By Roxaan Herrera//@rxnlzbth
Eagles – 34 Giants – 29
It’s been said time and time again: defense wins games. The Eagles’ defense has been quite inconsistent these last few games, beginning with the Seattle Seahawks game.
I can understand that chasing after someone like quarterback Russell Wilson can be tiresome, but there’s no way that the game against the New York Giants should have been as close as it was. Five-point differential against a 2-11 team (at the time)?!
Nothing against the Giants, we all know they have a future Hall of Famer in quarterback Eli Manning. The Giants offensive line wasn’t hard to break through and yet the defense struggled for some reason. Allowing a 2-12 team over 500 yards of offense and the Eagles missing tackles is absolutely unacceptable.
Maybe it was the fact that it was a divisional game and those are always tough. Or maybe because it was their third (and final) road game in a row and it’s taken a toll on the players. Whatever the reason was, the Eagles were lucky that they had an amazing backup quarterback in Nick Foles who had a spectacular game back as a starter but luck doesn’t win championships.
The biggest concern, question mark, and complaint NFL analysts and fans alike had leading up to Sunday’s game was the offense. Would it change? Would they perform the same as they did when injured quarterback Carson Wentz was leading them?
I couldn’t stress enough to anyone who would listen was that Foles will bring his own swag to the team. He’s not in the league just to collect money. He even took a pay cut to rejoin the Philadelphia Eagles because he knows just how special this organization is. Foles threw for four touchdowns, and although it wasn’t always pretty, he was able to step-up when it counted the most.
I am more than delighted the Eagles clinched 1st round BYE and a home game for the first game of the playoffs. I’m just not happy with how it was accomplished. It’s been a long season, a grueling season filled with injuries, but it isn’t over yet.
Head coach Doug Pederson should grill them for the lackluster way they played. The Eagles fans went into this game worried about the offense but left this game with questions regarding the defense. Pederson has been asked whether he’s thought of benching the starters for either of the next two games, his answer was a simple “not sure yet”. My answer would have been “Bench them? Bench them?! Our defense didn’t show up today and you think I should bench them?!” Jim Mora-esque style.
Having the best record in the NFL does come with a few bragging rights, but I didn’t feel much like gloating today. The Eagles of old need to come back and finish this season off on a high note.
Talk Eagles with Roxaan on Twitter @rxnlzbth