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Wide receiver Quez Watkins went up and over Giants cornerback Aaron Robinson and got his feet in-bounds to convert a third-and-5 in the first quarter of Sunday's game for a gain of 19 yards.
Strong defensive effort keeps Giants at bay, but not enough to get the win
All eyes were on the defense coming into Week 12, as the Giants fired Offensive Coordinator Jason Garrett just five days before the Eagles were set to arrive at MetLife Stadium. Leading up to the game the Eagles' defense had to prepare for the unexpected, not knowing what the Giants' offense would look like on Sunday afternoon. Giants Senior Offensive Assistant Freddie Kitchens, former Cleveland Browns head coach, was the playcaller, but the Eagles' defense still came prepared.
"There wasn't anything that we weren't prepared for. We had a good idea of what they're going to do and how they like to attack, no matter who the coordinator was," said linebacker T.J. Edwards. "I thought we fought hard."
"They did a lot of things that we repped. I would say for the most part they tried to manage the game to have some run in there and try to attack us in a few ways against our linebackers, but we made adjustments," said safety Rodney McLeod. "We were able to get through. I think they held true to what they showed on film for the most part."
The defense came out hunting right at the start of the game. The Giants' first possession of the game was a quick three and out. In the first half, the defense produced a couple of big third-down plays. On the Giants' second possession, cornerback Darius Slay broke up a pass intended for Giants wide receiver Kenny Golladay in the end zone. This held the Giants to a field goal, their only points in the first half of the game.
"I thought the defense played a really good game," Head Coach Nick Sirianni said. "I was really pleased with how they played."
Throughout the game, there were four turnovers by the Eagles' offense, but the defense didn't let the Giants capitalize. The turnovers led to no points. The defense held one of the Giants' biggest weapons, running back Saquon Barkley, to only 40 rushing yards on 13 attempts and his biggest gain went for 32 yards.
"We did some good things in terms of stopping the run and getting started. We needed and wanted to get a turnover. We had a couple of opportunities for it, but I thought the effort was something that was very positive," said Edwards. "This late in the year and guys are still running to the ball hitting anything they see, you take that as a positive."
Linebacker Alex Singleton, who was in for injured linebacker Davion Taylor, recorded a team-high 12 tackles (8 solo), 3 tackles for loss, and 1 pass defended. Alongside Singleton, the Eagles had three other defenders who had a pass defended and four others recorded tackles for loss. Defensive end Derek Barnett produced two tackles for loss. Just like the offense, the defense had some self-inflicting wounds. The only touchdown the Giants had was in the third quarter after a pass interference call on cornerback Steven Nelson.
"There's definitely stuff that we need to correct and learn from, but I think we did a good job of staying together making sure that we knew when it was time to make a stop and we got to stop," said Edwards. "Just building off of that and the energy all day, no matter how late in the game it was there."
In the fourth quarter, trying to get the momentum going in the Eagles' direction, defensive tackle Javon Hargrave produced a huge third-down sack of Giants quarterback Daniel Jones that caused New York to punt. Hargrave set a new career high in single-season sacks, recording his seventh against the Giants. Even though there was a lot of good in this game from the defense, it still wasn't enough to come out on top for the Birds.
– Jillian Oddo
Things you might have missed
• Left tackle Jordan Mailata was Pro Football Focus' highest-graded offensive player on the Eagles with a 93.5 rating. Right tackle Lane Johnson was second.
• Cornerback Avonte Maddox was the Eagles' highest-graded defensive player, followed closely by defensive end Derek Barnett and defensive tackle Fletcher Cox.
• According to Pro Football Focus, defensive tackle Javon Hargrave had a combined five sacks, hits, and hurries to lead the Eagles. His sack of Giants quarterback Daniel Jones set a new single-season high with 7 on the year. Cox, defensive end Josh Sweat, and defensive tackle Milton Williams had two apiece. Hargrave also led the Eagles with a 22.2% pass rush win percentage.
• Cornerback Darius Slay was targeted twice in coverage and did not allow a reception, according to Pro Football Focus. He played a key role on two third-down stops. On third-and-8 from the Eagles' 17-yard line in the first quarter, Slay was matched up on Giants wide receiver Kenny Golladay to the offense's right side of the field. Giants quarterback Daniel Jones went to Golladay on the go route and Slay did a phenomenal job of finding the ball and knocking it away at the last moment. The Giants settled for a field goal. Later in the second quarter, Slay was matched up against wide receiver Darius Slayton. Slay's tight coverage along the right sideline didn't provide an easy window for Jones to make the throw. The Giants settled for a long field goal attempt that Graham Gano missed from 51 yards out.
• The Eagles have rushed for more than 200 yards (208) in 3 consecutive games, marking the club's longest streak since 1978 (3 games). The Eagles have also produced 175+ rushing yards in 5 straight games for the first time since 1950 (5 games).
• Running back Boston Scott scored the Eagles' 18th rushing TD this season, the most recorded by the Eagles through 12 games since 1953 (22). Scott has totaled 7 TDs (6 rushing, 1 receiving) in 5 career games vs. New York, marking the most TDs per game (1.40) against the Giants by any player in Eagles history. Scott's 7 TDs rank 2nd among active players vs. New York, trailing only Ezekiel Elliott (8 TDs). Scott finished the game with 64 yards and the TD on 15 carries.
• Quarterback Jalen Hurts finished with 77 yards rushing on 8 carries (9.6 avg.), extending his streak of 50+ yards rushing to 6 consecutive games. Hurts' streak is the longest by an Eagles QB since Randall Cunningham in 1990 (6 games).
• Center Jason Kelce started his 117th consecutive regular-season game, which marks the longest active streak among NFL centers (longest streak by an Eagles center since the 1970 merger). Kelce's streak is the longest by any NFL center since Chris Myers from 2007-14 (123 games).
• Linebacker Alex Singleton posted a team-high 12 tackles (8 solo) and 3 tackles for loss along with 1 pass deflection in the game, bringing his season total for tackles to a team-high 95. Starting in place of Davion Taylor, Singleton led all linebackers with 57 snaps, closely followed by T.J. Edwards (56).
Eagles Insider's Recap: Accountability key as Eagles must rebound
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. – Sometimes you don't need a deep dive to understand why an NFL game ended the way it did. On Sunday, the Eagles turned the football over four times – three of those times when they had possession in Giants territory – and couldn't overcome the giveaway (4)/takeaway (0) ratio, losing 13-7 to New York at MetLife Stadium. Quarterback Jalen Hurts threw three interceptions and running back Boston Scott lost a fumble and, well, that was pretty much the story as the Eagles fell to 5-7 on the season.
"If you lose the turnover battle 4-0, nothing good is going to come from that," Head Coach Nick Sirianni said.
Said Hurts: "Today I put us in a bad situation. I put us in a bad situation with those turnovers I had in the first half. It was simply one of those days."
The turnovers were killers, obviously, and they were uncharacteristic from Hurts, who had thrown just five picks this year, and from the offense, which had just nine giveaways before Sunday. But they were critical against a Giants defense that shut down wide receiver DeVonta Smith (2 catches, 22 yards on four targets) and tight end Dallas Goedert (1 reception, 0 yards on three targets). The Eagles relied on the run for most of the second half and while they accumulated 208 rushing yards on 33 attempts, the passing game just didn't get untracked.
Look at some of the best photos from Week 12.