The Men In Black stepped into the prime-time spotlight on Sunday night and delivered a marquee performance, a statement game and a blowout win, 27-0 over the New York Giants to move to 5-1 heading into a much-needed bye week. It was a remarkable 60 minutes on #BlackSunday at Lincoln Financial Field …
"All three phases dominated and to do it on national television, in this atmosphere, it was just so much fun," said tight end Zach Ertz, who had 3 catches for 47 yards and a touchdown. "That's what we hoped to do and that's what we did."
"I'm not into rating games, but it was a good game," said head coach Chip Kelly minutes after the win.
That's an understatement, of course. The Eagles were flat-out awesome.
An offense that played in spurts through five games dominated the line of scrimmage and had its most balanced and effective game of the season, piling up 448 total net yards, 203 on the ground and 248 in the air. Running back LeSean McCoy was at his very best, vigorously hitting the hole and dancing around would-be tacklers on the way to 149 yards on 22 carries. Darren Sproles added 39 yards and a touchdown before leaving the game late in the third quarter with a left knee injury (he walked off the field and into the tunnel on his own).
Nick Foles made a few mistakes at quarterback, notably a pair of poorly thrown passes that New York intercepted – one late in the first half on a throwaway that didn't get out of bounds in New York territory and one that the Giants picked off at the Philadelphia 35-yard line and returned to the 21 -- but otherwise Foles played a wonderful game, connecting with tight ends Ertz and James Casey for first-half touchdown passes.
The Eagles raced out to a 10-0 lead with a field goal and a Foles-to-Ertz touchdown pass on their opening two possessions and then poured it on. While the offense gained the oohs and aaahs from the fired-up crowd, the defense stole the show.
Defensive coordinator Bill Davis employed a variety of pressure packages to take the starch out of New York's offense, which had sizzled in the Giants' three-game winning streak leading into the game.
Linebackers Connor Barwin and Trent Cole were unstoppable on the edges to collapse quarterback Eli Manning's pocket, and the interior defense won its battles at the line of scrimmage. Cornerbacks Cary Williams, Bradley Fletcher, Brandon Boykin and Nolan Carroll II took the Giants' potent wide receivers away. The down-the-middle defense was every bit as effective stuffing the seam passing game and playing downhill against the run.
The Eagles registered 8 quarterback sacks and held Manning to 151 passing yards. New York gained just 85 yards on 23 rushing attempts.
"Now we know how high the bar is set. It's a team shutout," said defensive coordinator Bill Davis. "We knew the run game was the balance that they had and we wanted to make it a one-dimensional game. We did that and then we were able to get some pressure on Eli and take away his short passing game and we did that. It was one of those games when everything came together for us. Not perfect, but it was a strong 60 minutes."
In a word, it was overwhelming. The Eagles scuffled and struggled at times on the way to a 4-1 record, but in Week 6, they put It all together for a complete, four-quarter game to stay tied with Dallas atop the NFC East.
- Barwin had 3 quarterback sacks and now has 6 for the season. "We mixed it up a lot and tried to give Eli different looks, make him hold the ball and get after him," said Barwin. "It was just my turn. Everyone chipped in."
- Trent Cole was an absolute monster in this game with a sack, two quarterback hurries and a tackle for a loss. He also drew a couple of penalties. Great effort from an all-time great Eagle.
- Make sure to give kudos to an offensive line that handled the New York front seven without a problem. Left tackle Jason Peters dominated Jason Pierre-Paul. Left guard Matt Tobin created running lanes inside, center David Molk got to the second level in the running game and the right side of the line – Todd Herremans and Lane Johnson – were stout. Tight ends Brent Celek and James Casey blocked very well. Awesome performance.
- Jaylen Watkins and Josh Huff were the gunners in punt coverage and hustled down the field and smothered the New York punt return game. Great job by the young fellas.
- Anyone questioning McCoy today? He made tacklers miss and had his fifth gear on the way to his best game of the season. The Eagles had Foles line up under center more than in any other game this season as the offense cranked up the running game against the wide alignment of the Giants' front four.
- Bennie Logan, Cedric Thornton and Fletcher Cox dominated against the run. They were just fantastic.
- Good coverage by Malcolm Jenkins and Brandon Boykin in the end zone and stout play against the run preserved a 20-0 lead in the third quarter after Foles threw his interception. The Giants had a first-and-goal situation at the 7-yard line and failed to score in four chances. The Eagles then drove 97 yards in 8 plays to blow up the cushion to 27-0.
- No immediate word on the extent of Sproles' injury after the game. The bye week comes at a good time for the Eagles, who should have linebacker DeMeco Ryans near or at 100 percent and could have linebacker Mychal Kendricks back in the lineup for the Arizona game.
There's no brotherly love when the Giants come down the turnpike to face the Eagles on Sunday Night Football ...