Marcus Hayes is a sports columnist for the Daily News and Inquirer. Hired more than 20 years ago as a features writer, he has since covered the Eagles, Phillies, and Sixers beats as well as Big Five basketball, college football, golf, and the Olympics.
Rookie kicker Jake Elliott nudged a 61-yard field goal off the right upright as time expired to win, 27-24. Elliott kicked a 46-yarder with 56 seconds to play to tie the game at 24. Elliott debuted last week after Caleb Sturgis was lost for the season with a torn hip flexor suffered in the season opener.
From Wentz it came
If the Eagles’ season is graded on the progress of Carson Wentz in his second season then he merits weekly review. As such: He finished 21-for-31 for 176 yards and a touchdown and ran six times for 22 yards. He remained injudicious as to when to throw the ball away, and he threw three outrageously poor deep passes, but growth can be painful.
On the run
When the Eagles lost at Kansas City last week they called 56 pass plays and 13 runs, none of which went to featured back LeGarrette Blount. Sunday against the Giants the Eagles ran the ball 18 times in the first half alone and Blount had six carries for 36 yards. Eagles running backs finished with 33 rushes for 171 yards. Blount carried it 12 times for 67 yards and Wendell Smallwood had 12 carries and 71 yards. Rookie free agent Corey Clement ran for a 15-yard touchdown in the fourth quarter.
Dropping like flies
Entering the game, injuries had already cost the Eagles four defensive backs and their kicker, and by the end of the first half they had also lost running back Darren Sproles (wrist), middle linebacker Jordan Hicks (ankle) and defensive tackle Fletcher Cox (calf).
Got your (defensive) back
Despite missing four members to injury, the DBs held up well at first. Rookie Rasul Douglas and Patrick Robinson each secured an interception. After the exits of middle linebacker Jordan Hicks and defensive tackle Fletcher Cox, though, Eli Manning got time and the receivers got space and the Giants struck three times through the air, most significantly a 77-yard catch-and-run by Sterling Shepherd in front of veteran fourth-string safety Chris Maragos that gave the Giants a 21-14 lead with 7:12 to play.
Star receiver Odell Beckham Jr. caught nine passes for 79 yards and two TDs — a 4-yard, one-handed catch a 10-yard touchdown pass, after which he was penalized for unsportsmanlike conduct when he mimed a dog urinating on a fire hydrant. Cornerback Janoris “Jackrabbit” Jenkins, who missed the Monday night game with an ankle injury, started, started and played well.
Anything you can’t do …
Doug Pederson, lover of fourth-down gambles, went for it on fourth-and-8 from the Giants’ 43 2 minutes, 29 seconds before halftime, and failed. The Giants marched downfield, stalled at the Eagles’ goal line and but Ben McAdoo went for it and the Giants were stuffed on fourth-and-goal. A field goal would have cut it to 7-3, and the Giants were slated to receive the kickoff to start the second half. The Giants wound up losing by 3.
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