Published: Jan 21, 2023 at 11:06 PM
- Eagles steamroll Giants in first half, coast to postseason win. The biggest question entering the week was the health of Jalen Hurts‘ injured shoulder. The quarterback answered that question by uncorking a 40-yard bomb to DeVonta Smith on the opening drive. Dallas Goedert capped the possession with a casual one-handed snag and TD rumble, and the rout was on. Philly scored touchdowns on four of its first five possessions, and the defense shut out Big Blue as the Eagles skated to a 28-0 lead at the break. Nick Sirianni’s club dominated the first two quarters, out-gaining the Giants 258-64 yards and holding an 18-to-3 first-down edge. The Eagles got whatever they wanted on offense. The ground game churned out 268 yards, while Hurts made plays with his arm when needed. After missing two games down the stretch and playing through a shoulder injury in Week 18, Hurts avoided big hits for the most part but lowered his shoulder into defenders a couple of times, showing he’s plenty healthy. A healthy Hurts was always going to be bad news for Big Blue. It turned into a nightmare. Heading into the NFC Championship Game, the QB is full-throttle, and the Eagles once again look like a steamrolling force.
- Daniel Jones struggles as Giants’ offense hits a midnight-green wall. As good as Daniel Jones looked in the wild-card round, he looked equally bad against the Philly defense. Under constant pressure, Jones had no answers, looking as scatter-brained as he had all season. The Giants had no explosive pass plays, the ground game was shut down in the first half, and Jones struggled to move the chains. New York opened the game with a turnover on downs as Jones took back-to-back sacks. The QB then threw an interception on the next drive. On its ensuing four possessions, Big Blue went three-and-out each time and gained 21 total yards. Woof. Lacking a go-to receiver killed the Giants’ offense. The few times Jones had time, wideouts couldn’t separate from sticky DBs. Saquon Barkley, held to 7 yards on four carries in the first half, found some life after halftime, including a 39-yard dash to set up Big Blue’s lone TD. But outside of one drive, the N.Y. offense had few answers. Brian Daboll’s punt on fourth-and-6 down three scores in the fourth quarter was as close to a playoff white flag as one can find.
- Eagles defense dominates line of scrimmage. Philly’s ability to rotate pass rushers leads to unending pressure on the quarterback. Haason Reddick shined with 1.5 sacks and three QB pressures. Josh Sweat forced the issue all game, making plays that might not appear in the box score, and earning 1.5 sacks. Philly sacked Jones five times on the night and generated 13 QB pressures. Three Eagles defenders (Reddick, Sweat, Fletcher Cox) generated three-plus pressures. The back end played in concert with the front. James Bradberry enjoyed a marvelous revenge game against his former club. Bradberry read a first-quarter Jones pass and jumped it for a pick. The CB was all over the short passes, driving on the ball several times, not giving Giants receivers room to breathe. When the Eagles jump out to a big lead, the defense feasts. They picked over a Giant corpse Saturday night.
- Give Eagles offensive line credit for dismantling Giants D. New York was stymied all game by a brick wall led by Jason Kelce, Lane Johnson and the rest of the Eagles’ offensive line. Philly running backs gashed through gaping holes in Big Blue’s defense all game. The O-line bullied the counterparts to the tune of 6.1 yards per carry on 44 rushes and three TDs on the ground. The Eagles gained 150 rushing yards before contact, per Next Gen Stats. That’s the O-line doing work. Miles Sanders took 17 carries for 90 yards. Kenneth Gainwell chipped in 12 totes for 112 yards and a TD. In pass-pro, the Eagles kept the pocket as clean as it gets. New York generated zero QB pressures on 17 pass rush snaps in the first half (the Giants ranked fifth in the NFL with 31.6 pressure percent from Weeks 1-WC round, per Next Gen Stats). For the game, New York generated one sack and just four QB pressures. The interior of Philly’s line was phenomenal, holding Dexter Lawrence and Leonard Williams to zero QB pressures and no run stuffs. Philly’s biggest strengths are in the trenches. They showed it Saturday.
- “Giant Killer” Boston Scott strikes again. It wouldn’t be an Eagles game against New York if Boston Scott didn’t get into the action. The 5-foot-6 running back took a handoff in the second quarter, made a nice cut, and burrowed his way for a 3-yard TD to put Philly up 21-0. It marked Scott’s 11th-career touchdown against the Giants in nine games. In 56 games against the rest of the NFL, Scott has eight TDs. The best part: It feels like Sirianni is in on the narrative, giving Scott chances to punch in scores versus the division rival.
Next Gen stat of the game: Jalen Hurts limited the Giants’ pass rush to a 12.0% pressure rate by leaning on the quick game. The three quickest times to throw of Hurts’ career all came against the 2022 Giants: Divisional Round: 2.41 sec; Week 18: 2.53 sec; Week 14: 2.54 sec
NFL Research: The Eagles’ 38-7 Divisional Round win over the Giants is the largest victory in a playoff game between divisional opponents since the 1970 NFL merger.