Eagles vs. Giants final score, takeaways: Carson Wentz goes off as defending champs steamroll Giants
The Eagles put the Giants in an early hole on Thursday from which they couldn't recover
Going into Thursday, the Eagles were the only team in the NFL that had yet to score at least 24 points in a game this season, and after five weeks of being bottled up, Philadelphia's offense finally exploded thanks to Carson Wentz.
The Eagles quarterback threw for 278 yards and a season-high three touchdowns as the Eagles steamrolled the Giants 34-13 at MetLife Stadium. Wentz didn't get much help from Philly's injury-riddled ground attack, but he didn't really need it. The Eagles quarterback seemed to harness some of last year's magic as he made improbable play after improbable play.
One of Wentz's best throws of the night came on a 13-yard touchdown pass to Alshon Jeffery that he threw across his body and off his back foot. Doing one of those things is difficult enough, but doing both of them on a pass that travels 28 yards in the air is nearly impossible.
That might have been Wentz's best throw, but it wasn't his most impressive play. During the first quarter, the Eagles quarterback managed to complete a 32-yard pass to Nelson Agholor even though his arm got hit while he was throwing.
After that play, it almost felt like Wentz could do no wrong in the game.
Agholor actually had a pretty big night for the Eagles. Although he wasn't on the receiving end for any of Wentz's three touchdowns, he did catch three passes for 91 yards, including the 55-yarder that you can see below.
Wentz also took advantage of the fact that Jeffery is now 100 percent healthy. The Eagles receiver caught eight passes for 74 yards and two touchdowns, including a one-yard score that Philly apparently stole from the Patriots.
Zach Ertz also got in on the scoring action with a 10-yard touchdown in the second quarter that put the Eagles up 21-6 and basically iced the game. Overall, Ertz caught seven passes for 43 yards.
One other thing the Eagles did was balance out their offense. If Jay Ajayi was watching at home, he was probably thrilled to see that the Eagles ran 36 pass plays and 31 run plays. Although Eagles coach Doug Pederson stayed away from the run early -- Philly ran the ball just two times on their first 11 plays -- they turned to their ground game in the second half after building a 31-6 lead.
One running back who seemed to thrive in this game was Corey Clement. The running back, who hadn't played since Week 3, totaled 69 yards and a touchdown on 14 touches. Clement averaged 3.9 yards per carry and did his best to prove to the Eagles that they don't necessarily need to trade for a running back now that Ajayi is out for the season.
For Wentz, who missed the first two games of the season, it was almost a relief to see the Eagles offense finally take off.
"We've kind of been sloppy the last couple of games, but personally, I don't feel like there's much rust," Wentz told NFL Network after the game. "I feel like I'm out there and guys are playing fast and I think it was good to finally show that tonight."
The Eagles' high-flying offense didn't need much help from their defense, but they did get plenty. The Eagles had Eli Manning under constant pressure all night. Manning has been bad when he's not under pressure, so you can probably imagine how bad things got when he was being chased around (more on that later). Nigel Bradham, Fletcher Cox, Michael Bennett and Destiny Vaeao all picked up sacks for Philly. Kamu Grugier-Hill also came up with a key interception in the first quarter when he picked off Manning to to set up Philadelphia's first touchdown.
Manning struggled for most of the night, which led to some interesting antics from Odell Beckham, and that where we're going to start the rest of our takeaways.
Odell Beckham definitely seems frustrated
If there's one player on the Giants' roster who hasn't been hiding his frustration with the team's offense this year, it's Odell Beckham, and less than a week after, the Giants receiver was at it again on Thursday. With a national audience watching, Beckham seemed to storm off the field at the end of the first half without taking part in the Giants' final offensive play of the half.
After the game, Giants coach Pat Shurmur insisted that Beckham only left because he was dehydrated and needed to get an IV.
You can believe what you want, but the Giants star receiver was clearly frustrated for most of the half. In the game's first two quarters, Beckham was targeted just four times and caught just two passes for 12 yards.
