All good things must come to an end, as the saying goes. Fortunately for the New York Giants, the same can also be said for bad things. Big Blue ended a very bad thing on Sunday by snapping an eight-game losing streak to the Philadelpia Eagles. With a 27-17 victory, New York beat Philadelphia for the first time since 2016. The Giants are now 3-7 on the season, matching the NFC East-leading Eagles in wins. They still have two more losses, however, as Philadelphia has a tie on their record and already had their bye week. With the win, though, New York has vaulted to second place in the division. They’ve set themselves up to play meaningful football following their bye next week. That’s all that fans could’ve reasonably asked for heading into the year.
As far the game itself, the Giants won in large part thanks to their performance in two areas in which they had heretofore mostly struggled; protecting the ball and third-down defense.
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Quarterback Daniel Jones had his second consecutive turnover-free game, after commiting 13 (nine interceptions and four fumbles) over the season’s first eight games. The Giants didn’t produce any takeaways either, but their ball security allowed them to win the field position battle. They repeatedly pinned the Eagles deep in their own territory with great punts rather than handing them a short field.
Coming into this game, New York ranked 26th in the NFL in third-down defense, allowing their opponents to convert 47.79 percent of their opportunities. Big Blue’s defense had a complete about-face on Sunday, blanking the Eagles on nine third-down attempts. Coordinator Patrick Graham’s unit wasn’t dominant. They allowed Philadelphia to gain 346 total yards, including 156 on the ground. It was strong situational defense that held the Eagles to just 17 points. Philadelphia got in their own way too, as center Jason Kelce had multiple low, inaccurate snaps to Carson Wentz that disrupted a play’s timing.
This game was certainly Big Blue’s best 60-minute effort of the season. They started fast by scoring touchdowns on their two first possessions. The first was highlighted by a 34-yard Jones read-option run into the endzone. The second was a methodical, 13 play, six and a half minute drive capped by a two-yard touchdown leap by Wayne Gallman. Those two touchdowns, along with an Eagles field goal between them, represented all the scoring in the first half. The teams traded punts for the whole second quarter.
Philadelphia looked poised to make a comeback after noted Giants-killer Boston Scott ran for a 56-yard touchdown on the second half’s first possession. Instead of letting their lead slip away as they’ve done in the past, the Giants responded with a six-play, 75-yard scoring drive of their own. Jones hit Sterling Shepard and Golden Tate on consecutive perfectly placed back-shoulder fades to set New York up with first-and-goal. Gallman finished the drive with a one-yard touchdown plunge.
The Eagles struck back with a five-yard Corey Clement touchdown run on their following possession, but that would be the last of their scoring. New York salted the game away with two fourth-quarter field goals, and walked away with a critical 27-17 victory over their hated NFC East rivals.
Here are your Week 10 “Podium/Sodium Players”, i.e., three players Giants fans want rewarded for their efforts, and three they might be a bit salty about.
Gold Medal: QB Daniel Jones
The Giants’ second-year quarterback had his best statistical game when his team needed it the most. Jones had season highs with 8.7 yards per pass attempt and 75 percent completions. Throw in his nine carries for 64 yards and a touchdown, and the Duke product was responsible for 295 of the Giants 382 total yards. Jones made a number of clutch throws down the field, especially in the second half when Philadelphia was threatening to steal back momentum. His zero turnovers on the day were critical in not only getting the win but his development as a player. If he can replicate this type of performance a handful more times this season, Giants brass can feel more confident in their franchise quarterback.
Silver Medal: WR Darius Slayton
Slayton left the game with an apparent injury after a 22-yard reception on the game’s second play from scrimmage. The Giants are happy he eventually returned, because he wound up making a big impact. The Auburn product finished with five catches for 93 yards, incuding a brilliant 40-yard haul down the left sideline to set New York up for their final, game-sealing field goal. Slayton has been inconsistent, but it’s these types of flashy performances that have fans excited about his future.
Bronze Medal: P Riley Dixon
It’s not often a punter gets kudos in a victory, but Dixon was intrumental in the Giants having advantageous field position for much of the game. He kicked four punts for an average of an impressive 53.3 yards, including a 71-yard boomer in the second quarter. Each of his punts pinned the Eagles inside their own 20-yard line.
Salty: TE Evan Engram
There’s not much saltiness to go around after a big divisional win, but not every Giant played well. Engram made very little impact with only two catches for 15 yards. The big plays of Slayton, Shepard, and Tate masked his lack of production, but this was a matchup he should’ve exploited.
Saltier: DT Dalvin Tomlinson
The big nose tackle has played well this year, helping to make the Giants’ run defense one of the best in the league. In this game, however, Philadelphia rushed for a whopping 156 yards and Tomlinson was a near non-factor. He recorded only one tackle, the fewest among New York’s defensive starters.
Saltiest: ILB Blake Martinez
Martinez is a victim of his own success here somewhat, but he had a disappointing game by his standards. The Stanford product was averaging over 10 tackles a game coming into Sunday. Against the Eagles he only had four, which was a big reason Philadelphia had such success running the ball. This was more than likely an anomalous down game for the typically steady Martinez.