It seems like the NFL world forgot how good the Eagles were. The NFL gets such 24/7 attention that obvious takes get old. The Eagles have been great since Week 1, but there were other shiny toys to pay attention to late in the season. As the playoffs approached, you didn’t hear much at all about the Eagles. It wasn’t edgy to pick the Eagles to win the Super Bowl anymore.
Saturday night was a reminder that the Eagles were the best team in the regular season and could be in the playoffs too. At halftime, the Eagles were up 28-0 on the New York Giants, and they went on to win 38-7. Philadelphia will host the NFC championship game next Sunday against the San Francisco 49ers or Dallas Cowboys.
One legitimate reason the Eagles weren’t buzzy coming into the playoffs was the status of quarterback Jalen Hurts’ injured shoulder, which caused him to miss two games. There won’t be much concern about Hurts after Saturday night.
Eagles blast Giants in 1st half
On the Eagles’ second play from scrimmage, Hurts threw deep to DeVonta Smith. Smith caught it for a 40-yard gain.
There were other moments that Hurts was tested and he kept passing them. He had a few runs where he took hits, and popped up each time. Hurts wasn’t throwing deep often but was on point with the short and intermediate passes. If the shoulder was bothering Hurts, it didn’t show. Hurts could have put up bigger numbers but the Giants couldn’t keep the game competitive.
Four of the Eagles’ first five drives were 75, 52, 63 and 72 yards, and all four ended with touchdowns. Hurts threw touchdown passes to Dallas Goedert and Smith. Boston Scott, who is on a heater against the Giants, scored the Eagles’ third touchdown. He has scored a touchdown in all nine career games against the Giants. Hurts ran in for a touchdown inside the two-minute warning and if there was even a little bit of doubt about who was moving on to the NFC championship game, that evaporated.
This postseason we have seen games that looked like blowouts early become close, or in the case of one game, a 27-0 lead didn’t end up in a win. But the Eagles weren’t going to give away a 28-0 lead. They’re too good for that.
A lot of people forgot how good the Eagles have been all season. A few middling performances with Gardner Minshew II filling in for Hurts shouldn’t have changed the perception of the Eagles.
Eagles defense is dominant as well
Eagles general manager Howie Roseman had a great offseason. It resulted in the most balanced roster in the NFL.
The offense gets a lot of attention, with Hurts’ ascension to MVP candidate. But the defense, with its endless pass rushers, has been dominant for most of the season as well. It certainly was on Saturday night.
Giants quarterback Daniel Jones came in on a great roll, especially after last week’s win over the Minnesota Vikings, and he was unable to get anything going. Jones had 57 passing yards and an interception in the first half. He was sacked twice. The Giants’ five first-half drives: turnover on downs, interception, punt, punt, punt. No drive got further than the Eagles’ 40-yard line. The Eagles had 258 yards and 18 first downs in the first half. The Giants had 64 yards and three first downs.
The Eagles were content to sit on the lead in the second half. The Giants scored in the third quarter but there was no real danger of them coming back. NFL fans could find something else to do on Saturday night because the prime-time playoff game was decided early on.
The Eagles aren’t a lock to win a Super Bowl or even make it. All six teams still alive after Saturday night are all capable of winning a championship. But Philadelphia showed against the Giants that it has all the pieces to win a championship. That’s been evident all season.