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5 Things We Learned

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5 things we learned with 4 games left


The Giants faced the Eagles in Week 14, their third consecutive matchup against an NFC East opponent.

After losing to the Cowboys and tying the Commanders, the Giants fell on Sunday, 48-22.

Philadelphia out-gained the Giants 437-304 in yards, including 253 on the ground. On the other side of the ball, the Eagles' defense racked up seven sacks compared to four for the Giants.

"Tough game," coach Brian Daboll told the media after the game. "Credit to Philly; that's a good football team over there. They pretty much did everything better than we did. So, get back to work, and get ready for Washington."

Daboll's squad will look to turn the page as they begin preparations for next weekend's pivotal rematch against the Commanders on Sunday Night Football. Both teams enter the game 7-5-1, and the winner will hold the tiebreaker come playoff time.

Here are five things we learned in the divisional matchup.

1. NFC East race coming into focus

Following a quick punt by the Giants to open the game, the Eagles put together a 14-play, 84-yard touchdown drive that resulted in a three-yard touchdown run by Miles Sanders and never looked back. The Giants went on to surrender touchdowns on each of their first three defensive possessions, and went into the locker room at halftime having given up 24 points. Philadelphia would go on to outgain the Giants 437-304.

"We got beat handily," said Daboll. "It was 48 to whatever it was (22). They're a good football team. Give them a lot of credit. Got to get back to work...

"We'll go in tomorrow and watch the tape and learn from some of the things that we can do better and move on to Washington in the afternoon."

Despite the big loss, the Giants still control their own destiny with four games remaining. Next week's matchup against the Washington Commanders could go a long way in determining who clinches one of the final Wild Card spots in the NFC.

"I think any time you lose in this league, you have to be resilient," said the head coach. "Particularly, the last few weeks, we've lost some games. (We) haven't had the results we want. So, again, you don't make any excuses. You own it, and everything starts with me. And we get ready to get to work for the next week. There's really no secret thing to just flip it right away. The guys are doing what we're asking them to do. We just got to do a little bit better, all of us."

2. Struggles against the run

The Giants have struggled to stop the run at times this season, but with defensive lineman Leonard Williams sidelined, Sunday's game was particularly rough in that department. Philadelphia ran the ball 31 times for 253 yards, good for an average of 8.2 yards per carry, and four touchdowns. The yards and touchdowns were the most the Giants have given up in a game this year. Running back Miles Sanders continued his career-year with 144 yards and two touchdowns on just 17 carries (8.5 avg.). Longtime Giants nemesis Boston Scott added 33 yards and a touchdown late in the game when the score was already out of reach.

The defense also had trouble containing Jalen Hurts on the ground. The Eagles quarterback, who finds himself firmly in the MVP discussion with a month left in the season, registered just seven rush attempts but gained 77 yards and scored a touchdown. Hurts completed 21 of 31 passes (67.7 percent) for 217 yards, two touchdowns and no interceptions, and the Eagles were successful on six of 11 third down attempts.

"They're a good running team," Daboll said. "I think Jalen made a few plays with his legs on some zone reads. And the (running) backs – they're a good team. They block it well up front. So, way too many yards."

3. Saquon, offense can't get going

Saquon Barkley was limited in practice on Thursday and Friday with a neck issue, and was given the questionable tag heading into today's game. While he did suit up against the Eagles, the star running back recorded a season-low nine rush attempts, which went for 28 yards (3.1 avg.), and added two receptions for 20 yards. Meanwhile, Gary Brightwell and Matt Breida combined for eight carries for 29 yards along with four receptions for 27 yards. After the game, Daboll told the media that the team had a plan for Barkley heading into the game.

"I wouldn't say we had a pitch count, but I think we had a plan," said Daboll. "He came in early and got his treatment. He got looked at by the doctors and the medical staff. We were going to make sure we were being smart with him."

The Giants have relied upon Daniel Jones to use his legs often this season, but on Sunday the fourth-year quarterback had just four rushes for 26 yards. He did score his fifth touchdown on the ground, though. Jones had another efficient outing in the air as he completed 66.7 percent of his passes (18 for 27) for 169 yards, one touchdown and no interceptions, earning a passer rating of 96.1.

The Giants' offense was able to convert on just four of 11 third down attempts. The Eagles totaled seven sacks on the day, including three from Brandon Graham. Fletcher Cox, Haason Reddick, Josh Sweat and and Milton Williams added one sack apiece.

4. Azeez leads pass rush with two sacks

One bright spot for the defense on Sunday was the performance of Azeez Ojulari. The matchup against the Eagles was only the second game back for the second-year outside linebacker after a calf injury left him sidelined for over two months. Ojulari finished the game with two sacks, marking his third consecutive outing with a sack. He now has four on the season despite playing in only four games.

The team's other two sacks came from a couple of unlikely sources. Defensive lineman Ryder Anderson picked up his first career sack on Sunday, as did defensive back Zyon Gilbert. Both defensive rookies were elevated from the practice squad on Saturday. It was only the third game of the season for Anderson and the second for Gilbert.

For the third consecutive game, Julian Love led the team with 10 total tackles (seven solo). Love now has 107 total tackles on the season, 47 more than any other player (Jaylon Smith has 60).

5. Injury updates; Bellinger, McFadden hurt

In just his second game back after missing four outings due to a serious eye injury, Daniel Bellinger was ruled out after suffering a ribs injury against the Eagles. The rookie tight end caught three passes for 19 yards prior to departing.

"I think he got re-injured," Daboll stated after the game. "He came back. They looked at him. Then he went back. He's pretty sore. I think it was ribs, but I don't want to (say for sure). I didn't talk to the trainers, but I'm pretty sure it was."

Rookie inside linebacker Micah McFadden also left early due to ankle and neck injuries. He finished with five solo tackles, including a tackle for loss.

Cornerback Adoree' Jackson (knee) and guards Shane Lemieux (toe) and Josh Ezeudu (neck) were all ruled out on Friday. Meanwhile, defensive lineman Leonard Williams, who was listed as doubtful with a neck injury on the final injury report, was also inactive.

The other inactives included wide receiver David Sills, cornerback Rodarius Williams, and tight end Lawrence Cager.


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