Behind a tough defense and the mentality to play the role of spoiler, the Philadelphia Eagles (6-9) handed their rival New York Giants a key 24-19 loss on Thursday Night Football.
Veteran safety Malcolm Jenkins highlighted the game with two interceptions on the night. His first was returned 34 yards for a touchdown in the first quarter to give Philadelphia a 14-0 lead. That lead was started by a 25-yard touchdown run by running back Darren Sproles on the team’s first drive.
The Giants (10-5) entered the contest with an opportunity to earn a playoff berth with a win. They also entered the game as winners of eight of their last nine games. A couple of weeks back, the Giants completed a season-sweep of the Dallas Cowboys and had plenty of momentum. However, tonight just was not their night.
Giants quarterback Eli Manning attempted 63 passes on the night but also tossed three interceptions. It was his sixth game this season of at least two interceptions.
A 45-yard pass from Eagles rookie quarterback Carson Wentz to receiver Nelson Agholor pushed the Eagles lead to 21-6 late in the first half. The rookie Wentz has had an expected up-and-down season however on the night, he was solid. Wentz totaled 152 passing yards, one touchdown, and one interception. The run game for the Eagles was important on the night and the combination of Sproles and Ryan Mathews totaled 86 rushing yards and a touchdown.
Giants receiver Odell Beckham Jr. was double teamed for most of the night yet he still hauled in 11 catches. Those catches totaled 150 yards and fellow receivers Victor Cruz and Sterling Shepard combined for 15 catches and a touchdown. The one touchdown came courtesy of Shepard, who scored from 13 yards out to bring the score to 21-13 right before halftime.
Yet, the story of the night was the Eagles defense. The group corralled three turnovers, scored on the Jenkins interception, and made a key fourth down stop late in the fourth to help seal the deal. The win by the Eagles also sealed the NFC East division for the 12-2 Cowboys.