Eagles wake up in second half, beat down hapless Giants

Giants Eagles Boston Scott
Dec 26, 2021; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA; Philadelphia Eagles running back Boston Scott (35) runs for a touchdown against the New York Giants during the third quarter at Lincoln Financial Field.
Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

Sunday afternoon’s matchup between the Philadelphia Eagles and New York Giants provided one of the worst halves in football seen all season as the two teams entered the locker room tied at 3-3.

Then, one of the teams decided to show up for the second half — and it wasn’t the Giants.

The Eagles (8-7) scored 31 unanswered points in the second half to romp to a 34-10 victory over the hapless Giants (4-11) just hours after reports emerged that head coach Joe Judge’s job was safe for next season.

Giving Jake Fromm his first-career NFL start, the Giants could not do a thing against the Eagles’ defense, accruing just 192 total yards of offense that led to Mike Glennon entering the game in the third quarter.

Fromm completed just 6-of-17 passes for 25 yards and an interception before Glennon — who didn’t fare much better — posted 93 yards with a touchdown and a pick of his own.

After a miserable opening quarter, Eagles quarterback Jalen Hurts stabilized to put together a strong day, throwing for 199 yards and two touchdowns.

Things could have started much worse for the Eagles after fumbling the opening kick-off, which they managed to keep before a Hurts interception by Steven Parker was deemed incomplete on what became a three-and-out to start the afternoon.

Hurts was stripped of the football by Lorenzo Carter on the Eagles’ second drive of the day, but the Eagles managed to recover again.

Each time, they were able to punt it away and pin the Giants in their territory — to which New York responded by gaining a combined eight yards to provide an early indication that the offense wasn’t going anywhere with Fromm.

Pressure from an active Giants defense bothered Hurts during that opening stretch as the Eagles’ quarterback completed just three of his first 10 attempts for 11 yards.

It was no surprise that the afternoon began with a combined seven consecutive punts — the Giants holding the Eagles to just 38 total yards.

New York was first to get on the board with 11:41 to go in the second quarter after an 11-play, 39-yard got just enough for a Graham Gano 54-yard field goal — though a conservative approach saw the Giants run the ball on a 3rd-&-10 from the Eagles’ 34-yard-line. The drive was extended after Darius Slay dropped what should have been an easy interception of Fromm down the right sideline that fell through the breadbasket of the cornerback.

Fromm completed just 5-of-15 attempts for 18 yards in the entire first half.

More miscues plagued the Eagles, as they came up empty on the ensuing drive that looked destined for points. After a Jalen Reagor drop and a DeVonta Smith offensive pass interference call on the Giants’ 17-yard-line, Jake Elliott sent a 41-year-old wide right to keep New York’s slim advantage intact with seven minutes to go before halftime.

A 46-yard connection to Smith put the Eagles down to the Giants’ 13-yard-line on their following drive, but the Giants defense hung tough, holding Philadelphia to a 22-yard equalizing field goal from Elliott with 1:57 to go before the break.

Fromm opened the door for the Eagles to take a lead that they’d never relinquish. On the opening drive of the second half, the reserve quarterback airmailed a throw well over Kenny Golladay and into the arms of Eagles defensive back Rodney McLeod. He returned it down to the Giants’ 21-yard-line to set up a Boston Scott three-yard touchdown two minutes later.

After gaining just two yards on their next drive, which led to a 39-yard punt return by Reagor to set up another Elliott field goal to put the Eagles up 10, Fromm’s day was done as the Giants went back to Glennon.

It made no difference.

After gaining just a single yard and punting it away, the Giants yielded more points in a nightmare of a third quarter.

Quez Watkins won a jump ball over Julian Love for a 39-yard gain to move the Eagles down to the Giants’ 9-yard-line before Smith made a beautiful tight-rope reception from four yards out in the side of the end zone to put the Eagles up 20-3 with 4:-07 to go in the frame.

It capped off a strong showing from Hurts, who rebounded from his miserable start to go 12-of-16 for 173 yards between the second and third quarters.

The onslaught continued into the fourth quarter as Hurts connected with a wide-open Lane Johnson — an offensive lineman — for a five-yard touchdown and the big man’s first-career catch and touchdown.

A little over a minute later, the Eagles’ lead grew, even more, when Alex Singleton picked off a Glennon pass that clanged off Kadarius Toney, blanketed by McLeod, and returned it 29 yards for the score.

The Giants ended the Eagles’ scoring run with a garbage-time nine-yard touchdown reception by Evan Engram, which made the scoreline slightly more flattering for New York — which was more than it deserved.

It was the Giants’ first touchdown in eight quarters.

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