Three thoughts from the Eagles’ 27-24 nail-biter over the Giants:
1. This game was a PSA for “Always Take the Points!” The Giants went for it twice on fourth down on the goal line, once in the second quarter down one score and once in the third quarter down two scores. Both times, they got stuffed. Sure, the offense was sputtering for 45 full minutes, so maybe you think if you’re on the goal line you might not get back there. But, if the game’s still in reach ... always take the points. If the Giants had kicked the chip-shot field goals, they’d have likely won the game. Instead, they left it open for the Eagles despite a furious fourth-quarter comeback, and rookie kicker Jake Elliott hit two field goals in the final 2:13, including the franchise-record 61-yard game-winner as time expired.
2. Not a banner day for coaching. Why would Eagles coach Doug Pederson go for it on fourth-and-8 near midfield, in the second quarter, with a 7-0 lead? Carson Wentz was sacked on the play, handing the ball to the Giants at their own 49-yard line. The ineptitude of the Giants’ offense through the first three quarters of the game bailed the Eagles out (despite driving down to the Eagles’ 1-yard line, the Giants did not score off that possession). But it was certainly a head-scratcher that calls into question Pederson’s decision-making.
3. Early in the fourth quarter, over the span of a few minutes, we were reminded that the Giants’ best (only?) offensive game plan is to bumble along until Odell Beckham makes a big play. Beckham made two spectacular touchdown catches that maybe only a handful of players in the league could come down with. One was a toe-tapper along the end line, and the other was a one-handed grab, which he somehow managed to pin to his shoulder pad even while being interfered with. Of course, after the first touchdown, Beckham picked up a boneheaded unsportsmanlike penalty for mimicking a dog peeing during his celebration. A healthy Beckham is the Giants’ best (only?) chance to win games this year, which is the best kind of leverage to have in contract negotiations.
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