Eagles 38, Giants 7: Eagles Fly Away with NFC East Battle

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Eagles 38, Giants 7: Eagles Fly Away with NFC East Battle

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The question posed by Matt Rooney earlier in our Giants-Eagles previews was: rest or rust? How would the Eagles look coming off the bye? How would Jalen Hurts look after a rusty-looking Week 18 performance?

Hurts and the Eagles answered those questions early and often in a beat-down of their NFC East rival Giants, punching their ticket to the NFC Championship game next week.

By the time the teams hit the locker room at the half, Philadelphia was already up 28-0. Hurts was 12 of 17 with 148 total yards, three touchdowns, and a 129.0 passer rating. So much for Hurts being less than 100 percent healthy or rusty. Hurts looked like the MVP candidate he appeared to be for much of the Eagles’ 14-win season.

The Giants never had a chance in this one. Philadelphia dominated the battle at the line of scrimmage on both sides of the ball from the opening kickoff, and this one quickly got out of hand.

It turns out the third time wasn’t the charm for the Giants against the Eagles this season. Philly is a perfect 3-0 against New York this season. The Eagles will take on the winner of the Cowboys-49ers game tomorrow night in the NFC title game next week.

Key Moments

1. Eagles Pass Rush Sets the Tone

The best pass rush in football came out firing on Saturday night, setting the tone early against the Giants. On a 3rd & 3, Josh Sweat sacked Daniel Jones to bring up a 4th & 8. Haason Reddick blew by the right tackle and nearly got a piece of Jones before Sweat.

On 4th & 8, the Eagles pass rush got home again. This time it was Haason Reddick who got to Jones to force a turnover on downs near mid-field.

Back-to-back sacks by Sweat and Reddick got Philadelphia the ball back in excellent field position and set a tone for the rest of the game.

2. Philly Keeps the Gas Pedal Down

Having already scored on the game’s first drive and forced a turnover on downs, Philly didn’t slow down. On their second drive, they marched 52 yards in eight plays for a touchdown.

Jalen Hurts hit A.J. Brown for a 12-yard gain to get into the red zone. Then Hurts found DeVonta Smith for a nine-yard touchdown to make it 14-0 Eagles.

Smith’s touchdown made it a two-touchdown game late in the first quarter. More importantly, it placed the momentum squarely in the home team’s corner.

3. Hello Old Friend

On the ensuing drive Daniel Jones threw his first incompletion of the game. Unfortunately for Jones and the Giants, it was caught by his old teammate James Bradberry.

It was an ugly interception by Jones and allowed Philadelphia to keep their foot on the gas pedal. Bradberry was cut by the Giants last offseason, but he got the last laugh against his old team tonight.

4. Goodnight, Irene.

After scoring touchdowns on three of their first four possessions, the Eagles got the ball back again with 5:47 left in the half. After four straight run plays to Miles Sanders, the Eagles would put the ball in the hands of their MVP candidate Jalen Hurts.

Hurts completed passes to Zach Pascal, DeVonta Smith, and Kenneth Gainwell to get Philadelphia down to the Giants 17. Hurts capped the drive with a five-yard touchdown run to make it 28-0 Eagles with 43 seconds left in the half. That was all she wrote, folks.


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Author: Patrick K. Flowers

Patrick is the Lead NFL Writer at Bleacher Nation. You can follow him on Twitter @PatrickKFlowers.