Eagles

Eagles vs. Giants Week 3 Observations and Reaction with Videos

Philadelphia Eagles - Drew Hallowell

Jake Elliott may not remember a thing, but his 61-yard field goal was a boot the city of Philadelphia will not soon forget.

Are you kidding me?! Here’s Merrill Reese with the call.

Elliott’s 61-yarder as time expired helped the Philadelphia Eagles stun the New York Giants 27-24 in their home opener on Sunday afternoon.

It felt really good off the foot. I’m just happy that it stayed right there … It’s kind of all a blur to me. All I remember is the ball was in the air for a really long time, as it approached that right-upright.

Elliott’s kick is the longest in Eagles history, with the previous record being held by Tony Franklin, who kicked a 59-yarder in 1979. Elliott, a fifth-round draft choice out of Memphis, was signed off the Cincinnati Bengals’ practice squad following an injury to Caleb Sturgis. He was unable to beat Randy Bullock during the summer in Cincinnati. Elliott explained that the kick was wind-aided.

With a lot of wind, I’ve gotten up to about 75 (yards). But that was a lot of wind-aided.

Poor execution out of the Giants’ offense and a woeful 28-yard punt by Brad Wing gave the Eagles a glimmer of hope with 13 seconds left. After an incompletion that took six ticks off the clock, Carson Wentz hit Alshon Jeffery on a 19-yard, out-route to give Elliott a chance.

After the completion to Jeffery, Elliott said he begged the coaches to give him a try to kick the 61-yarder.

Good thing they did. The Giants are now 0-3 and 0-2 in the NFC East, their season is essentially over before it began.

I’m thankful I had the opportunity to try it. I wanted it.

Elliott had misfired from 52 yards out earlier in the game and missed an extra point and 30-yard field goal against the Kansas City Chiefs last Sunday.

While Elliott will garner all the headlines, the other storyline coming out of the game was the Eagles’ success running the football. They carried the ball 39 times as opposed to 31 passes, with 33 of them being designed runs. Those 33 totes by the running backs went for 171 yards and two touchdowns. LeGarrette Blount totaled 67 yards and a touchdown on 12 runs, while Wendell Smallwood recorded 71 yards on 12 carries. Pederson also mixed in undrafted rookie Corey Clement, who saw six carries for 22 yards and a score.

The Eagles are now 7-1 when they run the ball 30-or-more times during Pederson’s tenure. Blount talked about the running game.

I take pride in running the football well and hitting big plays. … It’s a mentality. You gotta get everybody on board. You have to get everybody into the game. It’s not like you get a 10- or 15-yard run every time you get the ball. They come few and far between. So whenever you do that, the emotions come running and you fire your offense up. You can fire your defense up. It can fire your whole team up. And you guys know what can happen if that momentum carries on.

The Eagles lost a 14-0 lead and were able to avoid disaster after falling behind 21-14 when the Giants rallied back. It showed a lot of resiliency on their part to keep bouncing back and quite frankly this was probably one the team wouldn’t have won last year.

Philadelphia’s lack of depth in the secondary was exposed. Eli Manning was getting the ball out quickly and Odell Beckham and Sterling Shepard had their way in the second half. Beckham finished with nine receptions for 79 yards and two touchdowns, while Shepard caught seven balls for 133 yards, including a 77-yard score where Chris Maragos took a poor angle toward the ball. Rodney McLeod, Jaylen Watkins and Corey Graham all missed the game due to hamstring injuries at the safety spot. The Eagles vaunted pass rush didn’t register a sack as New York neutralized it with the quick passing game.

Undeterred, the Eagles answered with a brisk four-play, 75-yard drive capped by 15-yard TD run to make it 21-21 with 5:40 to go.

Both teams exchanged field goals over their next two possessions, with this 46-yarder by Elliott with 51 seconds to go squaring things up at 24-24.

Aldrick Rosas’ 41-yard field goal on New York’s previous possession was set up by Malcolm Jenkins pass interference penalty, which was set up by Beckham burning Jalen Mills off the line of scrimmage.

Let’s address Pederson’s decision to go for a 4th-and-8 late in the first half with the Eagles having the momentum and the Giants struggling to move the ball offensively. While I encourage Pederson’s aggressive tendencies on fourth down, Philadelphia converted a pair of 4th-and-1’s later in the game, in this situation it wasn’t warranted.

The Giants could’ve headed into the locker room with plenty of momentum, but their head coach Ben McAdoo looked equally as foolish. He elected to call a fade pass on 3rd-and-goal from the one-inch line and the Eagles stuffed New York on fourth down.

Rasul Douglas continues to progress. Last week against the Kansas City Chiefs we saw the instincts and tackling ability on full display. On Sunday we saw the ball skills. He is in better position than Brandon Marshall on this deep ball against the left sideline and easily snatches that pass out of the air for the interception. He did miss a couple tackles against Marshall later in the game, but another solid outing by the rookie.

 


You can follow Adrian Fedkiw on Twitter (@AdrianFedkiw) and e-mail him at amfedkiw@yahoo.com. Subscribe to The Bitter Birds on YouTube here. Follow Philly Influencer on Twitter (@PHL_Influencer), Facebook and Instagram.

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