Of course a fourth-down conversion saved the Philadelphia Eagles’ disappointing season, at least for the time being.
The Eagles have been able to replicate very little from their Super Bowl season, but coach Doug Pederson is still willing to go for it on fourth down. On fourth-and-1 with 2:39 left in a tie game against the New York Giants, Pederson left the offense on the field, as he famously did throughout last season on fourth downs. Carson Wentz dropped back, had time, and hit Nelson Agholor for a first down.
Philadelphia played it conservatively after that, but had enough for Jake Elliott to nail a 43-yard field goal with 22 seconds to go. The Eagles won 25-22.
The Eagles aren’t exactly in great shape at 5-6 after the win, but a loss would have all but killed their playoff chances. And for a long time it looked like they were headed to a loss.
Giants started hot
The Eagles were flat to start the game, which has been a common theme throughout their Super Bowl defense. The Giants, who had a little bit of confidence after a two-game winning streak, jumped on them in the first half.
Saquon Barkley scored on a 12-yard catch, then his 51-yard touchdown run gave the Giants a 19-3 lead. It’s not like the Eagles haven’t faced plenty of desperate moments already this season, but trailing the Giants by 16 at home is fairly high up the list.
Eventually the Eagles calmed down. The defense picked off Eli Manning in Eagles territory with the Giants looking to extend their lead. The offense warmed up a little bit. Josh Adams gave Philadelphia a 22-19 lead, but the Giants answered back with a field goal to tie it. But the Eagles, with their backs truly against the wall, persevered.
Eagles pull off the comeback win
If you want to be very optimistic, the Eagles pulled together in a tough situation and made the plays to pull out a crucial win, and that will spark a December run. Maybe they got some magic back from Pederson’s fourth-down decision that kept a game-winning drive alive.
That seems very, very optimistic.
The Eagles struggled again against a poor Giants team at home. They did make some big plays, including Wentz’s huge fourth-down completion to Agholor, but it wasn’t a pretty performance. The Eagles haven’t been impressive all season, and Sunday’s win wasn’t great either.
But they’re still alive. Barely. But it’s better than losing at home to the Giants.
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