Good morning, Eagles fans! The Birds are back in the building after enjoying a three-day weekend following their 34-13 takedown of the New York Giants on Thursday night. The Eagles will be off again tomorrow and then come back to practice ahead of Sunday's matchup with the Carolina Panthers. Here's what you need to know in today's Morning Roundup presented by Microsoft leading off with our observations from the win.
1. Victory Notebook
The Eagles handled their business on Thursday as they went up to MetLife Stadium and took down the New York Giants 34-13. With a 3-3 record, the Eagles are now 1-0 in the division and have put themselves in the right position going forward. They will now have two important and challenging games against the Carolina Panthers and against the Jacksonville Jaguars in London before the bye week.
As the Eagles finish their miniature bye week with a long weekend, Eagles' Insider Dave Spadaro took a look back at his notebook and recounted what the Eagles did to not just beat the Giants but dominate them:
Anyone worried that Wentz is holding the ball too long now? He was brilliant with the clock in his head on Thursday and he showed great ability to avoid the rush. It was Wentz's best game, but as Pederson pointed out to me on Friday, the fact that the self-inflicted wounds were minimized helped just as much. "Everybody did his job and we played in front of the chains," Pederson said. "That's a big help for Carson. He played a great game, but the fact that everyone around him was so focused made a big difference in the offense. We played Philadelphia Eagles football."
2. The Win We Wanted To See
Everything came together for the first time this season in the Eagles' win against the Giants. Mistakes were limited, star players shined, and several young players impressed as well. The Eagles needed a big performance in primetime on Thursday and, as Tommy Lawlor writes, they finally looked like last year's powerhouse team:
There are some questions to ask. As good as the Eagles looked, the Giants were equally bad. You have to factor that in. The Eagles gave up 401 yards of offense, obviously not ideal. Rookie Saquon Barkley accounted for 151 of those yards on just three plays. He did spectacular things, showing a freakish combination of strength, speed, balance, and agility. Barkley is a special player. Take away those freakish displays and the Eagles allowed 250 yards on the other 61 Giants plays, that's just 4.1 yards per play.
While the Giants are a bad team, the Eagles went on the road on a short week and dominated them. That's exactly what good teams are supposed to do. The game wasn't competitive for very long. The Eagles took control early and never let the Giants get back in it.
3. Back To Balling
Thursday night felt familiar for the Eagles' offense. The electric plays and fast start felt like the games last Fall when the Eagles scored 30 or more points regularly. The Eagles started fast on both sides of the ball and didn't let up. They also played extraordinarily well on first and third down. Fran Duffy breaks down what made the Eagles' offense click like normal in his Eagle Eye column:
Yes, the Eagles' offensive line did give up some pressure in this game. Giants pass rusher Olivier Vernon made his return and he proved numerous times why he is one of the most underrated players in the game. Lane Johnson gave up some pressure at times while battling an ankle injury. But on third down? Wentz started the game 10-for-10 as a passer and didn't take a sack on third down. The Eagles executed at a high level on the most important down in football, and it's a big reason why they had so much success on offense against the Giants.
Success on third down starts with first down, and one of the biggest themes that I took away from the game was what the Eagles did with their 12 (one back, two tight ends) personnel package against the Giants, especially on first down.
The Eagles had 33 first downs on Thursday night, and they lined up in 12 personnel on 11 of those plays. Doug Pederson mixed things up from a playcalling standpoint out of those sets, calling five runs and six passes. The Giants consistently decided to match up to this package in their nickel defense. Pederson was not afraid to run the football with an extra defensive back on the field. They averaged over 4 yards per carry.
4. Around The East
The NFC East didn't take the day off on Sunday. While the Eagles handled the Giants Thursday, the Cowboys and Redskins both hosted teams at home who made the playoffs last season and took care of business. Washington pulled out a win against Cam Newton and the Carolina Panthers, the Eagles' next opponent this Sunday, 23-17. Alex Smith completed 21 of 36 passes for 163 yards, two touchdowns, and no picks. Dallas thoroughly dominated the Jacksonville Jaguars, who the Eagles play in London in two weeks, 40-7. Dak Prescott was 17-for-27 for 183 yards and two touchdowns with no interceptions.
Washington now leads the division with a 3-2 record. The Eagles and Cowboys are tied in second at 3-3. The Giants remain in last place with a 1-5 record. Washington and Dallas' wins were impressive yesterday as both teams proved they can beat anyone, especially at home. The Eagles travel to Dallas on December 9 and to Washington on December 30 to finish the regular season.
5. Award-Winning Work
Our Eagles Television Network crew was nominated for eight 2018 Mid-Atlantic Regional Emmys and on Saturday night, we took home three awards.
Joe Helder, Nick Rotondi, and Chris Barletto won the Emmy for Photographer in Sports. Inside the Eagles was awarded as the best sports daily or weekly program. Finally, Goal to Go – Darren Sproles won for sports program feature/segment. We want to congratulate all of our winners for their accomplishment and for their phenomenal work all season long. Here is the full list of Emmy recipients.