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January 03, 2016

Halftime observations: Eagles 21, Giants 20

Eagles NFL

There was a time long ago that the Oakland Raiders were a good football team, and during that time, owner Al Davis came up with his outlaw team’s famous slogan:

Well, as Jimmy pointed out this week, the Week 17 Philadelphia Eagles-New York Giants clash at MetLife Stadium is the opposite: Just lose. And after 30 minutes, the Birds have a 21-20 lead. Let’s talk some poorly played football:

The bad

•    How about this for narrative? DeMarco Murray’s first carry after Chip Kelly was fired came with him running traditionally behind the quarterback like he often did in Dallas… and it went 54 yards for a touchdown. Nice angle, Brandon Meriweather:

•    How about some more narrative? The Giants moved the ball down the field for a second straight possession only to be thwarted by… 

•    Even more narrative! Jordan Matthews, who reportedly drew the ire of Kelly for spinning the football after every single catch, made the touchdown catch to make the score 21-13 Eagles. Alas, he threw the ball at the wall and did his best Adonis Creed impression. Matthews might have broken the Internet (at least in Philly) if he spun the ball.

•    Pretty good half for Sam Bradford: 16-22, 180 yards, 1 touchdown, and 1 interception. He’s having a lot of success connecting with tight end Zach Ertz (4 catches, 101 yards).

The good

•    The Giants’ first three points could be attributed to Matthews of all people. On a third down deep in Eagles territory, Bradford made a beautiful touch throw toward the sideline that would have gone for at least a 40-yard gain. Instead, a wide-open Matthews dropped the ball (and didn’t spin it).

•    Rashad Jennings is having a lot of success running against Billy Davis’ defense: 17 carries, 116 yards, and 1 touchdown.

•    After Jason Pierre-Paul tipped a Bradford pass that the Giants picked off, Eli Manning took advantage of the short field. From the nine-yard line, Manning threw the ball to rookie tight end Will Tye in the flat. Mychal Kendricks, who signed a big contract extension before the season, overran Tye, who easily walked into the end zone. It has been a pretty rough season for Kendricks.

Follow Rich on Twitter: @rich_hofmann