Hurts, Eagles clinch playoffs with 48-22 win over Giants
Dec 10, 2022, 11:17 PM | Updated: Dec 11, 2022, 5:24 pm
(AP Photo/Bryan Woolston)
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP) — Nailing down a playoff berth was first thing on the Philadelphia Eagles’ wish list for the season. They want more and, with the league’s best record and way they continue to blow out opponents, who’s going to stop them?
Jalen Hurts threw for two touchdowns and ran for another as the Eagles clinched their second straight playoff berth and fifth in six years with a 48-22 win over the fading New York Giants on Sunday.
“We got way bigger goals than this one,” Eagles coach Nick Sirianni said without referring to the NFC East title, the top playoff seed or the Super Bowl. “On to the next one. It’s nice to get this win here because this is a good football team. It’s nice to come out here and play well on the road.”
Hurts improved his MVP credentials by throwing for 217 yards and hitting DaVonta Smith on a 41-yard fourth-down TD strike and A.J. Brown on a 33-yarder as the Eagles (12-1) scored on their first three possessions. The third-year quarterback also ran for 77 yards, highlighted by a 10-yard TD scamper late in the third quarter.
Hurts became the first QB in NFL history to rush for at least 10 touchdowns in consecutive seasons. Like most of the Eagles’ players, he said he is just hoping to improve from week to week.
“The most simple thing we’ve done is to try and grow and execute,” said Hurts, who was 21 of 31 passing. “It’s good that we prepared in a way that we’ve been able to execute at a high level. We just want to continue to do that. That’s the name of the game.”
Miles Sanders ran for 144 yards, scored on runs of 3 and 40 yards and hit the 1,000-yard mark for the season (1,068) as the Eagles handed the Giants their worst loss under first-year coach Brian Daboll. Jake Elliott kicked two field goals and the defense finished with seven sacks, including three by Brandon Graham.
“We’re not done yet,” Graham said. “I feel great, just us reaching our goals: making the playoffs, postseason. We’ve got so much more game and ball to go. We’ve got to make sure we finish like we want to. A great first step.”
Daniel Jones and Tyrod Taylor threw touchdown passes for the Giants (7-5-1). They have one win in their last six games (1-4-1) and their hopes of their first playoff berth since 2016 are slipping with four games remaining.
Daboll said his team has to learn from this game and move on quickly.
“I think that’s something that we’ve stressed since day one: There’s no room for excuses. There are a bunch of explanations. We got beat. They outcoached us. They outplayed us,” Daboll said. “And we got to get ready to go soon; the season’s winding down here, and we got an important one on Sunday.”
The Eagles, who have the league’s second-ranked defense and third-ranked offense, dominated from the start. They sacked Jones twice on the opening series and Hurts then took over, driving them 84 and 91 yards for touchdowns.
The Giants’ third possession had a comical conclusion. Jamie Gillan lost the ball as he went to punt. The ball bounced and he kicked it 15 yards to the Eagles 42. It was an illegal kick and the Giants were penalized 10 yards with a loss of down. Hurts hit a wide-open Brown for a 21-0 lead on the next play.
Hurts, Sanders and Brown each have scored 10 touchdowns for the Eagles, who have scored at least 30 points in each of the last three weeks.
An ankle injury to punter Arryn Siposs forced the Eagles to get creative on special teams. Punt returner Britain Covey took over as the holder on extra points and field goals, and placekicker Elliott punted once for 35 yards.
Eagles: The win was costly. Siposs left the locker room using crutches and a walking boot. S Reed Blankenship (knee) and backup LB Kyron Johnson (shoulder) also left the game. T Lane Johnson left late with an abdominal injury. After the game, he said he tweaked a muscle.
Giants: Top DL Leonard Williams missed the game with a neck injury. He was doubtful coming in. TE Daniel Bellinger (ribs) and LB Micah McFadden (ankle/neck) left the game.
Eagles: At Chicago next Sunday.
Giants: At Washington next Sunday night. The teams, which played to a 20-20 tie last week, are now tied in the standings with the Commanders on a bye this week.
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