Game Review – Playoffs – PHI 38, NYG 7

Posted: January 26th, 2023 | Author: | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | Comments Off on Game Review – Playoffs – PHI 38, NYG 7

The Giants were the feel good story. Everybody loved Brian Daboll, Daniel Jones and Dexter Lawrence. The upstarts were going to pull off an upset. But then along came the bad guy Eagles. They swept the leg, got the Giants on the ground and then repeatedly punched them in the face for three hours.

It was beautiful.

This was an ideal game. The Eagles got out to a big lead and took the fight out of the Giants. That allowed the Eagles to rest players and it kept them from having to empty the playbook.

The story on the Eagles coming in is that they had lost their touch. Injuries had disrupted them and they were rusty. That narrative was gone by the end of the first drive. The Eagles marched right down the field to go up 7-0. They made it look easy.

“Good” easy. Bad easy is when the defense is blowing coverages, getting in the wrong gaps or guys are falling down. That leads to a false sense of success. Your plays worked because of luck/incompetence. See the 1995 Eagles vs Lions wild card game for a prime example of that. Against the Giants, the Eagles ran good plays and executed well. That is the kind of performance you want to see. We’ve seen the Eagles play like this before. It isn’t luck. This was a good team executing at a high level.


Nick Sirianni had his guys locked in from the beginning. He pushed all the right buttons. There weren’t a whole lot of strategic decisions to make. The Eagles didn’t go for it on 4th down. That’s kind of a shock. They thought about it once, but ended up punting. The defense was playing so well that Sirianni trusted them rather than risking something bad happening while going for it.

The offensive staff ran more than I thought. In the first Giants game, they ran for 253 yards, but 161 came after halftime. This time the Eagles ran for 140 in the first half and 128 in the second. They played a lot of 12 personnel and just pounded the Giants.

The coaches were aggressive right away. Hurst went deep on the second play of the game, hitting Smith for 40 yards. That set the tone for the game and got the crowd going in a big way. The coaches were creative at times. They ran a variation off sneak for a 14-yard gain. They mixed in QB runs. Jeff Stoutland’s run game had the Giants head spinning at times. They did all kinds of creative things.

Jonathan Gannon and the defense had a terrific showing. We’ve talked all year about his unit needing to prove themselves against good QBs and/or in big games. The defense was outstanding. Gannon called a good game and the players executed really well. Gannon used blitzes, zone blitzes and stunts. They mixed up coverages to keep Jones reading just a second longer and that let pressure affect him.


416 yards

10 of 14 on 3rd downs

0 of 0 on 4th downs

4 of 5 in the red zone

3 plays of 20 or more yards


Jalen Hurts sure didn’t look like an injured QB. He went 16-24-154 with a pair of TDs. He ran 9 times for 34 yards and a TD. This version of Hurts is what the Eagles need to win it all. He threw the ball well. He made smart decisions. Hurts showed no fear as a runner. He was smart about getting down or out of bounds when possible, but fought for yards when he needed to. More than anything, this was a smart performance.

There were some good throws. His deep ball to Smith was accurate and had good touch. That ball was in the air about 40 yards.

Hurts had a good throw to Goedert for a gain of 23. That throw was right on the money. There was a quick screen to Smith for a TD. Simple play, but not an easy throw. Hurts put good velocity on the ball and put it right where Smith needed it. Maybe his best throw came on an out to Smith, but the pass was dropped. Tough play, but really impressive throw to even have a chance.


Miles Sanders had a good game, going 17-90. He ran hard, but also showed good patience on inside runs. He read blocks and looked for daylight to attack. When he did have space, he used his burst to get up the field.

Kenny Gainwell had the best game of his young career. He went 12-112, including a 35-yard TD. Gainwell ran hard. He attacks up the field with good burst. Give him a small hole and he’s up to the second level. His best run was a 12-yard draw on 3rd/12. Great effort to get the 1st down. The TD was fun.

Another game against the Giants, another Boston Scott TD. I wasn’t sure he got in on the play, but he fought hard and just did break the plane. Was 6-32 for the game.


DeVonta Smith was 6-61-1. He had the 40-yard pass play on the opening drive that got things going. He caught a quick screen and took that 9 yards for a TD.

AJ Brown had somewhat of a quiet game, going 3-22. He had some lower leg issue bothering him and was visibly frustrated. The coaches settled him down.

Both Smith and Brown were outstanding as blockers. That shows you how locked in this team is. When stars embrace doing the dirty work, you’re going to win a lot of games.

Zach Pascal caught 1 pass for 4 yards. He also blocked well. Pascal had a key part in Goedert’s TD. He got in the DBs way and then jumped away. That caused the DB to get off balance and left DG wide open.

Quez Watkins only played 22 snaps (24 for Pascal). Sirianni said it just worked out that way. It is fair to wonder if some of the late season sloppiness cost Quez playing time. He can still be a valuable role player for this team.


Goedert was targeted 5 times. He caught 5 passes (5-58-1). That is an efficient performance. Goedert made plays after the catch on a couple of those.


