Eagles Survive MNF Scare from Giants

Nick Mensio
Rotoworld

Monday night’s NFC East clash between the Giants and Eagles featured the worst first quarter of pro football we've seen all season. Neither team could move the ball, and Carson Wentz in particular was overall pretty terrible the entire first half. He went to the break with 97 passing yards and a lost fumble with the Eagles getting booed off the field down 17-3. Philly dominated the second half, however, but it was still not a good look to be pushed to the brink and into overtime on your home field by the 2-10 Giants. Wentz did uncork some absolute dimes in the comeback, and both of Wentz's scores were two-yard hookups with Zach Ertz. By the time the game ended, the Eagles had literally one healthy receiver, Greg Ward. Wentz has been brutal in 2019, but the 6-7 Eagles now control their own destiny with the Redskins, Cowboys, and Giants in Weeks 15-17. This still isn’t a good team by any means and should be a quick out if they reach the postseason. The Cowboys are the far more talented team on paper.

 

Eli Manning was making his first start since Week 2. Neither offense did much of anything in a horrendous first quarter, but Manning did find a second-frame groove with 36- and 54-yard touchdown hookups with rookie WR Darius Slayton. Manning went into the half 11-of-19 for 179 yards with the two scores. The second half was an utter disaster, however, as Eli was 4-of-11 for 24 yards in the final 30-plus minutes. The Eagles put 20 unanswered on the board to survive.  Daniel Jones (ankle) is expected to miss at least one more game, putting Manning under center for Week 15 at home against the Dolphins. It’s a solid on-paper spot, but Manning is just awful.

Ertz was literally the only real means of offense via the air for the Eagles, who entered this one with three healthy WRs before watching Alshon Jeffery (foot) and JJ Arcega-Whiteside (hamstring) get hurt. The tight ends and running backs were Wentz's best friends. Ertz caught a pair of two-yard touchdowns in the fourth and fifth frames to tie and win the game, erasing a 17-3 halftime deficit, and finished the game with 9-91-2 on a team-high 13 targets. Ertz has been a volume monster for weeks now with the Eagles battling receiver injuries. He gets the Redskins in Week 15. Ertz went 5-54-0 on seven targets against them in Week 1.

Giants rookie wideout Darius Slayton put on a first-half show, catching all five of his passes on six targets before the break, and setting CB Ronald Darby ablaze in the process with 36- and 54-yard touchdowns against his coverage. Slayton, however, fell off the face of the planet after the break, as Manning managed 24 measly yards over the final two frames of action. This offense was stuck in the mud outside of the second quarter. Slayton has three two-touchdown games to his name as a rookie, and this was his second 100-yard effort. He'll be a boom-or-bust WR3/4 next week at home in a tasty spot against the Dolphins, but he's tied to Manning again.

Miles Sanders briefly left the game in the second half to be treated for cramping and dehydration, and it was Boston Scott who took the opportunity and literally ran with it as the lone playmaking back.  A jitterbug at 5'6"/203, Scott was a sixth-round pick of the Saints last year and has been on and off the Eagles' roster for the past calendar year. He entered this game with 24 career touches, so this was definitely an out-of-the-blue performance.  His touchdown was a two-yard plunge in the third quarter to pull the game to 17-10 Giants. Scott was also a major factor as a playmaker in the pass game, turning short passes into big chunk gains. He's earned more of a look on offense, but Sanders is fine and Jordan Howard (shoulder) should be cleared any day now.  Scott isn't someone to chase in fantasy for Week 15 against the Redskins.

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Injury Updates

Rashaad Penny suffered a torn ACL in the Week 14 loss to the Rams and is done for the season. Penny's going to be up against the wall to be ready for the start of the 2020 season.  It's really unfortunate for a player who appeared to finally turn a corner late in his second season. Chris Carson will again be the focal point with C.J. Prosise as his lightly-used backup.

