Philadelphia – Jalen Hurts’ shoulder injury has derailed the Philadelphia Eagles into the playoffs.
Hurts became the second Eagles player with touchdown passes and one rushing touchdown in a playoff game, joining Donovan McNabb on that exclusive list as the Eagles cruised to a 38-7 win over the New York Giants in a playoff game that never looked so close.
The Eagles are heading to their seventh NFC Championship game since the start of the 2001 season, and their second in five years. Hurts finished 16 of 24 for 254 yards with two touchdowns (112.2 rating) and had nine carries for 34 yards and a touchdown – all in a first half in which the Eagles took a 28-0 lead and cruised to victory.
The defense also took control of the game early on as Hasson Reddick had 1.5 sacks for the Eagles in the first half, both of which came on two consecutive plays to prevent the Giants from moving down the field on their first drive. James Bradbury made an interception on the Giants’ second possession, the first by an Eagles linebacker since Week 9. Philadelphia was leading 14-0 at that point in the game.
Boston Scott scored for the Eagles in the second quarter to give them a 21-0 lead, his 11th touchdown in nine career games against the Giants. Scott has a career-high 19 touchdowns, living up to his “Giant Killer” reputation. Hurts had a rushing touchdown to seal a dominant first half.
The Eagles (15-3) just took advantage of the clock from there and advanced to the NFC Championship Game. They will host either the Dallas Cowboys or the San Francisco 49ers next Sunday at Lincoln Financial Stadium at 3 p.m. ET. The Giants season finishes at 9-8-1.
Here are some additional snacks from the blast:
Why did the Eagles win?
Jalen Hurts returned in full MVP form, Miles Sanders had lanes open all night, and Jonathan Gannon’s all-around defense made it look easy after Daniel Jones up front. In other words, the Eagles looked like a primetime version of themselves from the 2022 campaign. Despite taking a conservative approach in Week 18 as he recovered from his shoulder injury, Hurts is fully rejuvenated, feeding DeVonta Smith and Dallas Goedert with ease, perhaps more visibly. Using his legs to assist in a dominant ground match. Sanders was constantly fluid in space, and Kenneth Ginwell had one difficult carry after another down the stretch as Philly accumulated over 250 yards rushing. On the “D,” sack artist Hasson Riddick was busy again, handily outsprinting Andrew Thomas to keep Daniel Jones under fire. Former Giants star James Bradbury-Jones read like a book picked early. And Brett Kern in turn pinned New York deep on a few Eagles on the night.
Why did the giants lose?
Brian Daboll and Wink Martindale both failed to move up a roster that was already at least a year ahead of schedule in terms of competition. Daboll deserves props for the way he rejuvenated Daniel Jones this season, but his situational decision-making left a bit to be desired; Nowhere was this more apparent than a fourth down, as he opted to go for the fourth and long game early, but shot near midfield when trailing by 21. Weeks, and unlike the Vikings, the Eagles refused to give up on the ground. It didn’t help that Jones had a few precious clean pockets, or open receivers, and forced an early throw that closed a two-point deficit early on. All hope is not lost in New York. Daboll has this team on the right track. But they were outplayed and outplayed at every stage in Philly.
The Eagles rallied with two points in a hurry, as Jalen Hurts found both Smith and Goedert on back-to-back TD runs out of the gate. New York was bold on their first drive, turning it over on downs after coming close to midfield. Trailing 14-0 in their second series, it looked like they still had life, as Daniel Jones hit Matt Breda for 19. But then, on the next play, with a free rush coming from the gut, Jones threw a quick, ill-advised hit across the middle, And his former team mate James Bradbury handily picked him up. The Eagles didn’t score on their ensuing possession, but the turnover ensured that momentum only belonged to the home team.
Play the game
Haason Reddick had several worthwhile pressures, but Dallas Goedert’s one-handed touchdown pass started it all for Philly:
The Giants will go home this offseason on a bittersweet note: They weren’t even supposed to make the playoffs, so they can be proud of that; However, plenty of improvements lie ahead, with Jones still unsigned at QB and both sides of the ball requiring multiple upgrades. The Eagles, meanwhile, will advance to their second NFC Championship Game in five years, hosting either the Cowboys or the 49ers on January 29.
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