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Eagles Hold Off Giants To Clinch First-Round Bye


In a nail-biting NFC East showdown, the Eagles battled back to beat the Giants 34-29 and clinch a first-round bye in the playoffs.

The Giants scored touchdowns on their first three possessions and the Eagles gave up a season-high 504 total yards but the defense held on late to squeeze out the victory.

Quarterback Nick Foles led the way finishing with 237 yards and four touchdowns while hitting four different targets on those scores, wide receivers Alshon Jeffery and Nelson Agholor, and tight ends Zach Ertz and Trey Burton.

The special teams unit contributed in an immense way blocking an extra point, a punt, and a field goal attempt.

With the win, the Eagles move to an NFL-best 12-2 on the year.

On the Giants' opening drive, the defense picked up two offsides penalties and a defensive holding call that set up a 1-yard touchdown run by running back Orleans Darkwa. Rookie defensive end Derek Barnett blocked the extra point attempt which kept the score 6-0.

Foles anchored his first drive with 9:04 in the opening quarter and hit Alshon Jeffery for a 12-yard gain on his first throw. Later in the drive, Foles faked out defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul and threw deep to Torrey Smith, who was unable to reel in the pass but drew a pass interference call on safety Darian Thompson that placed the Eagles inside the New York 10-yard line. Foles and Jeffery linked up again for a 3-yard touchdown to put the Eagles up 7-6.

The Giants responded on their next drive when Eli Manning connected with Tavarres King for a 13-yard score putting them back in front 13-7.

After an Eagles punt, the Giants scored again on the ensuing drive thanks to a 67-yard catch-and-run score from Sterling Shepard which swelled the Giants' lead to 20-7.

Head coach Doug Pederson continued to be aggressive, going for it on a fourth-and-1 from the New York 44 but LeGarrette Blount was stuffed which resulted in a turnover on downs.

The Eagles received a much-needed jolt when cornerback Ronald Darby picked off Manning and weaved his way through tackles for a 37-yard return to put the offense at the New York 20. The Eagles capitalized as Foles spotted Ertz in the end zone for a score.

Then, the special teams unit answered the bell again when Kamu Grugier-Hill blocked a punt and the offense took over at the New York 18. Two plays later, Foles hit a wide open Burton for a touchdown to give Philadelphia the 21-20 lead with two minutes to go. The Giants hit a field goal late to retake the lead before the half.

To start the third quarter, the Eagles marched down the field and settled for a 28-yarder from Jake Elliott to regain the lead. The team extended the lead on the next drive when Foles dimed Nelson Agholor for six to make the tally 31-23.

A neutral zone infraction against Philadelphia with New York looking to punt kept the Giants' drive alive late in the third quarter. New York scored when Manning delivered the ball to King for a 57-yard touchdown. Manning was sacked on the two-point conversion, keeping the score 31-29.

Heading into the final quarter, the special teams unit continued its positive play, as safety Malcolm Jenkins batted down a Giants' field goal attempt to keep the score the same. On the ensuing drive, Elliott converted on a 28-yarder to extend the Eagles lead to five with four minutes remaining. The defense then came away with crucial stops in the final minute to seal the victory.

The Eagles return home to Philadelphia to play the Oakland Raiders on Christmas night.

Game Leaders

Passing: Nick Foles: 24-38, 237 yards, 4 TD
Eli Manning:37-57, 416 yards, 3 TD, INT

Receiving: Alshon Jeffery:4 catches, 49 yards, TDZach Ertz:6 catches, 56 yards, TD
Nelson Agholor:6 catches, 59 yards, TD
Trey Burton:2 catches yards, TD
Sterling Shepard:11 catches, 113 yards, TD
Tavarres King: 2 catches, 70 yards, 2 TD* *

Rushing: Jay Ajayi: 12 carries, 49 yards
Orleans Darkwa: 9 carries, 7 yards, TD 

Defense: Ronald Darby:INT, 37 yards
Brandon Graham: 1 sack, 5 yardsOlivier Vernon:1 sack, 4 yards

The Philadelphia Eagles defeated the New York Giants to move to 12-2 on the season. The victory also helped the team secure a first-round bye for the playoffs.

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