Fantasy managers who made it to the playoffs and advanced to the next round with Mike Evans are unlikely to have their star wideout for Week 15 against the Lions after he suffered a significant hamstring strain while catching a 61-yard touchdown versus the Colts. He’s viewed as a long shot, paving the way for Breshad Perriman, Justin Watson, and perhaps even Scotty Miller to soak up snaps behind Chris Godwin. Meanwhile, Jameis Winston, who left briefly with a fractured thumb against the Colts but later returned, is getting a second opinion. The Bucs are “optimistic” he’ll be out there against Detroit. Winston was in a brace Monday night. Ryan Griffin would be a severe downgrade for this passing game, though Godwin should still get “his” no matter what. This offense is in a dreamy Week 15 spot against the Lions.

Lamar Jackson took a hit to his quad late in the win against the Bills and didn’t practice Monday. Coach John Harbaugh is calling him day to day ahead of Thursday night’s tilt with the lowly Jets. Robert Griffin III took every snap in Monday’s session. On a short week, it’s fair to wonder if Jackson could be reeled in as a runner against the Jets. It’s a very winnable game, even if RGIII was forced to play. Mark Andrews (knee) was absent from Monday’s practice, but word is that he has avoided a serious injury. Still, the short week will come into play here.

D.J. Chark limped off the field in the fourth quarter against the Chargers and was spotted leaving the stadium in a walking boot. On Monday, Chark was still in his boot and getting around on a scooter. Coach Doug Marrone is calling the sophomore receiver week to week to end a lost season for the team. Chark has been one of the very few bright spots in Jacksonville. Hopefully he isn’t dealing with a serious foot problem that will linger deep into the offseason. If/when Chark misses time, Jacksonville will roll with a wideout set of Chris Conley, Dede Westbrook, and Keelan Cole. The Jaguars are merely playing out the string of the year in sleep-walk mode.

After buckling over on the sideline and grabbing his abdominal region Sunday against the Panthers, Calvin Ridley announced on Instagram Monday that he’s done for the season. We await further word on the exact nature of his injury, but it leaves Russell Gage, Christian Blake, and rookie UDFA Olamide Zaccheaus behind Julio Jones and Austin Hooper in the pass game. Ridley has been a touchdown-scoring machine across his first two seasons, finding the end zone 17 times in 29 games, and his second season was a bright spot for the Falcons. Gage is probably the biggest winner among the spare parts, but Atlanta may simply employ a rotation to get looks at Blake and Zaccheaus as well. This offense goes to San Francisco in Week 15.

 

Quarterback & Running Back Slants

After missing Week 14, coach Adam Gase said Le’Veon Bell (illness) is “pretty close” to 100% and should be able to return for Thursday night against the Ravens. Bell’s fill-in against the Dolphins, Bilal Powell (ankle, illness) didn’t practice Monday. … Derrius Guice (knee) will miss Week 15 against the Eagles, putting Adrian Peterson back in the lead-dog saddle. … Patrick Mahomes’ hand is said to be okay, and he doesn’t have a fracture of any kind. … Dalvin Cook (shoulder) came out of Week 14 healthy, racking up 75 yards and a score on 20 touches.

 

Wide Receiver & Tight End Slants

FOX Sports’ Jay Glazer reports Odell Beckham has told players and coaches from other teams that he wants out of Cleveland. It should be an interesting offseason for OBJ. Again. … Ryan Griffin (ankle) did not practice Monday. After leaving Week 14 early, Griffin faces a quick -- and unlikely -- turnaround for Thursday night against the Ravens. … T.Y. Hilton (calf) remains week to week, and rookie WR Parris Campbell suffered yet another injury, breaking his foot against the Bucs, and is done for the year. Zach Pascal will continue to be the WR to own in Indy. … Raiders Rookie TE Foster Moreau suffered a season-ending knee injury against the Titans in Week 14. The first-year pro showed a nose for the end zone with five scores. … Auden Tate suffered a sprained MCL against the Browns. It wouldn’t be surprising if he misses the final three games of the season. … Coach Bill O’Brien wouldn’t commit to Will Fuller (hamstring) playing Week 15 against the Titans. … N’Keal Harry suffered a hip injury in Week 14 against the Chiefs. … JuJu Smith-Schuster (knee) is aiming to return Week 15 against the Bills. He’s been one of the year’s biggest fantasy busts, a year filled with a ton of early-round busts.

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