EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. – The Eagles dominated from the start, scoring three touchdowns on their first three possessions en route to dismantling the banged-up New York Giants.
By the final gun, it was 48-22, one of the most lopsided losses in the series’ history.
JALEN HURTS – Anyone questioning Hurts’s MVP credentials looks more foolish by the day.
Since Hurts last played the Giants at MetLife, his worst game as a professional starter, he’s won 15 of his last 16 regular-season starts. After the offense managed just seven points here last season, it took the Eagles all of one drive to match that and they then tripled it during their first three drives.
Hurts did everything, throwing for 217 yards and two TDs and running for 77 on seven carries with another TD. He got eight receivers involved and had Wink Martindale’s defense on its heels more often than not.
PLAYOFFS – No need for Jim Mora angst in Philadelphia.
The Eagles moved to 12-1 on Dec. 11 and officially clinched a postseason berth with the win. Philadelphia also further distanced itself from Minnesota, whose defense continued to wilt in Detroit, but Dallas survived with a late-game win over hapless Houston. More than likely, the road to the Super Bowl will be going through Lincoln Financial Field.
HISTORY – Miles Sanders’ first-quarter rushing TD put him at 10, the first Eagles’ RB to hit double digits since LeSean McCoy in 2011. Sanders also went over 1,000 yards for the first time in his career with a 15-yard run in the third quarter. He’s now at career-highs with 1,068 and 11 TDs. Sanders also set a new career-high with 144 rushing yards in the game.
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A.J. Brown, meanwhile, snatched his 10th receiving score of the season, the first Eagles player to do that since Jeremy Maclin in 2014. Brown went over 1,000 yards for the third time in his four-year career on the play before Sanders’ run.
GIANTS KILLER – It’s tough to get Boston Scott involved these days because the Eagles have so many playmakers but it was Scott vs. the Giants so the fourth-year pro had to do something and it turned out to be a 66-yard kick return immediately after New York’s first TD. Scott even scored in garbage time, his ninth career TD against the Giants.
THE DEFENSE – Philadelphia’s second-ranked defense continued to ratchet things up, allowing just 304 yards – many in garbage time – and piling up seven sacks, including three from Brandon Graham which matched a career-high.
INJURIES – No one in the NFL likes playing on the MetLife Stadium turf and the Eagles’ suffered two potentially serious injuries with safety Reed Blankenship (knee) and punter Arryn Siposs (ankle) being carted off, the latter after Siposs tried to erase a blocked punt by scooping it up and coming just short of the first down.
Kyron Johnson also left early with a shoulder injury and Lane Johnson left with an abdomen injury which he described as a tweak and feels he will be OK.
Quez Watkins was also banged up but returned.
-John McMullen is a contributor to PhillyVoice.com and covers the Eagles and the NFL for Sports Illustrated and JAKIB Sports. He’s also the co-host of “Birds 365,” a daily streaming show covering the Eagles and the NFL, and the host of “Extending the Play” on AM1490 in South Jersey. You can reach him at email@example.com
Follow John on Twitter: @JFMcMullen