The NFC East belongs to the Philadelphia Eagles.
An emphatic 34-17 victory over the New York Giants on Sunday evening clinched the division and a playoff berth for the 9-7 Birds, who officially eliminated the arch-rival Dallas Cowboys.
Philadelphia will host a playoff game in the Wild Card Round next week as the No. 4 seed, where they will meet the loser of Sunday night’s NFC West decider between the San Francisco 49ers and Seattle Seahawks.
As has been the case this season, the Eagles managed to pull out a victory while severely shorthanded. And running back Boston Scott became the posterchild of that movement.
The often-disregarded rusher paced the Eagles with 138 total yards and three touchdowns after rookie Miles Sanders left the game early with an ankle injury.
Sanders was one of several Eagles who went down against the Giants, as Greg Ward, Brandon Brooks, Brandon Graham, Avonte Maddox, and Craig James also suffered knocks.
Still, the Eagles didn’t miss a beat as quarterback Carson Wentz threw for 289 yards, which put him over the 4,000-yard mark in 2019, and a touchdown.
He managed to hit that passing plateau despite spending considerable time without DeSean Jackson, Alshon Jeffery, Nelson Agholor, and Zach Ertz. The Eagles became the first team in NFL history with a 4,000-yard passer without a 500-plus-yard receiver after Wentz’s big night.
Despite the lopsided scoreline, it wasn’t an elongated walk in the park for the Eagles.
Saquon Barkley’s 68-yard sprint in the third quarter had the Giants level with the Eagles at 17 apiece.
After a Jake Elliott field goal put the Eagles up three, a bad snap led to Giants rookie quarterback Daniel Jones fumbling the ball away to Philadelphia on the two-yard line.
Scott punched it in on the very next play.
With eight minutes left in the game, Giants head coach Pat Shurmur dialed up a questionable outside draw play for Barkley on a 4th-&-2 inside New York territory. It was quickly snuffed out by the Eagles and set Scott up for his third touchdown of the night — another two-yard rush following a 39-yard screen pass to the 2018 sixth-rounder.
For the Giants, it could very well be the final game for Shurmur, as his job is thought to be in serious jeopardy following a 4-12 finish.
It soured a season in which Jones showed some promise in his rookie season, passing for over 3,000 yards and 24 touchdowns in 13 games.
He is just one half of the Giants’ offensive core that includes Barkley, whose 91 yards put him over the 1,000-yard rushing mark for the second time in his two NFL seasons. He’s the first Giants back to eclipse the 1,000-yard mark in successive seasons since Brandon Jacobs from 2007-2008.