Team Grades: Eagles Make Honor Roll With Victory Over Giants
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By Kevin McGuire
The Philadelphia Eagles dropped the NFC East rival New York Giants to 0-5 with a 36-21 victory that had just about everybody chip in. Mike Vick had to be replaced by Nick Foles due to a first half injury, but Foles kept the offense together and came through in the clutch in the second half. The defense played well and created opportunities for the offense and the special teams had no issues and even gave the Eagles a lift in the first half.
Here is how the grades for this week’s performance look:
Quarterback Grade: B
Nick Foles did well in filling in for an injured Mike Vick. Foles immediately led the Eagles on an 11-play drive over 75 yards that resulted in a field goal at the end of the first half. Once the Giants started to come back, Foles led the offense to 17 unanswered points to pull away in the fourth quarter. Foles completed 16 of 27 passes for 197 yards and two touchdowns and Vick completed six of 14 passes for 105 yards and no touchdowns.
Offense Grade: B+
The Eagles had one of the better performances in recent weeks, and provided a sense of optimism after three straight losses. In all, the Eagles recorded 28 first downs and ran 77 plays. While third down efficiency has room for improvement, the Eagles managed to put together 439 yards and avoid a single turnover against the division rival Giants.
The offense also showed the ability to play from behind early on and managed to find a way to pull away when things got tight in the second half. DeSean Jackson had 132 receiving yards and a touchdown, which helped overcome a frustrating day for LeSean McCoy, who had 20 carries for just 46 yards and a touchdown. Brent Celek caught all three passes thrown his way, which was also a positive.
Defense Grade: B+
The Eagles defense came up with four turnovers against a sloppy and struggling Giants offense. That included three interceptions off of Eli Manning from a defense that has been exposed against the pass in recent weeks. The Eagles held the Giants to 53 rushing yards and allowed the Giants to score on both of their red zone trips. This may not have been a great performance for the Eagles defense, but they made the plays they needed to get a win in Met Life Stadium.
Special Teams Grade: A
Alex Henery kicked four field goals in the first half and kicked another in the third quarter to give the Eagles a lead entering the fourth quarter. It could be argued he was the player of the game for the Eagles in this victory. Punter Donnie Jones also had a good afternoon with two punts landing inside the 20-yard line and an average of 47.8 yards per punt, including a 54-yard boot.
Overall Evaluation: B+
This was the type of performance the Eagles needed, even if it was at the expense of a division rival that continues to be frustrated with their level of play. The Eagles should not get too carried away with picking up their second win in a game that saw the Giants drop to 0-5 on the season, but the defense made plays, special teams did their part and Nick Foles proved why the Eagles felt a need to keep him on the roster despite using Mike Vick as the starter. Now, the Eagles have a chance to get back to .500 with another road game next week at Tampa Bay. If they play the way they did Sunday, a win should be expected against the 0-4 Bucs.
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Kevin McGuire is a Philadelphia area sports writer covering the Philadelphia Eagles and college football. McGuire is a member of the FWAA and National Football Foundation. Follow McGuire on Twitter @KevinOnCFB. His work can be found on Examiner.com.