PHILADELPHIA — Jalen Hurts is too much for the shoulder injury that plagued the Philadelphia Eagles in the playoffs.
Hurts became the second Eagles player with two passing touchdowns and one rushing touchdown in a playoff game, joining Donovan McNabb on that distinguished list, as the Eagles cruised to a 38–7 playoff victory over the New York Giants. .
The Eagles are headed to their seventh NFC Championship Game since the start of the 2001 season and second in five years. Hurts finished 16 of 24 for 254 yards with two touchdowns (112.2 rating) and had nine carries for 34 yards and a touchdown — the Eagles built a 28-0 lead in the first half en route to the victory.
The defense also took over the game early as Hassan Reddick had 1.5 sacks for the Eagles in the first half, and the duo kept the Giants from going down the field on their first drive. James Bradberry threw an interception on the Giants’ second possession, the first by an Eagles cornerback since Week 9. Philadelphia led 14-0 in that game.
Boston Scott scored a touchdown in the second quarter for the Eagles to put them up 21-0, his 11th in nine career games against the Giants. Scott has 19 career touchdowns, living up to his “Giant Killer” reputation. Hurts touched down in a hurry to cap off a dominant first half.
The Eagles (15-3) milked the clock from there and advanced to the NFC Championship Game. They will host either the Dallas Cowboys or the San Francisco 49ers next Sunday at Lincoln Financial Field at 3 p.m. The Giants finish the season 9-8-1.
Here are some additional takeaways from the explosion:
Why did the Eagles win?
Jalen Hurts was back in full MVP-caliber form, Myles Sanders had open lanes all night, and Jonathan Cannon’s all-around defense made it easy for Daniel Jones to follow. In other words, the Eagles looked like the peak version of their 2022 campaign. Despite a conservative approach in Week 18 as he recovers from his dislocated shoulder, Hurts is fully rejuvenated, feeding off Devonta Smith and Dallas Goedert with ease and using his feet to help dominate the ground game. Saunders remained fluid in space, and Kenneth Cainwell stretched out one tough carry after another as Philly rushed for more than 250 yards. On “D,” sack artist Hassan Reddick was busy again, easily outrunning Andrew Thomas to put Daniel Jones on fire. Former Giants star James Bradberry read Jones like a book in an early draft. Brett Kern did his part to pin New York deep on some of the Eagles’ punts of the night.
Why did the Giants lose?
Brian Daboll and Wink Martindale both failed to make the roster at least a year ahead of schedule based on competition. Dabold deserves credit for the way he revitalized Daniel Jones this season, but his situational decision-making left a bit to be desired; Nowhere was this more apparent than on fourth downs, as it chose to go for a fourth-and-long and, when trailing by 21, bounced near midfield. Martindale, meanwhile, saw his “D” play soft and conservative for the second straight. week, and unlike the Vikings, the Eagles refused to let up. It didn’t help that Jones had precious few clean pockets or open receivers, forcing an early throw that would have sealed a two-score deficit early. All hope is not lost in New York; Dabol is leading this team in the right direction. But they were outplayed, outplayed and outplayed at every point in Philly.
The Eagles quickly went up by two scores, with Jalen Hurts finding both Smith and Goedert on back-to-back TD series out of the gate. New York went bold on its own first drive, turning it over on downs after getting near midfield. Trailing 14-0 in their second series, Daniel Jones hit Matt Breda for 19. But on the next play, with a free rusher, Jones quickly threw a foul. Hitting the middle, former teammate James Bradberry took it easy. The Eagles didn’t score on their ensuing possession, but turnovers ensured the momentum belonged solely to the home team.
Game of the game
Hassan Reddick had several highlight-reel pressures, but Dallas Goedert’s one-handed catch-and-run started it all for Philly:
The Giants will go home on a sour note for the offseason: They don’t have to make the playoffs, so they can be proud of that; A lot of improvement still awaits, with Jones still unsigned at QB and many upgrades needed on both sides of the ball. The Eagles, meanwhile, will advance to their second NFC Championship Game in five years and will host the Cowboys or 49ers on Jan. 29.