Tuesday, September 29, 2020

Eagles Playoff Hopes Alive After Overtime Victory

Eagles victory over division rivals keeps playoff aspirations alive.

Tight end Zach Ertz’s touchdown in overtime sparked joyous celebrations from the home fans as the Philadelphia Eagles rallied from a 17–3 half time deficit to defeat the New York Giants 23-17 during a rain soaked evening at Lincoln Financial Field.

Eli Manning and rookie wideout Darius Slayton (5-of-8 for 154 yards and two touchdowns) tormented Eagles cornerback Ronald Darby throughout the first half, connecting on numerous deep passes as the Giants looked to be firmly in control.

An inspired performance from Boston Scott (128 yards from scrimmage and a touchdown) after the break invigorated an Eagles offense that had struggled to move the chains much to the disdain of large sections of the crowd. A Zach Ertz touchdown with 1.53 left sent the game to overtime, during which the tight end would strike again with a game sealing score to keep alive the Eagles playoff hopes.

How the action unfolded

The Giants drew first blood during a dull first quarter as Leonard Williams forced a fumble by Carson Wentz on a fourth and one. Under centre for the first time since week two an Eli Manning led offense failed to capitalise on the opportunity. As for the Eagles, their first quarter struggles were confounded on the next drive as Wentz failed to hit Alshon Jeffery in stride on a third and five.

Facing a third and thirteen Eli Manning found rookie Darius Slayton, who shook off a woefully attempted tackle by cornerback Ronald Darby for a 35-yard touchdown. The Eagles responded but had a touchdown taken off the board via a holding penalty after Wentz and Ertz had connected on back-to-back plays. The first for 24 yards with Wentz scrambling to his right, before a 30 yard gain coming off a play action fake. Oshane Ximines second sack of the night meant the Eagles had to settle for a 34 yard field goal to make the score 7–3.

The Manning to Slayton connection inflicted more misery on Darby as the duo combined for a 42 yard gain. Manning looked to extend the lead two plays later, but safety Malcolm Jenkins intervened breaking up a pass intended for Golden Tate in the endzone. Aldrick Rosas extended the lead 10-7 with a 34 yard field goal.

A botched two minute drill by the Eagles left the door open for Manning, who duly obliged with a 55 yard touchdown pass to Darius Slayton on a third and eight with 27 seconds remaining in the half. A stunned silence gave way to a chorus of boos as the teams hit the locker rooms with the Giants leading 17–3.

Second half

Both teams struggled to generate any offense after the break as the game threatened to spiral into a punt fest. Prior to the Eagles fourth straight three and out, Vinny Curry recorded his first sack of the night.

Fly Eagles Fly
PHILADELPHIA, PENNSYLVANIA – DECEMBER 09: Running back Boston Scott #35 of the Philadelphia Eagles carries the ball against the defense of the New York Giants during the game at Lincoln Financial Field on December 09, 2019 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Emilee Chinn/Getty Images)

With head coach Doug Pederson looking on in disbelief as a snap sailed high over the head of Carson Wentz, the game appeared to be slipping further away from the Eagles. The misery was short lived as an unlikely hero emerged in the form of Boston Scott.

Scott played a pivotal role in moving the chains before capping off a ten play, 58 yard drive with a two yard touchdown run, pulling the Eagles to within a touchdown (17-10) with 1.28 left in the third quarter.

Into the fourth quarter and Scott continued to impose his presence on the Giants defense. Scott rushed for 18 yards, prior to Wentz converting a third and seven to Josh Perkins. Scott added another 16 yards on a screen pass and suddenly the Eagles were inside the Giants 30. That joy was short-lived as Jake Elliott pulled a 47 yard field to the left of the upright.

Once again the Eagles defense handed the ball back to the offense as Vinny Curry recorded his second sack of the game. With the game on the line Wentz converted a fourth and one on the Eagles own 29 yard as part of an game tying 85 yard touchdown drive sealed with a Zach Ertz touchdown that sent the game into overtime.

Overtime

Any hope for the Giants was short-lived as the Eagles marched 75 yards with Miles Sanders and Boston Scott at the forefront of the attack. Passes to Greg Ward and Joshua Perkins put the Eagles within striking distance before Wentz hit Ertz for a two yard touchdown, giving the Eagles a much needed 23-17 victory.

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Mark Teece
Aspiring sports writer with an unhealthy NFL obsession. Enduring unimaginable misery via my beloved New York Jets.

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