Philadelphia Eagles Fall to the Giants, Still Winless in NFC East

Nov 6, 2016; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; Philadelphia Eagles head coach Doug Pederson calls a time out during the second half against the New York Giants at MetLife Stadium. The Giants defeated the Eagles 28-23. Mandatory Credit: William Hauser-USA TODAY Sports
Nov 6, 2016; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; Philadelphia Eagles head coach Doug Pederson calls a time out during the second half against the New York Giants at MetLife Stadium. The Giants defeated the Eagles 28-23. Mandatory Credit: William Hauser-USA TODAY Sports /

Points left on the board and not finishing has been the Achilles heel of this Philadelphia Eagles team.

The Philadelphia Eagles are now 4-4 on the season as they fell to the New York Giants 28-23. This loss marked their third straight loss in the NFC East, which puts them in last place, 3 games behind Division leader Dallas.

The Eagles found themselves behind early but fought their way back into the game by halftime. A few questionable play calls by Head Coach Doug Pederson may have cost this team as this game came down to the wire.

Both offenses were led by their quarterbacks, as the running games never really seemed to get going for either team. The experienced veteran would be the one to come out on top.


Top Eagles Performers

Zach Ertz: 8 catches, 97-yards
Nigel Bradham: 10 tackles, six solo tackles

The First Half

New York Giants got the ball first, as the Eagles defense forced a quick 3 and out. On the ensuing possession, Rookie Quarterback Carson Wentz would throw an interception. That interception would lead to the first of two Odell Beckham Jr. Touchdowns. Beckham would badly beat Eagles DB Leodis McKelvin.

After the Kickoff Wentz would throw his second pick of the game, again giving the Giants great field position. Again DB Leodis McKelvin would get lost in coverage, as he ran into Safety Jaylen Watkins, which left Giants WR Roger Lewis wide open in the endzone for the score.

Wentz would calm down on the next Eagles drive. The Eagles quickly moved up the field, with Wentz going 4-6 on the drive. Ultimately the Eagles would have to settle for three, as Caleb Sturgis connected on the 34-yard field goal.

Momentum looked like it may shift back to the Birds,as the defense was able to get a big third down sack by Rookie DT Destiny Vaeao, thanks to pressure from Brandon Graham. This is when the first of many questionable play calls from Doug Pederson would end up haunting the Eagles at the end of the game. The coach elected to go for the short 4th and 2, rather than kick the field goal. The play was a Quarterback bootleg that the Giants saw coming. Wentz was tackled for a loss.

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Again the defense would hold tight, forcing the Giants 3 and out. The Eagles looked to Rookie WR Bryce Treggs on the very first play, the speedy receiver made catch and run of 58-yards. This setup Ryan Mathews for two straight runs, as he punched it in from the 8-yard line. Odell Beckham’s one-yard TD reception on the next drive would put the Giants up 21-10.

The two teams would trade punts, before the next big play of the game. Darren Sproles was back to receive the Giants punt. He would burst through the Giants special teams like he so often does, being forced out of bounds at the Giants 15, a 66-yard return.

Again Coach Pederson would make his second questionable call of the game. fourth and one at the Giants six-yard line, Pederson elected to call a Darren Sproles run to the right rather than bring on the Field Goal unit. Sproles would get stuffed at the line, another turnover on downs and more likely points left on the board.

After both teams again traded punts, the Eagles finally elected to kick a 40-yard field goal. This field goal would, of course, be blocked.

Collectively the Birds left 9 potential points on the board in the first half. The score could have been 21-16 instead, it was 21-10 at the half.

The Second Half

The Eagles offense looked like it woke up, to start the second half. It started with a Wendall Smallwood 26 yard kickoff return to the Giants 30. After a few short games, Sproles would break a 17-yard run, followed by a Nelson Agholor 23 yard reception down the sideline. This would set up a 3 yard Kenjon Barner TD run. A 6 play 70-yard drive, in just 2 minutes and 43 seconds.

The Giants would come right back, marching 75 yards down the field, capped off by an Eli Manning to Sterling Sheppard 32 yard pass. Again punts would be traded, after an Eagles 3 and out and a Giants stalled 4 play drive. The 3rd quarter would end without another score.

Philly would then begin their longest drive of the game. A 14 play, 80-yard drive. The Eagles moved down the field on either a run by Darren Sproles or completions to Zach Ertz. Ertz would haul in fve catches for 56 yards on this drive alone. The drive would end up stalling as the Sturgis made a 26-yard field goal on fourth and three.

On the next Giants drive, the Eagles defense would come up with a big stop. Nolan Carroll had tight coverage on Beckham Jr, so tight in fact that when Manning forced the ball to Beckham on a slant, Carroll was able to wrestle the ball away, for the Interception. The Eagles offense  could not capitalize on the big defensive play, again being forced to punt after a three and out.

After a booming punt by Donnie Jones, the Eagles would down the ball inside the five-yard line, forcing the Giants to punt after three plays. This time on the Eagles next drive, they would get some points off the defensive stop. The offense went for it on 4th and 9, finally converting on fourth down, after a 26 yard game on the Jordan Matthews reception. The Eagles would ultimately kick a 38-yard field goal, with just 3:51 remaining. 28-23 Giants.

After the Giants went up late in the 3rd quarter, the defense did their part 3 straight drives. The Giants were looking to ice the game. Again the defense would again make another huge play. This time second-year linebacker Jordan Hicks made a beautiful diving interception to keep the Eagles in the game.

With 1:48 left in the game, the Eagles would take over just 34 yards away from the end zone. Wentz would hit Agholor, who made a great leaping 17-yard catch. Leaving the Eagles just 17 yards from pay dirt.

Next: Philadelphia Eagles: It’s Now Or Never

Unfortunately, the Eagles offense would not gain another yard. Wentz would have 3 straight incompletions, before the do or die 4th and 10 from the 17. Jordan Matthews would beat his man but would make the wrong read on would be a tough catch. Wentz threw the ball deep and to the right, in the endzone but Matthews would turn to his left. Even if he did turn the right way, it would have likely been a tough ball to come down with.

And that would be your ball game, Eagles falling to 4-4, while the Giants move to 5-3, 6 potential points left on the board.