The ball is set up 61 yards from the field goal post. Score, tied, 24-24. Jake Elliot, a rookie kicker, has a chance to win the game for the Eagles. Before he can kick, a timeout is called. He has more time to think about the kick. He already missed a 56 field goal earlier in the game, but also had just recently kicked a game-tying field goal. Now the game is in his hands. Either he makes it, and the Eagles win, or he misses it, and they go to overtime.
The ball is snapped. The placeholder grabs it and places it down. Elliot boots it as hard as he can. It flys through the air. The ball has the distance, but will it make it through the cross bars? The fall leans to the right. Eagles and Giants fans watch closely, many of their hearts beating fast. The ball glides. It glances off the inside of the right crossbar. The refs look at each other to confirm and raise their arms. The field goal is good.
Elliot celebrates. The crowd jumps to their feet and cheers, as the players rush onto the field to mob their teammate. The Giants walk off the field defeated. A crazy ending to a hard-fought game.
Elliot’s 61-yard field goal was the longest in Eagles history, breaking the record Tony Franklin set in 1979. Because of it, the Eagles won the game 27-24 over the Giants, but it wasn’t easy. Eagles go to 2-1 and Giants fall to 0-3. Here my instant observations of the Eagles week 3 win.
- Eagles Get the Running Game Working- As a team, The Eagles rushed for 193 yards on 39 carries. They actually ran the ball more than they passed it, passing it only 31 times in the game. They scored two touchdowns on the ground, the first by Blount the second by Corey Clement. All of this, after most people considered the running game the biggest weakness on the team. This goes to show, if you commit to the run, it will eventually pay dividends.
- Injuries Starting to Hurt the Eagles- The Eagles came into this game with Rodney Mcleod, Jaylen Watkins, and Ronald Darby inactive. During the game, both Fletcher Cox and Jordan Hicks left the game with injuries. At first, the Eagles were doing an admirable job holding up, but the defense collapsed in the 4th quarter. They held the Giants scoreless through 3 quarters, but they eventually got beat, giving up 24 points in the 4th. They managed to overcome this, but they better hope that these injured players come back soon, and everyone else stays healthy.
- Questionable Coaching Decisions Hold Them Back- When Doug Pederson first went for it on 4th and 1, it was a good choice. When he went for it on 4th down that third time, it was also a good choice. But that 4th and 8 attempt, that almost led to a Giants score near the end of the first half, was dumb. Doug can sometimes look like a legit head coach, but then he makes a boneheaded decision like that and I start questioning what the hell he is doing as a head coach. I am less down on him than others are, but he can’t keep doing things like that.
- Rasul Douglass Stands Out- Douglass has proved his worth as a 3rd round pick so far. He has played tough, and while there have been a few mistakes, very well. This is huge, and part of the reason they held up so well in the first 3 quarters despite the injuries.
- Passing Game Takes a Day Off- Only 176 yards through the air, is a down day for the Eagles passing attack. Wentz didn’t make any costly mistakes and made some nice plays, but overall, looked off today. It didn’t hurt them in the end, and he made plays when he had to, but he certainly didn’t stand out today.
- Eagles Stand Together- Trump was asking for trouble when he started insulting NFL players, and saying they should be fired. Many more players knelt or linked arms, and several teams decided just to stay in the locker room for the anthem. It was a coll display of unity from NFL players from many different backgrounds and with different political beliefs. The world needs more people showing unity like that.
- Some Wins Are Sloppy- In the end, they won. It was sloppy, and at times, I was sure they were going to lose. But they didn’t. They got back up and won the game on a miracle last-second field goal. Some wins are going to be ugly, especially games within the division. Going 2-1 is big. Making the Giants 0-3 is bigger. The Giants boat is sinking. They can still plug those holes, but if they don’t do it soon, they will be under water.
- Lots of Upsets- Jaguars crushed the Ravens. Bills toppled Denver. The Jets beat up the Dolphins. The Saints ran through the Panthers. And finally, Chicago knocked down the Steelers. Not to mention the fact the Packers and Seahawks are both currently losing to the Bengals and Titans respectively. Because of this, I am a disappointing 4-7 so far with my picks, though I did predict the Saints win at least. A ton of upsets in a wild and fun to watch NFL Sunday so far. Hopefully the Cardinals can keep it up and beat the Cowboys on Monday Night.