Good morning, Eagles fans! Happy Victory Tuesday!
The Eagles defeated the New York Giants on Monday night in a comeback overtime victory, 23-17. After a slow start, the Eagles turned it on with 20 answered points to ultimately win the game and bring their season record to 6-7. The Eagles are tied with the Dallas Cowboys for first place in the NFC East. In this edition of Morning Roundup presented Microsoft, we will cover everything from the Monday night win at Lincoln Financial Field before head coach Doug Pederson addresses the media at noon. Let's jump right into it.
1. Game Recap: Eagles rally from 17-3 halftime deficit to win in overtime
It wasn't quite a miracle. But it was close.
The Eagles overcame a 17-3 halftime deficit by scoring the final 20 points of the game to keep their playoff hopes alive with a 23-17 overtime win over the Giants on a rainy Monday night at Lincoln Financial Field. It was the Eagles' first overtime win since November 8, 2015 at Dallas. Click here for the full recap.
With the victory, the Eagles snapped a three-game losing streak to improve to 6-7. They are now tied for first place in the NFC East with the Dallas Cowboys.
Tight end Zach Ertz scored on a 2-yard touchdown reception from quarterback Carson Wentz with 1:53 remaining to send the game to overtime then provided the game-winning touchdown as well on another 2-yard catch on the opening drive of overtime with just 5:10 remaining.
Ertz finished with nine catches for 91 yards and two touchdowns to lead the Eagles. Wentz was 33-of-50 for 325 yards with two touchdowns for a 97.5 QB rating. In the second half and overtime, Wentz was simply brilliant despite losing his top receiver in Alshon Jeffery (foot) and All-Pro right tackle Lane Johnson (ankle) to injury in the first half. He was 22-of-31 for 228 yards and the two touchdowns for a 113.4 QB rating during the comeback. It was Wentz's sixth career game-winning drive and fifth fourth-quarter/overtime comeback.
2. Spadaro: The best of Carson Wentz emerges to save the season
Carson Wentz wouldn't let the Eagles lose this one. Uh-uh. No way. With the Eagles facing a 14-point deficit and the Lincoln Financial Field crowd beyond restless and throwing to receivers named Joshua Perkins and Greg Ward and J.J. Arcega-Whiteside and Boston Scott, Wentz put together a signature performance. Working the pocket magically, escaping from pressure with his legs, and at all times keeping his eyes down the field, Wentz delivered a 23-17 overtime win on Monday night against the New York Giants that was, in a word, epic, wrote Eagles Insider Dave Spadaro.
The victory lifted the Eagles into a tie with Dallas atop the NFC East at 6-7 with three games to play. Wentz's stat line – 33-of-50 for 325 yards and a pair of touchdowns – didn't quite do him justice. He was brilliant. He was resourceful. He rebounded from a painful first half to complete 22 of 31 passes for 228 yards and two touchdowns and Wentz led the Eagles to a crucial win, their first in eight games this season in which they trailed in the fourth quarter.
Nobody really said as much after the game, but it was the kind of fourth-quarter comeback and overtime victory that Wentz needed. That's how much this game meant.
"It's big. It's big for me and for all of these guys," Wentz said. "You know, the emotional roller coaster of the day and obviously realizing how poor we were in the first half and just how it spring-boarded us into the second half. We just made plays and kept making plays. Winning late in overtime like this, it's been a while. Shoot, I don't think I've had an overtime win. That was just a lot of fun."
3. Boston Scott shines under the Monday night lights
The running back stepped up exactly when the team needed him last night. Boston Scott ran for 59 yards, racked up 69 yards receiving, and scored a touchdown late in the third quarter. His 2-yard run into the end zone started the Eagles' comeback. It is no secret Scott's contributions in this game were needed, but his teammates have seen that potential in him all year.
"One thing I've watched from Scott is he's always 100 miles an hour," guard Brandon Brooks said. "He learned that from Darren Sproles. When he gets the opportunity, he always makes the most of it. I'm not shocked at all that Boston went out there and showed the world what he can do. I'm happy for him."
Scott opened the season on the practice squad, was promoted to the active roster in mid-October, and on Monday night he was crucial to the Eagles' success. While his journey to a starring performance on Monday Night Football may be unconventional, Scott understands that this is the NFL and he will make the most of any situation he is in.
"Just do my job," Scott said. "Every week we prepare. Duce (Staley, assistant head coach/running backs) does a great job of preparing us. Everybody. It doesn't matter if you're on the active roster or on the practice squad, he does a great job preparing us for whatever may come. That's the nature of the NFL. You never know."
