The Giants defeated the Eagles 13-7 Sunday afternoon behind a big day from the defense.
It was just six days ago when the Giants defense was allowing the Buccaneers to score 30 points and gain over 400 yards. Patrick Graham‘s unit looked lost and the team was seemingly back to square one following that defeat.
But on Sunday, despite the Giants facing an Eagles team that’s inferior to Tampa Bay, the Big Blue defense turned a corner…big time.
The Giants allowed just seven points and 332 total yards while the Eagles turned the ball over a whopping six times. Philly turned it over on downs twice, Jalen Hurts threw a trio of picks (to Darnay Holmes, Tae Crowder, and Xavier McKinney), and Julian Love recovered a fumble from Boston Scott, the so-called “Giants killer.”
McKinney notched his fifth pick of the year in the absence of Logan Ryan (who missed a second straight game due to positive COVID-19 tests) and further proved Jabrill Peppers’ Giants tenure could be concluding. He also recorded a crucial third-down pass deflection on the Eagles’ final offensive drive when they were searching for a lead with a touchdown and extra point.
The pass rush could’ve been a tad bit more productive — the unit sacked Hurts just once. But regardless, the defense came to play when it mattered most and took a significant amount of pressure off the New York offense, which was dealing with a number of injuries and a new play-caller in Freddie Kitchens.
And speaking of that unit…
The offensive performance
The Giants experienced their inaugural game in the post-Jason Garrett era Sunday afternoon — the organization fired the now-former offensive coordinator this past Tuesday after the team scored just 10 points against Tampa Bay.
You shouldn’t have expected this offense to all of a sudden flip a switch with a new play-caller. That’s not how it’s usually supposed to work, especially when you employ an inconsistent offensive line, inconsistent quarterback, and are dealing with injuries to numerous weapons (which is the case with Big Blue).
Despite Kitchens taking over and likely looking to implement a more aggressive approach, the Giants still only scored 13 points, crossed the plane just once, and gained only 264 yards of offense (194 of which were through the air). The team was still 3-of-12 on third down, punted five times, and couldn’t run the ball effectively (Saquon Barkley ran for 40 yards on 13 carries).
Even if you have a new play-caller, you can’t make chicken salad out of…well…you know. The Giants and their fans certainly realized this on Sunday in spite of the victory.
Where do the Giants go from here?
In Week 13, the Giants take on the red-hot Dolphins on the road (Sunday, Dec. 5, 1:00 p.m. ET). Miami has won four straight following a 1-7 start.
Believe it or not, the Giants are still in the mix for a playoff spot in the NFC. They’re 4-7 and sit just 1.5 games back of the 5-5 49ers, who currently occupy the final Wild Card spot.
The 49ers’ Week 12 matchup is taking place against the Vikings Sunday afternoon (in the later window).
Follow Ryan Honey on Twitter: @RyanHoneyESNY