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November 06, 2016

First half observations: Giants 21, Eagles 10

Eagles NFL

After a brutal loss in Dallas, the Eagles traveled to MetLife Stadium for an absolutely critical NFC East game against the 4-3 New York Giants. In a place where the Birds have been dominant over recent years, they got off to about as bad of a start on both sides of the ball as you could imagine.

Despite that brutal start, the Eagles had plenty of chances to be tied or even take a lead heading into the locker room. Unfortunately, they capitalized on precisely zero of them and trail 21-10 at halftime. Here's what I saw:

The good

• Bryce Treggs took all of two quarters to make a bigger play, a 58-yard catch, than any of the other Eagles receivers made this season. Even if Treggs can essentially only run in a straight line as fast as he can, there is an argument to be made that he should receive quite a bit of playing time considering the general state of the Eagles receiving corps:

• Dave Fipp, Darren Sproles, and the entire Eagles special teams are a weapon:

• Whatever the reason, Carson Wentz simply looked more comfortable throwing the ball after his two early mistakes. And unlike last week in Dallas, the rookie was slinging the ball down the field and picking up some major AIR YARDS: 216 yards on 19 attempts.

The bad

• Leodis McKelvin, who has been battling a hamstring injury all day, was picked on all first half, particularly the Giants third touchdown drive. Odell Beckham makes a lot of corners look bad, but McKelvin appeared to have no chance on some plays.

• Wentz settled down and started to move the ball, but his two mistakes at the beginning of the game were killers. He made a few other rookie mistakes in the half, like taking a five-yard sack on the sidelines instead of simply throwing the ball away.

• Wouldn't it be nice if Dorial Green-Beckham fought for the ball in the air just once?

The ugly

• This, um, is a terrible throw:

• This, um, is another pretty bad throw:

• The Eagles defense was put in a bad spot by Wentz multiple times, but the secondary had some rough moments. First, Rodney McLeod missed an open-field tackle on Beckham that allowed the Giants star receiver (who is very, very good) to get into the end zone:

• And then it was unclear what Jaylen Watkins was doing on this deep route by the unstoppable Roger Lewis:

• Pederson's decision to for it on 4th and 2 with the Eagles in field goal range is questionable (but not from here, I like aggressive play-calling), but electing to go with a read option that hadn't shown any promise looked very foolish. And later in the half, Pederson again decided to go for it and saw Darren Sproles get stuffed at the line.

Good decisions, bad execution.


Follow Rich on Twitter: @rich_hofmann

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