Monday night's Eagles-Giants game was sort of a back-yard brawl -- an ugly mistake-riddled battle for first place in the NFC East.
But in a 27-7 hard-fought victory, the Eagles (surprise surprise) broke through in the second half to even their record at 3-3.
Two big Riley Cooper receptions (one scoring the Eagles' first touchdown) and some vintage DeMarco Murray (on a third quarter touchdown run) led an offense that was filled with as many blunders as beautiful plays. Sam Bradford resembled a pro bowler and high schooler alternatively, throwing three avoidable interceptions in the game as the Eagles coughed up the ball four times in the game.
The Birds' defense really shone brightest however, creating several game-altering plays to help the Eagles take advantage of a beat-down and mostly quiet Giants squad. Here are three reasons why the Birds dropped the Giants to 3-3.
The Eagles just seem to bring out the worst in Manning. After going 197 pass attempts with just two interceptions during New York's first five games, Eli Manning threw two in 14 attempts in Philadelphia.
And though the first one, a dynamic play that saw DeMeco Ryans rip the ball right out of Larry Donnell's hands, wasn't Manning's fault, the second one was -- and a badly thrown short sideline pass wound up as a Nolan Carroll III pick-six early in the second quarter (giving Philly a 14-7 lead).
Ryans also recovered a second turnover, a Malcolm Jenkins forced fumble on a short pass to Rashad Jennings, but a Sam Bradford interception eradicated the change of possession.
After going for 421 yards against the Niners a week ago, Manning threw for only 200 yards against the Eagles in Week 6.
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Big play defense
In addition to the turnovers, Philly's defense embraces a bend-but-don't break role, giving up several key first downs but also making plays when needed, including a third-down Vinny Curry sack to help stop the Giants from picking up momentum after Jayron Hosley's interception.
Brandon Graham broke through with three key plays, one a big stuff on a Giants fourth and one run, the second a sack (shared with Curry, who would finish the game with 1.5) at the first half's two minute warning with the Giants in the shadow of their own goal post, and then a second sack and forced fumble on Manning in the fourth.
In the second half, Fletcher Cox had a sack and forced fumble (recovered by New York).
The Eagles are second in all of football with 16 takeaways this season.
But the most incredible stat from Monday's game is the number of points relented by the Eagles after their four turnovers -- which is zero.
Bradford leads the NFL in end zone interceptions with four (he threw one Monday night) and had three total Monday. But he was able to distribute the football like a point guard to eight different receivers as he went 24-for-38 for 280 yards.
The Eagles running game contributed as well. And while the ground game is no where near as potent as the 2013 or 2014 Chip Kelly offenses were, it still saw Murray pick up 109 yards and a touchdown on 22 carries and Ryan Mathews chip in with 40 yards on nine carries.
Thanks to stellar defense, Philly was able to outgain New York 425-251 despite all the turnover issues.