October 20, 2015
Bradford would go on to throw one more interception as he attempted to find Zach Ertz in the end-zone only for the ball to end up in the hands of Giants safety Landon Collins. Bradford would end a rollercoaster night on 24/38, 280 yards, a touchdown and three interceptions. Now at least one of the interceptions weren’t his fault and there were still some points in the game where he needed some receiving help..but he really struggled on third down yet again, with the team converting just 6 from 16.
Some miscommunications from Jason Kelce saw to ugly snaps result in large losses but other than that, the Offensive Line was actually a huge improvement over what we saw at the start of the season. So much infact that our bold prediction for DeMarco Murray to rush for 100 yards and a touchdown came true. Murray ended on 109 yards from 22 carries in a game that saw the most complete backfield performance of the year so far.
The Giants came into this game with one of the top run Defenses in the league and we predicted that this would be the game in which they came undone. DeMarco Murray finally looked at ease in this Offense and was able to run the ball from the offset position much more efficiently. Great blocking certainly helped the backfield today but with Mathews still putting up 40 yards and Murray finally putting up the numbers we knew he could, there is a gleaming positive to take when you remember how effective at stopping the run the Giants are.
In terms of Defense though, it was a coming out party. Jordan Hicks led the way in tackles for the first time this year with 10 to his name with the team combining for 65, 3 sacks, 7 Quarterback hits and 3 forced fumbles. With DeMeco Ryans having to sit out the second half with a hamstring, the previously cut Najee Goode made a return to the Linc, picking up a tackle and proving to actually be very efficient. it was a mismatch on paper that the Giants could never quite beat as the Eagles front seven and pass rush continued to dominate.
The Eagles might finally have the Defense that this city has needed since Dawkins left. Its tough, it’s passionate and it simply will not give up. Jordan Hicks was seen pumping up the crowd, the Secondary played a fantastic game giving up just 189 yards through the air (with most being slant routes in which they prevented the YAC) and the run Defense held the three Giants backs to 81 yards. This is a tough, tough Defense that not only were able to force Eli Manning into an uncharacteristic interception, but break the will of an Offense who have been able to cause problems for all of their opponents so far this season.
The win feels good..but it doesn’t feel great. This was an incredibly sloppy game with neither team able to find a consistent rhythm Offensively. The Eagles Defense again was put under a LOT of pressure but came up beyond huge. But the inconsistencies on the Offensive side of the ball take away from that winning buzz. It was hard to watch at times and it’s something that’s happened at some stage during each game so far. The Eagles play-off hopes certainly increase after a divisional win and as they’re now tied for the lead of the NFC East, they now have to face an unbeaten Carolina Panthers team which will be a humungous test on both sides of the ball.
We will have plenty more analysis coming up within the next few days including what went wrong Offensively, why DeMarco Murray finally broke out as we predicted, what’s next for a receiving core still plagued by troubles and just how impressive this Defense really was.