Wentz throws season-high 3 TD passes as Eagles down Giants
Philadelphia avoids 1st 3-game losing streak since 2016 season
All the Philadelphia Eagles needed to get over their Super Bowl hangover was a little more urgency, some big plays — and a timely game against the New York Giants.
Carson Wentz threw a season-high three touchdown passes and the Eagles got an early lift from their defence and special teams in beating the struggling Giants 34-13 on Thursday night, avoiding their first three-game losing streak since the 2016 season.
"I'm really proud of the way we played in all three phases," Eagles coach Doug Pederson said. "We have a very resilient group."
Wentz sandwiched touchdowns passes of 13 and 1 yard to Alshon Jeffery around a 10-yarder to tight end Zach Ertz to help the Eagles (3-3) build a 31-6 lead. They beat the Giants (1-5) for the fourth straight time and seventh in eight games.
Corey Clement scored on a 1-yard run and Jake Elliott added field goals of 33 and 30 yards for the defending Super Bowl champions.
Rookie halfback Saquon Barkley scored on a 50-yard run and rushed for 130 yards in one of the few bright spots for the Giants' offence, which was booed repeatedly in losing at home for the third time. Aldrick Rosas had field goals of 33 and 21 yards.
This was seen as a must-win game for both teams in the weak and wide-open NFC East, and the Eagles went out and grabbed it.
That's two thus far, Shooter.<a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/FlyEaglesFly?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#FlyEaglesFly</a> <a href="https://t.co/RcL3I1i6Pu">pic.twitter.com/RcL3I1i6Pu</a>—@Eagles
They came into the game having scored seven points in the first quarter and they doubled that against New York.
Eli Manning was under pressure all night from the Eagles. They sacked him four times and hit him 13 other times. He finished 24 of 43 for 281 yards.
"We want to get after the passer every week," Pederson said. "These games are battles. It all comes down to which team gets after the passer. We hit Eli and put him on the ground. That was big."
It started on the opening series.
Kamu Gugier-Hill intercepted Manning's pass that was tipped by fellow linebacker Jordan Hicks and he returned it to Giants 16. Three plays later, Wentz (26 of 36 for 278 yards and no interceptions) was forced out of the pocket and found Jeffery after getting all day to throw.
A 46-yard run by Barkley set up Rosas' 33-yarder to cut the gap to 7-3, but the Eagles took control later in the quarter after DeAndre Carter returned a punt 23 yards to the New York 44. Passes of 17 to Jeffery and 14 to Clement set up Clement's touchdown run.
.<a href="https://twitter.com/saquon?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@Saquon</a> takes off for a 50-YARD TOUCHDOWN. <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/PHIvsNYG?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#PHIvsNYG</a> <a href="https://t.co/yvzssLoion">pic.twitter.com/yvzssLoion</a>—@Giants
A spectacular tackle-breaking run by Barkley on a 55-yard screen pass helped cut the lead to 14-6 in the second quarter but Wentz hit a wide-open Nelson Agholer on a third and 3 and connected with Ertz for a 21-6 lead on the next play.
Elliott made it 24-6 just before halftime and Philadelphia put the game out of reach with a 75-yard drive that ended with a short Jeffery TD catch.
"We didn't do anything well enough to win tonight," Giants coach Pat Shurmur said. "Credit Philadelphia. Good football team."
The only thing meaningful after that was Barkley's touchdown run.