Written by Alexander George
Saquon Barkley (13 Rushing attempts for 130 yards, 1 TD, Long 50 yards & 9 Rec out of 12 targets for 99 yards , Long 55 yards). had the best game of his rookie season. Barkley was the only one who showed up in the Eagles beating of the New York Giants 34 – 13. With that performance, he is currently second only to Chiefs running back Kareem Hunt for consecutive 100 rushing and reception yards in a single season with 6 games. Hunt accomplished the feat last season with 7 consecutive 100 all-purpose yards. Even Giants kicker Aldrick Rosas 2 field goals of 33 and 21 yards were primarily set up by the Big Blue runner in a 46 yard run and a 55 yard reception in the first half of play.Ironically enough Rosas first miss of the season, a 52 yard field goal with a little over 1 minute in the first half, did not feature a huge play by Barkley in the drive.
Eli Manning (24 for 43 yards 281 yards 1 INT) has had his problems with the Eagles before. His career record, before this game, against the Eagles are 10 wins and 17 losses with the bird team winning the last 7 out of 8 games. Also, Manning has had a tendency to throw interceptions against this team with a less than 2 to 1 ratio of touchdowns (51) to interceptions (32).
Manning’s inefficiency in the red zone coupled with a Giants’ horrible 3rd down conversion rate, made the Eagles victory seem that much more likely. In the Giants 3 trips to the red zone, Manning was unable throw a touchdown in 3 attempts; only coming away with 3 points instead. Pair that with an Odell Beckham Jr. (6 REC 44yds) 9 yard catch on a 3rd and 5 with 6:35 to go in the 3rd quarter for Big Blue’s first 3rd down conversion of the game, it was pretty evident that the team was in trouble of losing.
Carson Wentz (26 for 36 278 yards, 3 TDs , 122.6 RTG), on the other hand, was able to get his team to score 4 out of the 6 times in the red zone for 28 points. Wentz commanded the game perfectly being able to connect with 7 different receivers. His accuracy was so spot on that at one point, he threw a perfect 10 for 10, converting a first down on 9 of the completions, for 155 yards and 2 touchdowns.
The Giants did make it easy for the Eagles to score 14 of the 24 first half points due to basic, common sense mistakes. Eli Manning threw an interception in the second play of the game to Eagles linebacker Kamu Grugier – Hill and ran it back 24 yards to the Giants 16 where 3 plays later, Wentz throws it receiver Alshon Jeffrey (8REC 74 yards, 2TDs) for a 13 yard score. The pass was designed to go to third string tight end Scott Simonson (1 Rec out of 3 targets for 24 yards) but a miscommunication of the sort of play to execute between Manning and the Simonson lead to the interception.
Injuries to both starting tight ends Evan Engram and Rhett Ellison, were evident in their absence as the other team’s tight end counter part Zack Ertz (7REC 43 yards & 1TD) provided the Eagles with a game breaking touchdown score against Big Blue. The play before that set up Ertz with a 10 yard reception score was due to a 58 yard bomb thrown by Wentz to Nelson Agholor (3 REC out of 5 TGTS for 91 yards). Giants safety Curtis Riley blew the coverage by not keeping his eye on Agholor where the Eagles receiver was able to slip behind Riley for the monstrous gain. Ertz touchdown recpetion gave the Eagles a double-digit lead which carried through to the end of the game.
As bad as Eli Manning’s play was, with the worst quarterback back rating of the season with 66.1 points total, the offensive line was equally suspect in blowing the game with allowing Manning to be sacked 4 times for 27 yards while getting punished with 13 quarterback hits. In comparison the Big Blue D was only able to hit Wentz 5 times and sack him once; even though that 1 sack was by outside linebacker Olivier Vernon playing in his 1st game this season back from a high ankle sprain.
With the latest Giants loss, they fall to 1 – 5 in which their playoff hopes have virtually disappeared.