4. Tight end Zach Ertz delivers clutch performance
Lined up in 13 personnel with one running back and three tight ends, the Eagles went to a staple play with the game – and possibly the season – on the line.
"We had Josh (Perkins) and Dallas (Goedert) kind of shift. I think it kind of threw them off a little bit," said the third tight end, Zach Ertz, who would benefit. "I ran an inside post. Just attack and leverage and right when I crossed (the defender's) face, I knew I was going to get the ball and that was going to be the game."
Ertz's ninth catch of the game was his second 2-yard touchdown of the night and it gave the Eagles the deciding points in the 23-17 overtime win over the Giants. Ertz finished with a game-high nine catches to go along with 91 yards and two scores. Ertz's first touchdown helped tie the game at 17-17 with just 1:53 remaining. It was the fifth multi-touchdown performance of Ertz's brilliant career.
"It was Cover 0 and I don't know if the pre-snap shift kind of messed them up or what not, but once I saw the guys' eyes, he wasn't really locked in on me," Ertz said of the overtime touchdown. "Right when I saw that, I knew that Carson (Wentz) was going to find me and we were going to be walking off."
It's the fifth straight matchup against the Giants in which Ertz has scored at least one touchdown. For the year, Ertz has 79 receptions for 827 yards and five touchdowns. Prior to 2018, only one Eagle (Brian Westbrook) caught 90 passes in a season. Ertz is on the verge of doing it in back-to-back years.
It should come as no surprise that Ertz answered the call when the Eagles needed one of their playmakers to step up in the wake of injuries to the offense.
A year ago, Ertz came off a struggling performance against the New Orleans Saints and rebounded with a big day against the Giants in a much-needed win. That started a run of five wins in six games to reach the playoffs. Last week in Miami, Ertz had a costly drop on a potential scoring drive. He bounced back once again vs. the divisional rivals. Now, the Eagles only have three more games before a possible third straight postseason appearance. The Eagles are tied with Dallas for first place in the NFC East. The Eagles and the Cowboys will meet at Lincoln Financial Field on December 22 in a showdown that will likely determine the division champion.
5. The Eagles' defense locks down the Giants in the second half
After giving up two costly touchdowns on explosive pass plays to rookie wide receiver Darius Slayton in the first half, the defense was lights out in the final 30 minutes of the game. This performance was highlighted by defensive end Vinny Curry and his two sacks on Giants quarterback Eli Manning. The defense came out of the locker room with a sense of urgency and that showed on the field.
"(Jim) Schwartz did a good job at halftime of just making some small adjustments," safety Malcolm Jenkins said. "We didn't get out of character of throw the whole game plan out, but we made some adjustments to combat what they were trying to do and guys did a good job of trying to stop the run even in some the split-safety things that we went to. I just thought we made some good adjustments, guys battled, and we had some big third-down stops as well."
The Giants' offense only had the ball for 8:55 in the second half, thanks to the defense's ability to stand strong on third downs. The defense did not give up any play in the third or fourth quarter longer than 11 yards. While this is a small step in the right direction, the team knows it controls its own destiny in this playoff race. Defensive end Brandon Graham spoke to the reality of this victory and how the hard work is just beginning.
"The biggest thing is, we have to make sure we stay focused," Graham said. "Enjoy this win, but we have to watch next week. We didn't make the playoffs yet. We're not celebrating because we got in the playoffs because we won the division, none of that. We just have to make sure that we enjoy this one and get ready for Wednesday when its time to talk about the Redskins."
Take a look at the cleats the Eagles players will be wearing for this year's edition of My Cause My Cleats.
6. From the practice squad to the playoff chase
The Eagles had three wide receivers active at kickoff and only one was a proven veteran in Alshon Jeffery. The other two were rookie J.J. Arcega-Whiteside and Greg Ward. The Eagles mined the gameday roster for offensive help and found it in the form of tight end Joshua Perkins, running back Boston Scott, and wide receiver Greg Ward.
Perkins, Scott, and Ward all opened the 2019 season on the practice squad, but all contributed to Monday night's come-from-behind overtime win.
"It's not easy when you have that many new faces out there playing in a must-win game against a division opponent," head coach Doug Pederson said. "That's tough. It's not easy to do."
• The trio combined for 199 scrimmage yards vs. N.Y. Giants.
