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December 22, 2016

First-half observations: Eagles 24, Giants 16

Eagles NFL

The Eagles have nothing to play for (or lose for, as their first-round pick will be a result of how the Minnesota Vikings fare), but they can make the Giants’ life a little tougher with a win on the stain on our country known as Thursday Night Football.

The Eagles showed up to play against their NFC East rivals, taking a 21-13 lead into the locker room. Here’s what I saw:

The good

•    Big V and Co. did an admirable job in Lane Johnson’s absence, but it took one drive to see how much the Eagles missed their starting right tackle. Ryan Mathews ran right behind Johnson for 17 yards on the first drive and Darren Sproles finished off the drive similarly running over the right tackle:


•    The Eagles ran the ball well with Mathews, Sproles, and Carson Wentz, finishing with 78 yards on 12 carries. More of that in the second half, please.

The bad

•    Great escapability by Wentz on this play… and the Eagles receivers still can’t get open. Once somebody springs free, it’s Bryce Treggs, who didn’t come back for the football at all. He allowed DRC to come in and make a nice interception on the sideline:

By the way, I have zero problem with Wentz throwing that football. It will go down as an interception in the box score, but on third down it functions pretty much as a 40-yard punt.

•    The Eagles defense played a very solid half, with Jenkins' interception and perfect "bend but don't break" defense, but the 12-play, 84-yard drive by the Giants at the end of the half kept New York in the game.

The ugly

•    Even when everything is going perfect, Nelson Agholor is dropping wide-open passes. What a nightmare season for the former first-round pick. I can’t imagine Agholor doing anything well for the rest of his career…

The miraculous

•    It’s a Christmas miracle!

Follow Rich on Twitter: @rich_hofmann