February 6, 2023

Eagles demolish Giants, clinch playoff spot

Photo via USA TODAY Sports

The Eagles absolutely demolished the New York Giants earning their 12th win on the season and becoming the first team in the NFL to clinch a playoff spot.

It was one of the Eagles’ biggest wins ever over the Giants. The largest was 45-0 in 1948.

It was an electric performance from Jalen Hurts and the Eagles’ offense. Hurts continues to put MVP performances by making everything look so easy, and he is only 24 years old.

With the playoff berth secured, the 12-1 Eagles will now aim for the division title and the top seed in the NFC. A Christmas Eve matchup with the Dallas Cowboys may be the determining factor in both those hunts.

Here are a few takeaways from the dominant victory:

What Can’t This Guy Do?

I have said it once and I will say it again: Jalen Hurts is incredible.

He improved his MVP chances by throwing for 217 yards and hitting DaVonta Smith on an incredible 41-yard fourth-down TD strike and A.J. Brown on a 33-yarder as the Eagles scored on their first three possessions.

Hurts also ran for 77 yards, highlighted by a 10-yard TD scamper late in the third quarter. He made history by scoring 10+ touchdowns in back-to-back seasons.

Hurts is the first quarterback in NFL history to score 10 rushing touchdowns and have a 100+ QBR.

I will never understand how Hurts is so good on both sides of the ball. Rushing and passing. I am just in awe of his abilities.

His ability to just simply run an offense is also amazing.

Hurts’ ability to freeze defenders with his legs is excellent, as is his great deep ball placement, but his growth as an every-down passer has been such a huge win for the Eagles and is a big part of why I have no doubt that he’s the face of the franchise for the next decade. 

WR Duo

Hurts made six completions to six different receivers on the first drive, but Smith and Brown, as usual, became dominant.

There are some pretty good wide receiver duos out there, but I believe Brown and Smith are the best in the NFL. Sunday was the perfect demonstration of just how good these two are.

The Eagles’ first touchdown pass of the day was an underrated play by Smith, who beat his man and kept balance. Smith makes getting open look so easy to get open. He plays wide receiver like he’s going for a Sunday morning jog with his neighbor, except he is playing in the NFL. 

And then Brown, who reached 1,000 yards on the season Sunday, has been one of the best offensive players in the league this season. Brown’s known for his hands and his physicality, but he’s also so fast, which is why when the FOX camera found him in the secondary on Hurts’ second touchdown pass he was absurdly wide open. You just can not leave Brown open.

A Day for Barkley’s College Backup

Miles Sanders rushed 17 times for 144 yards and two touchdowns and brought in one of three targets for 11 yards.

His Penn State teammate, Saquan Barkley, ran nine times for 28 yards after dealing with a neck injury this week for the Giants.

Sanders passed his previous season-high rushing yardage tally by one and turned in an effectual outing, with a 40-yard touchdown run just past the midway point of the fourth quarter for the dagger.

The four-year back had also opened the scoring with a three-yard touchdown run with just over four minutes remaining in the first quarter, capping it off with the LeSean McCoy celebration, his second game with multiple trips to the end zone in the last three games.

Sanders, a guy who did not even sniff the endzone just a season ago, reached 1,000 yards and his 10th touchdown of the season on Sunday. A massive rebound for the future free agent coming up after the season.

Resigning Sanders should be a priority this offseason for the Eagles.

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