News & Analysis

NYG-PHI grades: Graham, defense carry Eagles to win

PHILADELPHIA, PA - DECEMBER 22: Wide receiver Victor Cruz #80 of the New York Giants catches a pass against cornerback Nolan Carroll #22 of the Philadelphia Eagles during the third quarter of the game at Lincoln Financial Field on December 22, 2016 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Rich Schultz/Getty Images)

Philadelphia Eagles 24, New York Giants 19

Here are the top-graded players and biggest storylines from Philadelphia’s 24-19 win over the New York Giants in Week 16:

New York Giants

Quarterback grade: Eli Manning, 66.8

The struggles continue for Eli

The mistakes are nothing new for Eli Manning, but it’s the inability to offset them with big plays that has killed him this season. Manning attempted 13 passes targeted 20+ yards down the field and the Eagles defensive backs caught as many of them as the Giants receivers did (2). That’s not good. He was under pressure on 19 dropbacks and on them his passer rating dropped to a dismal 5.7, as he gained only 39 yards on those plays.

Top offensive grades:

C Weston Richburg, 84.2

WR Odell Beckham Jr., 76.9

RB Paul Perkins, 75.6

T Ereck Flowers 74.6

QB Eli Manning 66.8 

Rookie RB Perkins excels in larger role

For only the second game all season in which both played, Paul Perkins received more carries than Rashad Jennings. This time though the difference was far more drastic as the rookie received 15 compared to nine for the veteran. Perkins certainly made the most of them, breaking three tackles and averaging 4.5 yards per carry. His dynamic play making ability could be a welcome addition to an offense desperately in need.

Top defensive grades:

CB Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, 91.4

S Landon Collins, 88.5

CB Trevin Wade, 85.9

DI Damon Harrison, 81.7

LB Devon Kennard, 78.2

Rodgers-Cromartie, Giants secondary step up in Jenkins' absence

With top cornerback Janoris Jenkins inactive with a back injury, the Giants needed other members of their secondary to step up in his absence. Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie did just that on Thursday night. Cromartie made his first big play by intercepting Carson Wentz’s late throw to the sideline, which helped swing momentum back in the Giants favor after giving up two first quarter touchdowns. Rodgers-Cromartie was virtually impossible to throw against all night, he was thrown at four times, allowing no catches and adding two pass break ups plus that interception. Landon Collins and fill-in Trevin Wade also had solid games also to hold the Eagles offense to just 13 completions on the night.

Philadelphia Eagles

Quarterback grade: Carson Wentz, 40.0

Wentz's up-and-down play continues

Carson Wentz had an up-and-down night in his final game against the Giants on Thursday night. Wentz successfully led two touchdown drives for the Eagles, his most notable throw coming on a deep crossing route to Nelson Agholor, in which there was a miscommunication in the Giants secondary that led him to be wide open. Wentz’s two worst throws of the night were pretty much the same throw. He bought time by scrambling around in the pocket and threw a late pass towards the sideline. Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie picked off the first, and Jonathan Casillas almost intercepted the second. Although his team got the win, Wentz’s inaccuracy and two very poor decisions led to his low grade.

Top offensive grades:

T Lane Johnson, 80.7

G Brandon Brooks, 75.3

G Stefen Wisniewski, 74.6

WR Nelson Agholor, 68.6

RB Darren Sproles, 64.9

Right side, strong side

Without getting much help from their playmakers all season, the Eagles had to look to manage their early lead with good balance in play calling. The Eagles finished the night with 27 designed passes and 26 designed runs. The right side of the Eagles offensive line, Lane Johnson (in his first game back from suspension) and Brandon Brooks, helped enable the Eagles to run the ball effectively enough to accomplish this when the rest of the offense was not doing much. Johnson and Brooks had run blocking grades of 90.1 and 75.8, respectively.

Top defensive grades:

ED Brandon Graham, 92.4

CB Nolan Carroll, 86.7

DI Beau Allen, 84.2

S Malcolm Jenkins, 83.7

ED Vinny Curry, 81.0

Graham and Jenkins come up huge

On the big stage, arguably the Eagles' two best defenders rose to the occasion. Brandon Graham was an absolute nightmare for right tackle Bobby Hart. He had three hits and four hurries on the day, but could just as easily have had a handful of sacks if Eli Manning were a little slower on the trigger. Malcolm Jenkins was targeted eight times in coverage and only allowed three catches for 20 yards to go along with his two key interceptions. Quite the dominant performance from each.

PFF Game-Ball Winner: Eagles DE Brandon Graham

PFF’s player grading process includes multiple reviews, which may change the grade initially published in order to increase its accuracy. Learn more about how we grade and access grades for every player through each week of the NFL season by subscribing to Player Grades.

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