Biggest takeaways from the Eagles ugly win against the Giants

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Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Jalen Hurts pushes off New York Giants linebacker Micah McFadden during the first half of an NFL football game Monday, Dec. 25, 2023, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)

The sky is falling for the Philadelphia Eagles even after a 33-25 win over their arch-rival New York Giants on Christmas Day.

Well…to some it is.

Philadelphia almost blew a 20-3 halftime lead but hung on to win and go back to first place in the NFC East by beating their rival for the 11th straight time at Lincoln Financial Field.

While many people will point to what went wrong for a team that is seeded as the second-best team in the NFC currently, my job here at the Philly Sports Network is to be objective about some of the bigger takeaways from Monday’s win.

And there are plenty of positives here as well.

Turnovers made this game close, nothing else

Jalen Hurts
Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Jalen Hurts scrambles against the New York Giants during the first half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Jan. 8, 2023, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

If you take out the two turnover drives (a pick-six and fumble that set the Giants up in the red zone to start the third quarter) the Eagles probably win that game by three scores.

Yes, the turnovers are a constant theme to the 2023 Eagles that will most assuredly be their downfall when games matter, but the idea that the offense and defense did not dominate for most of that game is simply incorrect.

Philadelphia’s offense totaled over 450 yards of offense while showing success on the ground that the team hasn’t had in months. Outside of what people want to complain about, the offense looked pretty good on Monday afternoon with turnovers being the only reason why this team isn’t winning by more.

The offense turned a major corner

Philadelphia Eagles running back Kenneth Gainwell runs past New York Giants linebacker Kayvon Thibodeaux (5) and linebacker Micah McFadden during the second half of an NFL football game Monday, Dec. 25, 2023, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)

I mentioned this already but outside of the pick-six that was more a bad break than anything else, the Eagles offense looked much better this week.

Wink Martindale’s scheme is not one to be overlooked in the modern NFL – they have shut down some solid quarterbacks all season. Philadelphia still went 8-15 on third down, ran 74 plays, averaged six yards per play, and also ran for 170 yards on 35 carries.

The balance was there from the beginning and it showed just how good this group can be when everything is put together. This was arguably one of the better games from Brian Johnson and to think otherwise is to simply look at the scoreboard and look for something to complain about.

Again, turnovers are a real problem, but the offense took some important steps Monday afternoon.

Kelee Ringo needs to be the everyday starter at cornerback

Seattle Seahawks running back Kenneth Walker III runs with the ball against the Philadelphia Eagles during the first half of an NFL football game, Monday, Dec. 18, 2023, in Seattle. (AP Photo/Lindsey Wasson)

Another game, another excellent performance from fourth-round rookie Kelee Ringo. It’s becoming increasingly clear that the Eagles should run with Ringo and Slay at corner when the latter returns from knee surgery.

While Bradberry did have an excellent season last year, he’s being targeted at an alarming rate late in games and is showing he’s not up to the task. Ringo finished the day with five tackles, as pass defended, and his first NFL interception to seal the win.

All in all, he’s looking like a steal right now.

The NFC East (and top seed) are attainable

Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Jalen Hurts, center, steps over players after scoring on a keeper against the San Francisco 49ers during the second half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Dec. 3, 2023, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)

Turns out, it’s not just the Eagles that are playing “poorly” at this stage of the season. Dallas has dropped another road contest to a contending team on Sunday against Miami, and the 49ers were just blown out by the Baltimore Ravens.

That leads to a three-team tie for the top seed in the NFC with the Eagles given a clear path to repeating as the conference’s top team in January.

If San Fran were to lose either of their final two games and Philadelphia wins out, the Eagles would get the top seed in the NFC playoffs. A win on Sunday against the Cardinals coupled with a Cowboys loss to Detroit would also give the Eagles the NFC East for the second straight year.

Everyone might be panicking because of how the team “looks” but we really should be appreciating the consistent clutch play and wins that have come over the last few weeks.

There’s too much toxicity around the team

Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Jalen Hurts looks on from the bench during the first half of an NFL football game against the Seattle Seahawks, Monday, Dec. 18, 2023, in Seattle. (AP Photo/Lindsey Wasson)

Everyone and their mother is concerned about the Philadelphia Eagles for some of the off-field concerns that are “seeping” into gameday. There was Nick Sirianni “arguing” with both Haason Reddick and DeVonta Smith at the end of the game while calls for concern about Jalen Hurts have grown due to…poor leadership?

A lot of this is being overblown. Coaches and players will have arguments all the time during in-game situations and Philadelphia has been frustrated for a while now. That doesn’t mean the team is in trouble, or that Sirianni is a bad coach.

Quite frankly, to assume that Sirianni’s coaching chops aren’t strong due to the team being an unimpressive 11-4 against the toughest schedule in football because of his sideline antics is moronic and toxic from a fanbase that has a penchant for complaining to get clicks.

This organization is fine. Stop looking for every little bit of context clue to prove that they aren’t. The longer the fanbase fights over if Sirianni is a good coach, or if the locker room is together, or any other stupid notion, the more this is going to seep into a pretty solid locker room.

AP Photo/Matt Slocum