September 24, 2017
Fly Eagles Fly!
Rookie Jake Elliott’s 61-yard field goal as time expired gave the Eagles a 27-24 victory over the Giants in a game that was a sleeper for three quarters but will go down as a classic thanks to a frantic fourth quarter in the Birds' home opener at Lincoln Financial Field.
The game-winner by Elliott, only on the team because of the injury to Caleb Sturgis, was the longest field goal in Eagles history and the seventh-longest ever in the NFL.
The Eagles improved to 2-1 and are in first place in the NFC East. The Giants are 0-3 and in last.
The Eagles led 14-0 entering the fourth – a lead that seemed pretty much insurmountable as the putrid Giants offense was stinking up South Philly — even though the Eagles were doing just enough to keep the Giants in it.
But a pair of circus catches by Odell Beckham Jr. sandwiched by a critical Zach Ertz fumble and a 77-yard touchdown pass from a surprisingly good Eli Manning to Sterling Shepard gave the Giants their first lead of the season, 21-14
No matter, on the Eagles’ ensuing possession, Torrey Smith drew a pass interference penalty which gave the Eagles a first down on the Giants’ 15. Corey Clement then took it around the left end for his first NFL touchdown and the game was tied.
But the Giants responded with a 41-yard field goal to take a 24-21 lead with 3:06 remaining.
Elliott, who had earlier missed from 52 yards, tied the game at 24 with 54 seconds remaining with a 46-yard field goal.
The Eagles forced a Giants punt and got the ball back at their own 38 with 13 seconds left after a shanked 28-yard kick by New York's Brad Wing. But an incomplete pass by a rushed Carson Wentz made it second-and-10 with 7 seconds remaining on the clock.
Wentz hit Alshon Jeffery on the right sideline 19 yards to the Giants 43 and Jeffery stepped out of bounds with 1 second remaining.
And Elliott will never have to buy a drink again in Philadelphia.
Here's some more second-half observations:
• The Giants deferred after winning the toss and had the ball first to open the second half, but the Eagles forced a three-and-out. Elliott hooked a 52-yard FG attempt on the ensuing drive.
Two plays later, though, after Mychal Kendricks tipped a Manning pass, Patrick Robinson picked off the ball for his first interception as an Eagle.
On the ensuing drive, the Eagles extended their lead on a TD pass from Wentz to Ertz, who had dropped an easy TD on the previous play.
• For all the criticism Doug Peterson gets, he is certainly a much better coach than the buffoonish Ben McAdoo, whom the Eagles talked to before hiring Pederson. #thankgod
Ben McAdoo is ... not a good coach.— Jeff McLane (@Jeff_McLane) September 24, 2017
Doug Pederson: I can really put my team in a bad spot. Ben McAdoo: Hold my Gatorade...— Les Bowen (@LesBowen) September 24, 2017
• With Darren Sproles out, Torrey Smith returned punts for the Eagles in the second half. He had one return for nine yards.
• The Eagles finally ran the ball effectively. Wendell Smallwood had 12 carries for 71 yards and LeGarrette Blount ran the ball 12 times for 67 yards and a touchdown.
• Wentz was 21-for-31 for 176 yards and a touchdown. Manning finished 35-for 47 for 366 yards, 3 TDs and a pair of interceptions for the Giants.
• The Eagles rotated left guards in the second half between Chance Warmack and Steven Wisniewski. Neither played overly well.
• Doug Peterson was 2-for-3 on fourth down attempts. Both of the conversions led to touchdowns.