HomeDa Birds NewsEagles vs. Giants Recap: Plenty of Work Ahead After Major Collapse

Eagles vs. Giants Recap: Plenty of Work Ahead After Major Collapse

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Philadelphia Eagles Suffer Crushing Loss at MetLife Stadium

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ – Unpacking an Unsettling Collapse

The wheels are officially off for the Philadelphia Eagles after an embarrassing 27-10 setback to the New York Giants at MetLife Stadium on Sunday, the team’s fifth loss in six games to end the regular season.

A 10-1 start has turned into an 11-6 team limping into Tampa Bay for a Wild Card round matchup with the NFC South champion Tampa Bay Buccaneers. However, it’s hard to imagine this Philadelphia team making a significant run at a second consecutive NFC title.

Head coach Nick Sirianni offered his take on the loss, saying, “We didn’t coach well enough, we didn’t play well enough. And there’s not really an explanation. We just didn’t do the things we needed to do to be successful. And that starts with me.”

Jalen Hurts and Co. couldn’t get a second consecutive NFC East title.

John McMullen/Eagles Today

Make no mistake, the Eagles were playing to win but doing so judiciously. The most notable players to sit were receiver DeVonta Smith (ankle), who missed his first game as a pro, plus veterans Darius Slay (knee) and Fletcher Cox (coaches decision), and running back D’Andre Swift (illness).

The advanced numbers say Philadelphia had about a 12 percent shot at moving from the No. 5 seed in the playoffs up to No. 2, something that would have required a win over the Giants and, more importantly, a Dallas loss at Washington, which was the far less likely aspect of the equation.

My understanding is that the Eagles felt they had to try to win the game as long as there was an opportunity at the second seed, but anyone on the fence would sit.

The notorious MetLife turf also came into play with Slay and Cox, according to a source.  

By halftime, the Cowboys had distanced themselves from the Commanders and the Eagles were laying an egg so Philadelphia went with wholesale changes. Even more problematic than the Eagles’ performance was their health situation. Rookie safety Sydney Brown was lost to what looked like a serious knee injury, while A.J. Brown (knee), safety Reed Blankenship (groin), and right guard Cam Jurgens (eye) were ruled out, although all of those were likely more precautionary. Quarterback Jalen Hurts also dislocated the middle finger on his throwing hand when blitzed on a fourth-down play by Bobby Okereke.

Through it all, Eagles coach Nick Sirianni claims “the belief” is still there. “None of us are quitters,” Sirianni told SI.com’s Eagles Today. “We all get up off the mat when we’re down and we get up and we keep going.”

“When you get hit in life, when you get hit in football, you’ve got two options: you can stay down, or you can get you can get up. I know this group is fighters, I know this group will get up. I know that we’ve all been through things in our life that we’ve all had to deal with (expletive), and we know how to get up. That’s why we’re all sitting in this room.”

Related: Jalen Hurts Gives Update on ‘Crazy’ Finger Injury

 SECOND HALF SITDOWN

Marcus Mariota came in late in the second quarter for Hurts and finished the game at QB. Mariota’s first throw was a bubble screen Xavier McKinney sniffed out and picked.

The Eagles kept only two starters in on the offensive line, and left guard Landon Dickerson moved over to center to allow Jason Kelce to exit. Jordan Mailata stayed at left tackle, Sua Opeta subbed in at LG, Jack Driscoll handled right guard and the silent counts, and Fred Johnson was at right tackle.

On defense, the Eagles let Shaq Leonard finish for Zach Cunningham, and Josh Jobe got some work for James Bradberry at cornerback, while practice squad elevation Tristin McCollum finished up at safety next to Kevin Byard. Brown was seen in the locker room with a large stabilizing brace on his right knee and on crutches. Jurgens left with an eye injury, and safety Blankenship had a groin issue.

As for Hurts, he addressed the injury after the game. “Taking it day by day at this point,” Hurts said. “Very unfortunate, crazy thing. Never experienced anything like that.”

As for his status for the Wild Card round, Sirianni noted Hurts’ return and the reason he didn’t finish the game had more to do with circumstance than the injury. “He’s tough as heck,” Sirianni said. “After he got hurt, he came back in and ripped it so, yeah, we’ll see.”

GENERATIONAL COLLAPSE

The Eagles’ fall from 10-1 to an 11-6 finish makes them the first team to start a season 10-1 or better and finish with 11 or fewer wins since the 1986 New York Jets. “We got a lot to fix,” Kelce said. “We got a lot to do better. It’s the worst stretch of performances since Nick has been here. It’s very, very frustrating. But we’re in the playoffs. And now it’s one and done.”

19 STRAIGHT

For the 19th consecutive season, the NFC East will have a new champion. This time, the Cowboys take the baton back from the Eagles. The last to win consecutive NFC East titles were the Andy Reid-led Eagles from 2001-04.

GARBAGE TIME STARS

With no Brown or Smith, the Eagles needed someone to catch the football, and it was the forgotten Quez Watkins who stepped up to the tune of eight receptions on 11 targets for 93 yards and a 16-yard fourth-quarter touchdown when he high-pointed an excellent Mariota throw. Watkins only has seven receptions for 49 yards for the whole season entering the game. Britain Covey also showed off some skills with three receptions for 25 yards.

GAINWELL AND MARLON T

If you’re looking for players who performed well while it was still somewhat meaningful, look no further than Kenny Gainwell, who was the lead back in place of Swift, and had five rushes for 53 yards in the first quarter. Gainwell finished with 62 yards on seven carries because the running game had to be shelved. Tuipuloto had a sack and two tackles for loss with extra playing time.

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