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October 19, 2015

Instant Observations: Eagles 27, Giants 7

Eagles NFL

After a sloppy first half of football (observations here), the Eagles found themselves up 10 points on the division-leading New York Giants and looking forward to receiving the second-half kickoff. Despite a super sloppy performance up to that point, it was a decent spot to be in.

What an awful football game, but it's always better to win a bad game than lose one. The Birds are now up to 3-3 and sit in first place in the NFC East. Still, the Eagles will face a lot of questions heading into next week's showdown at undefeated Carolina. Here’s what I saw:

The good

•    Just like last year, the Eagles front seven stepped up and completely dominated this game. There are a lot of reasons to be down on the team at the moment, but this front is something that other teams just don’t have. After a shaky couple of opening drives, it was absolute dominance from that group against an offensive line that has played pretty well.

•    The Giants came into the game with probably the worst pass rush in the league, sorely missing JPP. The Eagles O-line did its job, providing Sam Bradford with a clean pocket for most of the game.

•    Nikita Whitlock gave the Eagles offense a gift by running into Donnie Jones, but they responded by running the heck out of the football on the ensuing drive. DeMarco Murray capped it off with a sweet stiff-arm and 12-yard touchdown run.

•    Nice kicking day for the Birds. Jones had an average of 54.2 yards per punt, and Caleb Sturgis went 2-2 on field goals, with a long of 39 yards.

The bad

•    Extra effort is nice, but not at the expense of ball security. Jordan Matthews was trying to fight for a first down, but he put the ball on the ground and cost the Eagles a chance at a field goal on the opening drive of the second half.

•    Eli Manning finally didn’t get away with egregious intentional grounding calls! It’s a miracle!

The ugly

•    Seriously, what is happening with Jason Kelce? 

•    Riley Cooper completely stopped on a go route and Brandon Meriweather collected the easiest interception he’ll ever get. Some of Andy Reid’s later teams made a lot of ridiculous mistakes, but the 2015 Eagles are on pace to blow past all challengers when it comes to sloppy football.

•    Bradford was, in a word, bad. Up 17 points and in the red zone, he forced a corner route to a completely covered Zach Ertz. Is he just guessing there? Bradford finished 24-38 for 280 yards with a touchdown and three interceptions.

Follow Rich on Twitter: @rich_hofmann