In a game that decided the leader of the NFC East after 10 games, it was the Eagles who came out on top. Philadelphia dominated the first half but could only put up 13 points thanks to red-zone drops (by Jason Avant and DeSean Jackson) and a blocked field goal. The FG block brought back memories of a 2008 game between the two teams when the Giants blocked a kick and returned it for a TD.
The game was decided by a few critical plays, including LeSean McCoy‘s 50-yard TD on fourth-and-1 and Eli Manning‘s fumble. Although he put in an impressive performance, he made the same critical mistake he did against the Eagles in 2009, fumbling after diving head first and before being touched.
Giants: Three performances of note
Going against his former team, LT Shawn Andrews (-3.7) was a major reason why the Giants struggled. He did have a tough matchup against one of the league’s best 4-3 DEs in Trent Cole and while he was only just below average in pass protection (-0.4, three pressures in 36 dropbacks), he struggled to open holes in the running game (-1.6) and committed two penalties. In much more surprising fashion, across from him, RT Kareem McKenzie (our top ranked RT prior to Week 11) was manhandled. His pass protection was serviceable, but for a guy who had prior to the game failed to register a single run-blocking rating of less than +0.3, a -2.2 grade can’t have been expected.
Manning (+3.1) always seems to bring his A-game to Lincoln Financial Field. His performance was slightly marred by the fumble, but that doesn’t take away from his impressive display through the air (+4.0). The most impressive thing about Manning’s night was his performance under pressure. When he felt the heat, Manning went 11 of 17 for 81 yards and two TDs with a QB rating of 115.1. In contrast, when afforded time, Manning was a very poor 9 of 16 for 66 yards and three interceptions.
Barry Cofield (+3.0) is bouncing back at DT after a disappointing 2009. His run defense (+1.3) was especially good against the Eagles, particularly when he was matched up with C Mike McGlynn or RG Nick Cole. Against these two, he made two tackles and one stop (although he also missed one). He also added some pass rush, which had been lacking for some parts of 2010, adding two hits and a pressure.
Eagles: Three performances of note
After seeming to turn the corner McGlynn (-5.1) really struggled with the Giants’ active front. McGlynn was poor in every facet of the game, allowing two hits and a pressure in 52 dropbacks (-1.7 pass-protection grade). Neither could he get any push in the run game (-1.6), where the Eagles were stifled for all but two big plays. To make matters worse, for a team that uses the screen as much as the Eagles, a -1.0 rating really doesn’t help give McCoy room to do what he does best in open space. He also committed a false start penalty which, for a C, should never happen.
Patience is a virtue when it comes to ACL injuries, and MLB Stewart Bradley (+4.7) helps display that. One couldn’t ask for a better all-around performance from Bradley, who finished with a +1.5 grade in all three of the major categories. As a pass-rusher, Bradley hit the QB and gained another two pressures in just seven rushes. The major difference however was probably in his run defense (+1.5) and his ability is clear when allowed to attack downhill. He finished the day with four tackles and two stops. He was good in coverage, too, allowing just two of the four balls into his coverage to be complete for 20 yards with one pass defensed and one INT.
Perhaps the most impressive performance of the defense, however, belongs to DLE Brandon Graham (+4.3). Although he didn’t start the game, he got increased playing time (41 snaps) after Juqua Parker re-aggravated a hip injury and was unable to return. As mentioned above, going against McKenzie was going to be a tough test but it was one Graham passed with flying colors. Graham made our top-10 pass-rushing productivity list for 4-3 DEs and he was exceptional against the Giants again in that department, adding five pressures in 30 rushes. Graham was also above average in run defense (+0.6), making one stop one on one tackle with an assist. He also forced a key Ahmad Bradshaw fumble.
Jake Ballard received six snaps at TE. … Left guard Mitch Petrus got one play. … Jason Pierre-Paul will likely forever be contrasted with Graham and he was solid in his 20 snaps, getting three pressures in 16 rushes (although he did commit a critical offsides on the drive, which resulted in McCoy’s 50-yard score). … Punter Matt Dodge (-1.2) wasn’t very good.
Clay Harbor played 21 snaps along with rookie WR Riley Cooper, who played 12. … In his return to the lineup, FS Nate Allen (-0.3) was merely average although he did give up a TD toss to Travis Beckum. … Weakside linebacker Keenan Clayton played four snaps and forced a Hakeem Nicks fumble that was recovered by the Giants. … Kurt Coleman came in for one play at free safety when Quintin Mikell was injured
After having just two drops in two seasons (2008 and ’09), Avant already has three this year. … Manning was the only Giants offensive player (who played more than five snaps) to register a positive grade.