NFL GIANTS MAKE MOST OF BIG PLAYS IN WIN

In 28-23 vic­tory over NFC East ri­val Ea­gles, New York of­fense and de­fense op­por­tunis­tic

Daily Freeman (Kingston, NY) - - SPORTS - By Tom Cana­van

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. >> There’s BIG plays in foot­ball — and there are big plays.

The New York Giants made the most of their big plays on both sides of the ball in a 28-23 win over slump­ing Philadel­phia on Sun­day.

The Ea­gles sim­ply didn’t in los­ing for the fourth times in five games.

This NFC East con­test was a game of huge plays.

Rookie quar­ter­back Car­son Wentz and the Ea­gles had seven plays from scrim­mage that gained at least 20 yards, in­clud­ing four greater than 30 yards, and a 66yard punt re­turn by Dar­ren Spro­les. The re­sult was 23 points.

Two in­ter­cep­tions, in­clud­ing one late that gave the Ea­gles a first down at the Giants 34 with 1:48 to play, and the punt re­turn yielded not a sin­gle point. Philadel­phia also failed to con­vert a fourth-and-12 and a fourth-and-1 from the Giants 23 and 6, re­spec­tively, in the sec­ond quar­ter. And a last-gasp fourth-and-10 pass from the Giants 17 in the clos­ing minute was in­com­plete.

The Giants (5-3) were just the op­po­site. First-quar­ter in­ter­cep­tions by Lan­don Collins and An­drew Adams were turned into

Eli Man­ning touch­down passes of 26 yards to Odell Beck­ham Jr . and 30 to rookie Roger Lewis Jr.

A 46-yard pass to Vic­tor Cruz set up Beck­ham’s sec­ond touch­down, a 1-yard jump ball, and Man­ning capped his first four TD pass­ing day of the sea­son with a 32-yarder to Ster­ling Shep­ard in the third quar­ter.

“I know we won,” Beck­ham said a day af­ter his 24th birth­day. “I know there were some big plays. We made some, they made some. I think this was more of a game of who’s go­ing to come up with a stop. We did that.”

The big­gest stop came in the clos­ing min­utes with New York ahead by five points. Jor­dan Hicks in­ter­cepted a Man­ning pass that was tipped by Con­nor Bar­win. It put the Ea­gles 34 yards away from beat­ing the Giants for the sixth time in seven games.

A 17-yard pass to Nelson Agholor fol­lowed, but that’s where the Ea­gles (44) came up short yet again this sea­son,

Wentz (27 of 47 for 364 yards) missed Agholor on first down. Un­der blitz pres­sure, he was not close on the next two plays, and he over­threw Jor­dan Matthews on fourth down in the end zone.

“I didn’t want to fade him too much like that,” Wentz said. “That’s red­zone foot­ball. You’ve got to be pre­cise down there and we just missed that one.”

It’s been the story in each of the four losses.

“As a team, we’ve just got to learn how to fin­ish, that’s what I keep say­ing,” Wentz said. “It sounds cliché, but it re­ally just comes down to ex­e­cut­ing. I think, out­side of the first two in­ter­cep­tions, I thought we moved the ball OK. We just couldn’t fin­ish drives in the red zone, and we didn’t fin­ish

at the end of the game, ei­ther.”

That’s the dif­fer­ence with the Giants this sea­son, they are fin­ish­ing games. Their five wins have been by a to­tal of 20 points.

“Def­i­nitely a big win in the divi­sion,” Man­ning said. “Philadel­phia, the last few years has had our num­ber. We’ve played close games, but haven’t been able to win those close games, so to be able to pull it off to­day and get that win was nice.”

The Ea­gles now have lost three games in the divi­sion, so their chances of win­ning it rely on putting to­gether a string of vic­to­ries in the sec­ond half of the sea­son, which will fea­ture five home games.

“If you look around the league right now we are ob­vi­ously not in a spot we want to be in, but we are in a good spot,” tight end Zach Ertz said. “We just have to take it one game at a time.

“The good thing is all of these games we are in po­si­tion to win, we just have to find some­where be­fore the last drive, find those plays that we need to make be­tween then and there.”

BILL KOSTROUN — AS­SO­CI­ATED PRESS

Giants wide re­ceiver Odell Beck­ham, right, cel­e­brates with wide re­ceiver Vic­tor Cruz af­ter scor­ing touch­down dur­ing Sun­day’s 28-23 vic­tory over Ea­gles.

FRANK FRANKLIN II — AS­SO­CI­ATED PRESS

Giants de­fen­sive end Ja­son Pierre-Paul re­acts New York’s vic­tory at MetLife Sta­dium on Sun­day.

BILL KOSTROUN—AS­SO­CI­ATED PRESS

Philadel­phia Ea­gles quar­ter­back Car­son Wentz (11) is tack­led by New York Giants free safety An­drew Adams (33) dur­ing the fourth quar­ter, Sun­day, in East Rutherford, N.J.

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