Ea­gles let one slip away to Big Blue

Man­ning shreds sec­ondary with four TD passes in Gi­ants win

Daily Local News (West Chester, PA) - - FRONT PAGE - By Barry Wilner

Even with Eli Man­ning toy­ing with Philadel­phia’s sec­ondary for much of the game, the New York Gi­ants barely held off the Ea­gles Sunday. Man­ning threw for four touch­downs and New York’s de­fense had two in­ter­cep­tions and three stops on fourth downs to beat the Ea­gles 28-23.

“Philadel­phia, the last few years, has had our num­ber,” said Man­ning, whose team had lost five of the last six to the Ea­gles. “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 Gi­ants (5-3) won their third straight game, stop­ping the Ea­gles (4-4 after a 3-0 start) from the New York 17 after Man­ning was in­ter­cepted with less than two min­utes to go.

“At the end of the game you have to go out there with con­fi­dence, con­fi­dent that you are go­ing to stop them,” said cor­ner­back Do­minique Rodgers-Cro­mar­tie. “We have been play­ing well in games and when they get the ball down there and our backs are against the wall, we know we

have to stand up.”

Two of Man­ning’s touch­downs went to Odell Beck­ham Jr., with the oth­ers to Roger Lewis Jr. and Ster­ling Shep­ard.

It was a game marked by big plays on of­fense — six of more than 30 yards in the first half alone — and de­fense (four in­ter­cep­tions) and spe­cial teams (Ja­son Pierre-Paul’s block of a field goal, Dar­ren Spro­les’ 66-yard punt re­turn).

Mostly, it was a mis­match of Man­ning and his re­ceiv­ing corps against a sieve of an Ea­gles sec­ondary. New York picked on ev­ery Philly de­fen­sive back, with the big­gest Leodis McKelvin, no matter who he tried to cover.

Less than two min­utes in, Lan­don Collins made his third in­ter­cep­tion in the last two games; he had one pick as a rookie last year. Man­ning found Beck­ham on a slant after McKelvin failed to bump him at the line, and Beck­ham surged into the end zone for a 26yard score.

Andrew Adams, a rookie safety from UConn, had no in­ter­cep­tions in his pre­vi­ous five games. He sure knew what to do with the ball after haul­ing in Car­son Wentz’s high pass moments later, re­turn­ing it 19 yards. Man­ning hit Lewis three plays later after McKelvin and Jaylen Watkins col­lided and it was 14-0.

Man­ning’s third TD throw came on a one-yard jump ball to Beck­ham over McKelvin to make it 21-10.

Wentz looked like a rookie from an FCS school in the first half, of­ten ap­pear­ing be­fud­dled by cov­er­ages. Twice, the Ea­gles failed on short fourth downs while in field goal range.

But he came out of halftime a dif­fer­ent player, quickly guid­ing the Ea­gles 70 yards to Ken­jon Barner’s three-yard TD run.

Man­ning, though, was just as pre­cise and de­ci­sive on the en­su­ing drive, capped by his fourth TD throw, 32 yards to rookie

Shep­ard. That gave Man­ning his first four-TD game since Game 14 last sea­son.

Wentz re­mained much sharper in the sec­ond half, lead­ing the Ea­gles to two field goals by Caleb Stur­gis. But Philly went 3 for 15 on third downs, 1 for 4 on fourth downs.

MAL­COLM’S MES­SAGE

Ea­gles play­ers said vet­eran safety Mal­colm Jenk­ins spoke up in the locker room after the game, say­ing they needed to learn how to fin­ish games.

Speak­ing for the de­fense, whose two in­ter­cep­tions in the fourth quar­ter re­sulted in no points, Jenk­ins said: “Are you giv­ing your team a chance to win de­fen­sively? There were a cou­ple of plays here and there (early in the game) we feel we’ve got to have back. Those small mis­takes — there might be only one or two — for our team to win we need to make those plays.”

ELI’S COM­ING

Man­ning moved into ninth place in ca­reer yards pass­ing with 46,428. Man­ning, in his 13th NFL sea­son, threw for 257 yards against Philadel­phia. He passed Vinny Tes­taverde, who had 46,233 yards through the air.

ROOKIE FIRSTS

In ad­di­tion to Adams’ first in­ter­cep­tion, Ea­gles re­ceiver Bryce Treggs made his first NFL re­cep­tion, an 11-yarder on a field goal drive. It got even bet­ter for the un­drafted rookie from Cal when his 58-yard re­cep­tion set up Philadel­phia’s first touch­down. Treggs was in the lineup be­cause Josh Huff was re­leased after be­ing charged with pos­ses­sion of a hand­gun with­out a per­mit and hav­ing a small amount of mar­i­juana dur­ing a traf­fic stop.

IN­JURIES

Gi­ants re­ceiver Vic­tor Cruz hurt an an­kle in the first half, and LG Justin Pugh sprained his right knee in the sec­ond quar­ter. Nei­ther re­turned. Ea­gles safety Ter­rence Brooks left with a ham­string is­sue.

BILL KOSTROUN — THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

New York Gi­ants wide re­ceiver Ster­ling Shep­ard (87) is about to catch an Eli Man­ning pass for a touch­down against the Ea­gles dur­ing the third quar­ter Sunday at MetLife Sta­dium in East Ruther­ford, N.J. Man­ning had four TD passes on the day.

FRANK FRANKLIN II — THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

Ea­gles backup run­ning back Ryan Mathews (24) takes a hit from New York Gi­ants strong safety Lan­don Collins (21) in the third quar­ter. The Birds’ of­fense stalled out on sev­eral drives dur­ing the game.

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