Eagles somehow avoid defeat against lowly Giants in a Christmas Miracle

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Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Jalen Hurts runs with the ball against the Seattle Seahawks during the second half of an NFL football game, Monday, Dec. 18, 2023, in Seattle. (AP Photo/Lindsey Wasson)

Christmas Day was going well for many in the City of Brotherly Love, until around halfway into the Eagles vs Giants game. The Birds went into halftime with a 20-3 lead. What happened after that was unfortunately as predictable as it was upsetting.

A sloppy Christmas Day affair

The Eagles returned to their undisciplined and infuriating ways in the most bizarre fashion imaginable. The opening half was genuinely beyond impressive. The Eagles were moving the ball with ease against the Giants, while newly-signed LB, Shaq Leonard, was causing havoc on defense. It felt like the game was very much over following the tidiest start Eagles fans had seen in a long time.

By the end of the third quarter, however, the game was 20-18.

The Giants had clawed back nearly all of that deficit in a single quarter. Things started off atrociously, with Olamide Zaccheaus spearing into his own teammate, Boston Scott, on the opening kick return. This gave the Giants possession down inside the 20, which gave them a totally unnecessary lifeline back into the game.

Eagles nfl week 7 odds
Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver A.J. Brown runs a route against the New York Giants during the second half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Jan. 8, 2023, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)

From there, things went bad to worse. The offense abandoned a lackluster run-game in favor of risky deep shots, and on a 2nd & 20 look with a two-possession lead, Jalen Hurts launched a ball deep to try and make it all up in one play, the ball was turned over, and a bad decision was compounded by another. All of a sudden the Giants are more than just ‘lingering’. They’re a threat to win the matchup.

The sloppiness continued all through the second half. Nothing summed it up more than the final drive of the G-Men. With a lack of timeouts and just seconds remaining, the Giants needed 8 points to tie things up. The Eagles were extremely lucky to avoid a PI call at the very end of the game that could’ve likely changed everything.

Fortunately, the refs didn’t call it, and the Eagles escaped with a win to take back sole control of the NFC East. Outside of what the win means, there is very little to be excited about.

The Eagles need to right the ship

The fact that Tyrod Taylor, the Giants’ QB3, was in the game for a portion of the second half, makes this even more laughable. The Eagles seem to have developed a strange tendency to completely implode whenever they hit some self-inflicted adversity. Whether that’s the fault of the coaching staff, the players, or a mix of the two, us unknown. What is known, is that if this continues into the playoffs, the Eagles will be bounced out quickly.

Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver DeVonta Smith (6) catches the ball and runs for a touchdown during the second half of an NFL football game against the Minnesota Vikings on Thursday, Sept. 14, 2023, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)

While there were flashes on both sides of the ball, such as DeVonta Smith’s catch-and-run TD, and D’Andre Swift’s unrelenting hustle, the fact that the Eagles refuse to get out of their own way, even against a lowly Giants team that showed no real signs of winning the game in the first place, is embarrassing.

When all is said and done, the Eagles need to fix whatever curse lingers over their heads. They will not have the fortunes of testing themselves against playoff-caliber teams now until the postseason begins. It’s very much going to be trial by fire for a group that has shown no signs of actual progression over the last month.

Blood is in the water. The Eagles have escaped losing a fourth-consecutive game, to a lowly Giants team nonetheless, by the skin of their teeth, and that is simply not good enough.

AP Photo/Lindsey Wasson