Beckham finished the game with six catches for 44 yards.
One thing that will be interesting going forward is how the Giants handle this situation. Beckham clearly isn't happy with the play of Manning, and he made that known in the ESPN interview. During that same interview, he also didn't sound too thrilled with the thought of staying in New York. The Giantsduring the interview, which might have added to the divide between the receiver and his team. At 1-5, there's a good chance that things are only going to get worse in New York. If Beckham's pouting now, you can bet things are going to get uglier as the season goes on, especially if the Giants offense continues to struggle, and they haven't done anything to make it seem like that won't happen.
Saquon Barkley carries Giants
It's not often that a player on the losing team steals the show in a game, but that's exactly what happened with Saquon Barkley on Thursday. The only time the Giants' offense looked remotely functional was when Barkley had the ball in his hands. In the first half alone, Barkley accounted for 149 of New York's 222 offensive yards. The Giants rookie did a little bit of everything in New York's 21-point loss.
You want an impressive nine-yard run? Check.
You want a 55-yard screen pass where he breaks roughly 100 tackles? Check.
There was no stopping the Giants running back, who had three plays of 40 or more yards against Philly. Barkley totaled more than 200 yards in the game with 130 yards on the ground and 99 yards on the receiving end. With his 229 total yards, Barkley now has 100 or more scrimmage yards in the first six games of his career, which trails only Kareem Hunt (7) for the most 100-yard games by a rookie to start a season since the NFL-AFL merger in 1970. The Giants are having a lot of problems with their offense right now -- Eli Manning looks horrible, Odell Beckham isn't happy -- but thanks to Barkley, not everything has been a disaster this year.
Eli Manning is looking old
If Odell Beckham was frustrated with Eli Manning before Thursday's game, it's easy to see why those frustrations boiled over against the Eagles: Manning looked lost on the field while trying to run a Giants offense that went nowhere for most of the night.
The game got off to an ugly start for Manning and things only went downhill from there. On the Giants' second play from scrimmage, Manning threw an interception that gave Philadelphia the ball on New York's 16-yard line.
After the pick, the Eagles got an easy touchdown that put New York in a 7-0 hole less than two minutes into the game. For most teams, being down seven points isn't the end of the world, but for a Giants team with one of the worst offenses in the NFL, being down seven is basically the equivalent of being down 50.
Manning also had another play in the first quarter where he almost cost the Giants a touchdown. On a first-and-10 play from his own 9, Manning dropped back to pass and fumbled the ball at his own 1-yard line. Fortunately for Manning, Nate Solder was able to jump on the ball before an Eagles player could pick it up for a score.
Those two plays epitomized an atrocious first half for New York. The Giants went three-and-out three times and they didn't convert a single third down (0 for 8). The ugly part of the third down stat is that they didn't convert a single third down in Week 5, which means the Giants went six straight quarters without converting a third down. The Giants didn't end up converting their first third down of the game until there was just under six minutes left in the third quarter.
The irony here is that Manning actually had the highest QB rating on third down of anyone in the league through five weeks. The problem is that he's padding his stats most of the time instead of going for a first down. For instance, on a third-and-15 in the second quarter, Manning threw a short dump off to Barkley that went for seven yards. That play looks good in the stat book, but it doesn't look good to anyone else. Not only did he hear a smattering of boos, but coach Pat Shurmur got so frustrated that he yelled at his quarterback, "Throw the ball!"
The Giants' offense also struggled in the red zone, with New York coming away with zero touchdowns, despite three trips inside of Philly's 20-yard line.
Former Giants coach Ben McAdoo got ripped for benching Eli Manning last season, but it's starting to look like he might have made the correct decision. The Giants have put themselves in a position where they have to stick with Manning this year, and based on Beckham's reaction through five weeks, that might not go over well in the locker room.
If you missed the game and want to re-live all the action, be sure to scroll through our live blog, that's no longer live, below.
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