The Giants.com crew reacts to the team's 13-7 victory over the Eagles in Week 12:
John Schmeelk: There are no style points in the NFL. When a team wins a game, especially against a division rival, it is a good day. It doesn't matter that the Eagles outgained the Giants by 68 yards or that Jalen Reagor had two chances to make potential game-winning catches on Philadelphia's final drive. The Giants were able to take advantage of another team's mistakes and come away with a victory.
That's not to say the Giants didn't contribute to some of those Eagles mistakes, including their four turnovers. Interceptions have to be caught by defensive backs, and fumbles forced and recovered. Football is a weird sport. Teams play well or poorly week to week. Half the battle for teams is winning games when the opponent presents those opportunities. The Giants took advantage of those on Sunday and won the game.
Dan Salomone: The biggest takeaway from Sunday is the upward trajectory of Xavier McKinney. From one to another, Saquon Barkley said after the game that the second-year safety is a "superstar who's only going to get better throughout this league." Much was made this offseason about stockpiling playmakers on offense, but they need them on defense, too. McKinney, who accounted for one of the defense's four takeaways against the Eagles, has five interceptions this season. McKinney also led the team in tackles with veteran Logan Ryan sidelined for a second consecutive game due to COVID protocols. Coach Joe Judge mentioned after the game that part of the process in the first half of the season was trying to find the best spots for players. They found the perfect places across the board on Sunday, especially for McKinney.
"One thing we've really found with him is this guy can do a lot of things close to the line of scrimmage," Judge said. "He can cover man, he can play underneath as a robber, he does all those things very well. The one thing he really does exceptionally well is playing the deep part of the field. That's where he's made a lot of plays right now. He plays with very good vision, very good instincts. He's very intelligent. He understands what he's seen earlier in that game as well as on tape to kind of go ahead and calculate the formation along with the personnel and how they're using it, what they're going to get to. He plays with good discipline on the backend of the field. He's made a lot of plays by sitting back there, letting the play develop and then he, obviously, has the skillset physically to make those breaks and finish with those catches."
Lance Medow: In college football, style points are a big part of measuring teams. It's not just about winning but how you go about accomplishing that feat. In the NFL, those factors don't come into play. You don't get brownie points on top of a victory. The Giants didn't pick up any style points in Sunday's win over the Eagles. It wasn't pretty but they did enough to get the job done and also witnessed an opponent struggling with what has plagued them at times: the accumulation of self-inflicted wounds or mental mishaps.
The Eagles turned the ball over four times. Jalen Hurts threw three interceptions and Boston Scott lost a fumble. Throw in a pair of turnovers on downs and Philadelphia wound up with nothing to show on six of its 10 possessions. The Eagles were able to move the ball (332 total yards including 208 rushing) but they had more empty possessions than ones that led to actual production. That was certainly a product of both their own decisions and the Giants defense. The takeaways proved to be crucial, especially at the end of the first half when the Eagles walked away with no points despite putting together a 15-play, 92-yard drive.
While Philly ran the ball effectively, Hurts still attempted 31 passes and that was the most times he's put the ball in the air since he made 34 throws in Las Vegas in Week 7. From Weeks 8 through 11, his totals were 14, 17, 23 and 24, respectively. The more times a quarterback throws, the more chances for the defense to capitalize and the latter happened more often than not thanks to several opportunistic plays. It's also important to note that on a day when Hurts attempted a high volume of throws, his top target on the season coming in, DeVonta Smith, only had two catches for 22 yards and tight end Dallas Goedert finished with one reception for no gain.
The defense bent a few times but didn't break. With that being said, the offense has now scored 20 points or fewer in eight of their 11 games this season and that has put pressure on the defense. In a game when the Giants were plus-four in turnover differential, they only won by six points and it came down to a potential dropped touchdown reception by Jalen Reagor in the final seconds.
View all the action from the Giants' Week 12 matchup against the Philadelphia Eagles.