The Giants entered Lincoln Financial Field Saturday night. Their first appearance in the Divisional Round of the NFC Playoffs since January 2012 — the Super Bowl XLVI run.
Coming off a crucial Wild Card victory over the Vikings, the Giants assumed the opportunity to knock off an Eagles team that beat Big Blue twice in the regular season.
And they blew it. Absolutely blew it. The 38-7 loss to their division rivals was a Giants fan’s worst nightmare.
The Eagles came out red-hot. As if the week off awarded to them as the NFC’s top playoff seed didn’t affect them at all.
Before the Giants knew it, it was 21-0 Philly. By way of two touchdown passes from quarterback Jalen Hurts and a touchdown run from Boston Scott — his 11th against the Giants in nine games.
The Eagles then topped it off with a Hurts five-yard touchdown run in the final minute of the second quarter. The teams headed into the locker room with the score 28-0, and the floodgates were too open to formulate a comeback.
While the Giants finally got on the board with an eight-yard Matt Breida touchdown run, the Eagles are too talented and well-coached. A late Jake Elliott 30-yard field goal and 35-yard Kenneth Gainwell touchdown run made the final score what it was, and Philly is off to the NFC Championship to face the winner of Sunday’s Cowboys-49ers matchup.
Some thoughts on the loss:
Run-defense disaster. The Giants were quietly one of the worst teams in the NFL in terms of defending the run this past season. They finished the regular season 27th in that category, having allowed 144.2 rushing yards per game.
The Giants would’ve been lucky to have only allowed that many yards Saturday night. The Eagles ultimately rushed for 268 yards, 140 of which were in the first half.
Philly running back Miles Sanders ran for 90 yards on 17 carries and had gained 75 yards on 13 carries by halftime. Of course, Boston Scott scored a touchdown and now has 11 touchdowns in nine games against the Giants.
One of the Giants’ main weaknesses came back to haunt them on Saturday and very much played a role in the season-ending loss.
Time of possession. The Eagles seemingly had the ball the entire night. It also seemed as if the entire game was played on the Giants’ end of the field.
Philly finished with 35:43 in time of possession. The Giants only had the ball for 24 minutes and 17 seconds.
The Eagles also converted 26 first downs and were 10 of 14 on third down. The Giants: 13 first downs and five of 13 on third down.
The Eagles were able to score as many points as they did because they earned various opportunities to do so.
Offensive line implosion. While quarterback Daniel Jones (15 of 27, 135 yards, one interception) could’ve played better, the Giants’ offensive line couldn’t handle the Eagles’ talented pass rush. Philly recorded 70 sacks in the postseason, the most by 15.
The Giants allowed five sacks and rookie right tackle Evan Neal was no match for Eagles outside linebacker Haason Reddick (1.5 sacks).
— Rich Cimini (@RichCimini) January 22, 2023
This offensive line’s improvement was one of the components of the Giants’ recent success. But the issues across the unit were alive and well Saturday night.
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