Just when it seems like history is about to repeat itself, the Philadelphia Eagles right the ship and take over their Week 16 matchup against the New York Giants. After an extremely shaking start from this Eagles' offense, the Giants were able to go up by 3 early in the game.
After some more offensive miscues, this team was able to figure themselves out enough to put up a field goal, tieing the game 3-3 going into halftime. The Birds entered the third quarter like the team we have been missing for the last 30 minutes and was able to both offensively and defensively shine. The Eagles were able to put up 30 unanswered points on the trash Giants and secured a victory, keeping their playoffs hopes alive.
Speaking of history repeating itself, it once again wouldn't be an Eagles' game if it were not for the ups and downs. Coming off a short week, it was expected to have some players look tired or gassed, but the way this offense was playing made Philly fans all over nervous. However, as stated earlier, the Eagles started scoring and never looked back beating the Giants 34-10.
Let's dive into some takeaways.
1. Hurts' ability to remain inconsistent is driving this fanbase insane.
After such a strong performance not 4 days prior, the second-year quarterback struggled heavily against the Giants. Accuracy, pocket awareness, ball security, and vision all seemed to have been absent in Hurts early on in the game. Heck, it wasn't until late in the second quarter that he was able to settle down and start making plays.
Jalen was able to finish out the game with 58% completions, 199 passing yards, and 2 touchdowns to put away New York. The worst part is if Hurts was able to settle down early, he could've had another career game. As much as we may hang a lot of issues on Hurts, he was not even close to being alone in this game of mishaps.
2. Butts for hands.
Some major concerns may be still in the back of fans' minds after how many drops the Eagles' pass catchers had in Week 16. Between Goedert, Sanders, Howard, and Reagor all dropping passes, they were almost as much to blame as Hurts was in the first half of the game. Simple routes and reads and it all resulted in drop passes. I understand it was a short week, but that's excusable for that performance.
Shoot, the offense wasn't the only ones dropping passes. This defense dropped at least three interceptions, including one unlikely drop by Darius Slay. It took way to long for this offense to start clicking and that is something Sirianni has to address moving forward.
3. The only pass-catcher to not drop a pass.
Do you know who it is? Of course, you do. It's none other than first-round pick DeVonta Smith! This team needed someone to start making plays through the air and Smith once again rose to the call. The rookie receiver had 5 catches for 80 yards and one incredible touchdown catch.
Smith is quickly chasing down the Eagles' record for rookie receiving yards with 821 currently and is needing only 92 more yards to tie it.
4. Sanders' health is a concern.
You hate to see it and hate even more to say it, but Sanders has an issue staying healthy. Whether it be his ankle, knee, or something else; he has an issue staying on the field consistently. It's a tough thing for fans to see, especially knowing how dynamic of a player he is, but it is an unfortunate trait that both he and his former classmate, Saquan Barkley, share.
Next year the team is going to have to make a choice on how to handle Sanders for the future and his ability to stay healthy is going to be a major factor.
5. The defense was extremely fun to watch.
We give defensive coordinator Jonathan Gannon a lot of grief, but the Eagles' defense came to play against their division rival. Not only did they come ready to play, but they were also relentless in Week 16. Their coverage schemes and pressure left the Giants' offense scratching their heads on what to do next.
All and all, the jury is still out on Gannon, but he has this defense slowly climbing up the ranking ladder and has been on a roll the past few weeks.
As of now, the Birds own the 7th seed and the chance for the postseason stays alive!