Jack Stoll, Grant Calcaterra and Goedert all blocked well in the run game. Impressive performance. Stoll did lose a blitzing DB that led to the Giants only sack. He will need to clean that up.


The Eagles ran for 268 yards. The OL didn’t allow any sacks. I could leave it at just that and it would let you know how well these guys played.

I thought the Giants might get pressure against the OTs. Jordan Mailata had struggled at times in the first game. Didn’t happen this time. Lane Johnson was playing with a torn groin. You wouldn’t know that from watching his blocking. He looked like healthy Lane. There were some tough moments between plays, but he was a stud.

Isaac Seumalo and Landon Dickerson each played well. Seumalo had a really good block on Scott’s TD run. He fired into Lawrence and got him off-balance. Dickerson and Mailata knocked the crap out of DT Ryder Anderson on one play. Dickerson got banged up and replaced by Andre Dillard for a few plays. Dillard looked good, even single-blocking Lawrence on a good run play.

Jason Kelce is a friggin’ stud. I don’t know what else to say.

Kelce dominated backup NT Justin Ellis in a way you don’t see too often. Kelce got the best of Dexter Lawrence, who should have stayed home and watched some TV. Kelce also pulled a lot and was outstanding in space. A game like this will help his case for the Hall of Fame. You don’t see centers dominate star DTs in big games very often. This will stick in people’s minds.

I feel bad for the Giants DL who have to go back and watch this tape. It was brutal from their perspective.


227 yards

5 of 13 on 3rd downs

1 of 3 on 4th downs

1 of 1 in the red zone

1 plays of 20 or more yards

1 takeaway

5 sacks,  8 QB hits


Josh Sweat got back on the field for the first time since his injury in Week 17. He played well and looked fine. Sweat had 1.5 sacks, 2 QB hits and a FF. He had a couple of other pressures where he just missed sacks. He blew up a run play that led to a TFL. Disruptive performance.

Fletcher Cox looked good. He had 4 tackles, a sack and a QB hit. He was disruptive against the run and pass. Cox looked like he had fresh legs. His sack came on a hustle play when he chased Jones out of bounds. Lined up at NT in one pass rush set. Don’t think I’ve seen that much this year.

Milton Williams had some good snaps. He didn’t make any plays, but got penetration a few times.

Javon Hargrave was in on 2 tackles. He just missed a sack late in the game. Drove the OL right back, but couldn’t get to Jones in time. Got good push on multiple plays.

Jordan Davis played 19 snaps, seeing time at NT and DT. He got good push on multiple plays. Encouraging to see him helping with the pass rush.

Brandon Graham had 2 tackles, a sack and a QB hit.

Linval Joseph had one tackle. He didn’t play much.

Ndamukong Suh got push on some pass plays. Also didn’t play much.


Haason Reddick came up big in his first playoff game. He tied for the team lead with 5 tackles. He had 1.5 sacks, 3 QB hits and a TFL. Reddick was used creatively, dropping back, stunting up the middle and flying off the edge. He got a sack on 4th down to end the Giants opening drive.

TJ Edwards had a good game. He had 4 tackles. Didn’t make any plays, but tackled well and showed good range. Might have been at fault on the one big play the defense gave up. Jumped a certain gap and Barkely went inside for 39 yards. Williams got blocked well on the play. Might have been his gap. Hard to tell.

Kyzir White only had 1 tackle, but played well. Looked good in coverage vs Barkley. Blitzed a couple of times and got pressure. On one of those, lined up on the edge and then looped up the middle on a stunt. Interesting twist.


Reed Blankenship tied for the team lead with 5 tackles. He added a TFL and a PD. He continues to impress me with his downhill speed and tackling. Blankenship sees a play and attacks. When he gets there, he’s got pop. Real good showing from the rookie.

Marcus Epps had a solid game. He was also in on 5 tackles. Didn’t make any plays.

K’Vonn Wallace had a QB hit and a PD. You like it when role players show up like that.


James Bradberry got his revenge. He had tackles and an INT against the team that cut him last offseason. Picked off a pass when he read a play correctly and jumped the route. Would have had a TD if he could have kept his feet. Had a key tackle on a 3rd down play. Hit the WR right at the line to gain. The WR fell and bobbled the ball, then secured it. By bobbling it, the spot was behind the line and led to a punt.

Darius Slay had 5 tackles and a PD. He didn’t have any key moments.

CJ Gardner-Johnson played the slot a lot and was good. He broke on several passes and just missed an INT. He had 3 tackles and a PD. He seemed to get better as the game went along.


Brett Kern averaged 43 yards per punt. This was his best game as an Eagle. Three of the punts were downed inside the 20 (9, 12 and 7 yard lines).

Jake Elliott hit his only FG.

The Eagles didn’t have any return yards.

There was one interesting moment on STs. The Eagles were at the Giants 38 and lined up to punt. Then Kern split out and Blankenship went under center, showing a fake.

The Giants didn’t fall for it. The Eagles took a penalty and then did punt.


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