By Joseph Santoliquito

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — The laughing was back. So was the hugging, and the high-fives, and the mugging for the cameras. For one game, so far, the Eagles—the vintage Super Bowl Eagles—were back for all of the country to see on national TV.

Two plays into their game against the New York Giants at MetLife Stadium on Thursday night, the Eagles were in command and never released their grip of the listing NFC East rivals.

Carson Wentz was sharp, the defense was stubborn and stayed in Eli Manning’s face the entire game, and the Eagles may have revived a season that looked destined for life support with a season-high 34 points in stomping the Giants, 34-13, a deceiving score because it wasn’t even that close.

Wentz completed 26 of 36 for 278 yards and three touchdowns to help the Eagles improve to 3-3, while pretty much vanquishing the Giants in 2018. New York fell to 1-5 and will have to begin thinking of ways to build talent around the very gifted Saquon Barkley, who will be a nightmare to the Eagles it looks like for many years to come.

Barkley was the only threat the Giants had. The former Penn State star rushed for 130 yards, including a 50-yard TD run. Other than that, the Giants offered little on offense, and when the Eagles laid the hammer down, offered little resistance. New York basically quit.

The Eagles scored more points in the first half—24—than they had in any one game this season.

Defensively, the Eagles shut out Eli Manning, sacking him four times for minus-27 yards—and without a touchdown. Manning was under siege the whole night. He was skittish, throwing passes short. The Eagles held the Giants to 0 for their first 7 third-down conversions, without the benefit of a penalty.

The Eagles scored a season-high 14 points in the first quarter, they converted 9 of 16 third downs and were 4-for-6 in the red zone. The Giants converted a mere 4 of 14 third downs and were shutout in the red zone, going 0-for-3.

Alshon Jeffery caught 8 passes for 74 yards and two touchdowns, and Zach Ertz caught 7 passes for 43 yards and a touchdown.

The Good

Linebacker Kamu Gruger-Hill’s first-quarter interception that got the Eagles going.

Linebacker Jordan Hick’s pass deflection that got resulted in Gruger-Hill’s interception on the second play of the game.

Cornerback Ronald Darby’s deflection on Eli Manning’s pass to Sterling Shepard with 10:15 left in the first quarter. Darby later deflected another Manning pass, this time intended for Scott Simonson, forcing the Giants for a second field goal.

Defensive tackle Michael Bennett’s 8-yard sack on the Giants’ third possession.

Quarterback Carson Wentz scrambling for space and finding Alshon Jeffery for a 13-yard TD pass with 13:15 left in the first quarter. Wentz looked good in the first half, completing 14 of 21 for 175 yards and two touchdowns.

Wide receiver Nelson Agholor’s 58-yard, second-quarter reception on third-and-three at the Eagles’ 32 with 4:22 left in the first half. The reception set up Zach Ertz’s 10-yard TD reception and gave the Eagles a 21-6 lead.

Running back Wendell Smallwood has been a real nice plus. He runs hard and has been invaluable during a lean time for the Eagles’ thinning backfield.

Return man DeAndre Carter’s 19-yard punt return that set up a Jake Elliott 33-yard field goal with 1:34 left in the first half.

Tackle Lane Johnson bearing up with a high ankle sprain to do a decent job.

Receiver Alshon Jeffery caught 8 passes for 74 yards and two touchdowns.

Tight end Zach Ertz caught 7 passes for 43 yards and a touchdown.

The Bad

Tackle Jason Peters’ holding call on first-and 10 at the Eagles’ 49.

The Ugly

Linebacker Nigel Bradham getting caught inside on Saquon Barkley’s 50-yard, third-quarter TD run.


Joseph Santoliquito