3 Takeaways from Eagles' Week 12 Loss
In recent weeks, the Philadelphia Eagles had been showing great improvement. But that positivity came to a halt Sunday afternoon.
The Eagles went on the road and suffered a 13-7 loss to the New York Giants at MetLife Stadium, bringing an end to their two-game winning streak. Philadelphia fell to 5-7 and dropped to 0-2 in games against NFC East rivals this season.
The Giants had a 10-0 lead through three quarters, but the Eagles stayed in the game on Boston Scott's 1-yard touchdown run five seconds into the fourth. However, New York stretched its lead to six points on Graham Gano's 39-yard field goal with 2:54 remaining and held Philadelphia scoreless the rest of the way.
Here are three takeaways from the Eagles' Week 12 loss.
Hurts' Passing Struggles Holding Back Offense
The Eagles' recent offensive game plan has been to rely heavily on their running game. That was the case again Sunday, when they rushed for 208 total yards, with quarterback Jalen Hurts (77) and running backs Boston Scott and Miles Sanders (64 each) leading the way.
However, Philadelphia still needs to pass the ball occasionally. And Hurts showed why that can be an issue during one of the toughest performances of his young NFL career.
Hurts went 14-of-31 for 129 yards and a career-high three interceptions. The Eagles turned over the ball four times, with Scott notably fumbling late in the fourth quarter. Hurts also couldn't lead a game-winning drive, as the Eagles turned over the ball on downs at the Giants' 27-yard line on an incomplete pass with 24 seconds to go.
"Today I put us in a bad situation," Hurts said, per Dave Spadaro of the team's official site. "I put us in a bad situation with those turnovers I had in the first half. It was simply one of those days."
Over the past five games, Hurts has three touchdown passes, four interceptions and has been held under 200 yards through the air in all of them. Philadelphia can be successful as a run-first offense, but it needs Hurts to perform better when the time comes to pass the ball.
The Defense Is Continuing to Play Better
Another reason why the Eagles had been playing better in recent weeks was their improved defensive showings. That's also why they stayed in the game against the Giants despite their offensive woes and turnover struggles.
Philadelphia may not have forced any turnovers, but it held New York to 264 total yards. The Giants went 3-of-12 on third downs, and the Eagles shut them down on the ground, limiting them to 70 yards on 27 carries (an average of 2.6 yards per rush).
Javon Hargrave collected Philadelphia's lone sack of the day, continuing his impressive season. He leads the Eagles with seven sacks, but this was his first since their Week 5 win over the Carolina Panthers.
Over its past five games, Philadelphia has held its opponent to 13 or fewer points three times. And one of the times that it didn't, it still notched a victory (a 40-29 win over the New Orleans Saints in Week 11). As long as the defense keeps playing well, the Eagles are going to have an opportunity to win games down the stretch.
A Missed Opportunity at Start of Light Stretch
Entering Week 12, the Eagles seemed to be in great position to surge into a playoff spot in the NFC. They were 5-6 and had matchups against the Giants and the New York Jets on the docket before their Week 14 bye. Philadelphia could have gone on a four-game winning streak to get above .500 heading into its break.
Instead, the Eagles are 5-7 and will need to avoid a road loss to the struggling Jets to not fall out of the NFC playoff mix before their week off. Philadelphia remains confident of making the postseason, though, even after Sunday's missed opportunity to continue its recent hot streak.
"I think, right now, we just want to continue to know that we are a good football team and that we can play with anybody," linebacker T.J. Edwards said, per Tom Canavan of the Associated Press. "We can compete, and we can win. I think as long as we keep that, there's nothing wrong with keeping that attitude."
After its bye, Philadelphia ends the regular season with four straight games against its NFC East rivals: two against the Washington Football Team and one each against New York and the Dallas Cowboys. So if the Eagles can reestablish some momentum ahead of their bye, they could remain in the postseason hunt down the stretch.