Here is an in-depth look at several storylines from Saturday night's memorable 38-7 win over New York that eliminated the Giants. The Eagles are now just one win away from a trip to Super Bowl LVII. Later today, we will find out who will come to Lincoln Financial Field next Sunday at 3 PM (FOX, 94WIP) in the NFC Championship Game.
Before we dig in, don't forget to check out:
• Eagles Insider Dave Spadaro's look at a near-perfect opening half
• Our game recap feature to see how the win unfolded in real time
James Bradberry snares first playoff interception, knocks out former team
It took less than five minutes for the Eagles to assert their dominance over the Giants. And for nearly every minute after, they poured it on, swiftly deflating their division rivals' hopes at a Conference Championship appearance.
The 38-7 win couldn't have been scripted more poetically.
The Giants got just one pass off in their second drive of the game before a familiar hot hand reached to intercept Daniel Jones' pass intended for Giants wide receiver Darius Slayton.
It was none other than cornerback James Bradberry, who was released from the Giants months before the start of the 2022 season.
It was a profound moment for the All-Pro Bradberry – his first-ever postseason pick propelled his current team toward an NFC Championship Game, while knocking out his former.
"It was a great feeling. Probably top five in my career right now."
Slay, whose locker at Lincoln Financial Field is next door to Bradberry, fervently reiterated his confusion about the Giants' decision to let him go – to which Bradberry responded with affirming nods and a wide grin. – Sage Hurley
A recurring theme? Eagles get off to fast start in 38-7 win
Start fast. It's something the Eagles knew would be important in Saturday's NFC Divisional Round Playoff Game against the New York Giants. It's something the team had done successfully during a 14-3 regular season, scoring a touchdown in eight first possessions and kicking field goals in two other first possessions.
Make it 11 games with a first-possession score.
New York won the coin toss and deferred until the second half, so the Eagles' offense took to the field to open the game and drove 75 yards on eight plays, scoring on a Jalen Hurts pass that tight end Dallas Goedert caught one-handed and then did the rest with power and a spin move to get into the end zone and complete the 16-yard play to give the Eagles a 7-0 lead.
Philadelphia never looked back from there.
"I can't say that we really talk about it and say, 'We need to score on the first drive,' and stuff like that," Goedert said after the 38-7 win, "but it's huge. It lets our defense kind of pin their ears back. Whenever we don't get the ball first and the other team scores first, whether you admit it or not, it kind of puts a little bit of pressure on you, like, 'We've got to get that back right away.'"
"It was very important to score right away," running back Miles Sanders said. "It's playoff football and you always want to get a lead on that first drive. Get some momentum. It's big. We were locked in and focused and it worked. When we're playing like that, we're hard to beat."
Goedert was a huge part of things from the start. He was targeted five times and had five receptions for 58 yards and the score. After seeing the Vikings' tight ends combine for 12 catches, 144 yards, and a score the previous week, Goedert had an inkling he might get a shot for some touches.
"It worked out that way, as we kind of expected," he said. "That's just the way it worked for me. I had some opportunities and I took advantage. We have so many pieces that it's hard to hold us all down. Someone is going to be open." – Dave Spadaro
Well worth the wait for Haason Reddick
Eleven miles away from his high school, a short drive over the Benjamin Franklin Bridge from his hometown of Camden, New Jersey, on the field where he first blossomed into an NFL–caliber player as a walk-on at Temple University, Haason Reddick made his first venture into the NFL postseason.
In his first year as an Eagle, Reddick didn't just play in his first playoff game – he commanded it.
He had 16 sacks in the regular season – breaking records as the first player in NFL history to record 10+ sacks in three straight years with three different teams. On Saturday, he kept steady with that pace, stuffing Daniel Jones twice on the Giants' first drive on back-to-back plays.
"Pass-rushing, man. It's one of those things when you get hot, when you get a rhythm, you get real streaky," said Reddick, who had three QB hits, 1.5 sacks, and a tackle for loss.
"I've just been blessed to be at that point right now. I'm happy and I'm just trying to build off it."
Six years into his NFL career, Reddick has the chance to impress on a national stage. But he isn't thinking about that. His focus is locked on bringing another championship to Philadelphia – a feat that's now just two wins away.
"I'm mainly just worried about winning right now," Reddick said. "Worried about winning, and trying to get my first Super Bowl and getting another Super Bowl for this organization. I'm not worrying about anything outside of that, just winning and playing dominant football." – Sage Hurley
A 'magnificent' atmosphere as Eagles cherish home-field advantage
Every able Eagles fan at Lincoln Financial Field was on their feet at kickoff. The stadium shook and the press box rattled as they welcomed the team to their first home postseason game in Philadelphia since the 2019 campaign.
"I knew it was gonna be crazier than it was in the (regular) season, but man," said Haason Reddick.
"I remember when I walked out, I was looking at the seats, and it didn't look like there was a seat that was left empty."
Fans fed off the Eagles' hot start, creating a near-deafening environment for the Giants. In turn, the Eagles siphoned explosive energy from the rowdy crowd.
Eagles faithful held their stance through all four quarters, and the Eagles never relinquished their lead. Home-field advantage was just that, an advantage.
"You know what? The roar is different. It was roaring today. Just keep the energy coming. We feel that. We thrive off that. It's definitely loud, for sure," said defensive end Brandon Graham. "You can tell we're in playoff football, playoff mode."
The playoff atmosphere in South Philadelphia exhibited why earning the No. 1 seed was so important.
Cornerback Darius Slay described it as "magnificent."
The only boos of the day erupted when stadium cameras panned to former Giants quarterback Eli Manning – but they were quickly stifled and replaced with applause when Eagles alums Brett Celek, Malcolm Jenkins, and Torrey Smith – who served as Honorary Captains on Saturday night – replaced Manning on the screen.
Even Manning's young nephew, Marshall, sported a Jalen Hurts jersey.
Doubters warned that it's hard to beat a team three times, but the Eagles did so handily, in the shadow of an entire city skyline lit up green in support. – Sage Hurley
The Eagles throttled the New York Giants 38-7 to advance to the NFC Championship Game. They will host either the Dallas Cowboys or the San Francisco 49ers next Sunday at Lincoln Financial Field.