• Perkins registered a career-high five catches for 37 yards. He had a 13-yard reception on the game-winning drive.
• Ward's fourth and final catch of the night was an 8-yard gain in overtime that got the Eagles into the red zone.
• Scott led the Eagles with a career-high 59 yards and one TD on 10 carries (5.9 average) while adding career highs in receptions (6) and receiving yards (69). His final touch was a 6-yard run up the middle that put the ball at the Giants' 2-yard line in overtime.
7. What happened at halftime?
Head coach Doug Pederson said that the Eagles turned the corner in terms of coming together as a football team this past week. The biggest evidence was how the players addressed the situation when the team entered the locker room at halftime down 17-3 on Monday night against the Giants.
"I could hear them talking at halftime. I could hear them, defense and offense, they were both talking. But they were encouraging each other," Pederson said. "That was the thing about it. It was not, you guys think I'm crazy, but it's not a shouting match in there. We are not throwing stuff and getting all up in arms at each other. We're coming together. We're figuring it out. We're putting a solution together.
"It didn't look pretty, obviously early in this game, and to hang together is something we talked about this week is hanging together and they did that."
The end result was a dominant shutout second half from the defense and an offense that found a spark in running back Boston Scott and scored touchdowns on three of its final five possessions after gaining just four first downs in the entire first half.
"It's just a great feeling. The guys are so excited. The guys are thrilled. They know how hard they worked, how hard they have battled, how hard they practiced this week and to really trust the process, stay the course," Pederson said.
The win was Pederson's first in overtime in his head coaching tenure. But will it mean more than that? Time will tell.
"We still have three games. It's a start," Pederson said. "We know it's a four-game season and tonight was (game) one. Obviously, we have a great road test next weekend and we have to get prepared for another opportunity."
Check out the best photos from the Eagles' Week 14 clash against the rival New York Giants.
8. What's the latest on Alshon Jeffery and Lane Johnson?
The Eagles entered the game without four starters due to injury: wide receiver Nelson Agholor (knee), defensive end Derek Barnett (ankle), linebacker Kamu Grigier-Hill (concussion), and running back Jordan Howard (shoulder).
Two key players were lost to injury during the game's second quarter in wide receiver Alshon Jeffery and All-Pro tackle Lane Johnson.
During the Eagles' first scoring drive early in the second quarter, Jeffery hobbled to the sideline with a foot injury before being carted off the field.
On the Eagles' next possession, quarterback Carson Wentz was hit by Giants defensive lineman Dalvin Tomlinson and landed on Johnson's leg. Immediately, Johnson rolled around, writhing in pain. He eventually limped to the sideline before going into the locker room on a cart due to an ankle injury.
Neither Jeffery nor Johnson returned to the game.
"I'll found out tomorrow. I'll find out tomorrow and let you know," Pederson said following the game.
9. What else did you miss from the win?
• Philadelphia improved to 87-86-2 (.503) in the all-time series vs. the Giants. This marks the Eagles' first series lead in a rivalry that extends back to 1933 (including playoffs).
• The Eagles outgained the Giants 302-29 (+273) in total net yards in the second half and overtime, including 219-3 (+216) in passing yards and 83-26 (+57) in rushing yards.
• The Eagles held the Giants to just 2-of-12 (16.7 percent) on third down, including an 0-for-6 mark in the second half and overtime. Overall, Philadelphia forced New York to punt following each of their six second-half and overtime possessions (excluding the final kneeldown during regulation), including four three-and-out defensive stops.
• Carson Wentz has thrown a touchdown in 16 consecutive regular-season games, which is the longest active streak in the NFL. Wentz has won 4 consecutive starts against the Giants. In the fourth quarter and overtime, he finished 17-of-24 (70.8 percent) for 195 yards, two touchdowns, and a 122.7 rating.
• Zach Ertz (5,654) surpassed Pete Pihos (5,619, 1947-55) for the fifth-most receiving yards in franchise history, trailing only Harold Carmichael (8,978, 1971-83), Pete Retzlaff (7,412, 1956-66), Mike Quick (6,464, 1982-90), and DeSean Jackson (6,276, 2008-13, '19).
• Starting in place of the injured Derek Barnett, Vinny Curry produced a career-high-tying two sacks against Giants QB Eli Manning. It marked Curry's third career game with at least two sacks.
• Miles Sanders (948) surpassed LeSean McCoy in 2009 (945) for the second-most scrimmage yards in Eagles rookie history, behind DeSean Jackson in 2008 (1,008).