The rain drops hailing from the sky in Philadelphia Monday night might have been misconstrued as tears of Eagles fans at halftime following a lackluster, lifeless, putrid first two quarters in which the home team trailed 17-3 and were making a decrepit Eli Manning look like a young Brett Favre.
And the rain came down.
The offense couldn't move the ball, generating just five first downs and not a single drive over nine plays in seven first-half possessions, which included 3-and-outs on its final three. The defense was getting dive-bombed by Manning and rookie receiver Darius Slayton, with the duo generating 154 yards and two touchdowns at the break. The Giants were outgaining 226 to 116 in the first two quarters.
And the rain kept coming.
The injuries began to mount. Receiver Alshon Jeffery exited with a non-contact injury. Star right tackle Lane Johnson got rolled up on. Neither would return.
Their dreams of overtaking Dallas for the NFC East title by sweeping the final four weeks seemed lost in the soaked sod.
It didn't look any prettier out of the break, with two more 3-and-outs on tap for Carson Wentz & Co.
Then, finally, it clicked.
Wentz began stringing together positives, taking quick throws instead of searching for the big play, trusting his targets to be where they were supposed to be, and moving the chains. Doug Pederson called a masterful second-half using all parts available. Three straight drives of 10-plus plays led to 14 points, and the Eagles tied the score on a Zach Ertz TD just under the two-minute warning.
With the defense finally shutting down Manning, Philly roared back to force overtime, won the coin-toss, and flew right through New York's D on the first possession for a game-winning touchdown by Ertz.
Game. Soaked Blouses.
"It's big. It's big for me and for all of these guys," Wentz said after the 23-17 win, via the team's official website. "You know, the emotional roller coaster of the day and obviously realizing how poor we were in the first half and just how it spring-boarded us into the second half. We just made plays and kept making plays. Winning late in overtime like this, it's been a while. Shoot, I don't think I've had an overtime win. That was just a lot of fun."
Monday night marked the fifth overtime game in the last 30 years of this New York-Philly rivalry, the Eagles had been 0-4. Wentz finally got Philly on the board.
The Eagles put up 20 points in the second half and overtime and a whopping 302 yards. Despite having just one healthy receiver by the end of the game, Wentz made it work, generating 325 passing yards -- 228 after halftime -- and leading three scoring drives.
"Just keep believing. Keep believing and it's time to make a decision how this is going to define us tonight," Wentz said of his thoughts at halftime. "Obviously, we knew it was not our first half. That was a rough one and that was an ugly one. We just said, 'Keep believing and keep staying together.' Defense was going to take care of their piece, which they did. And we were able to do enough offensively to get this win."
With Boston Scott emerging as a playmaker out of the backfield, Joshua Perkins stepping up as a hybrid TE/WR after injuries mounted, the Eagles torched a bad Big Blue defense how most expected they would to start the game.
Regardless of needing overtime to beat a 2-win team, the Eagles kept hope alive by pulling out the victory. Perhaps needing to rely on lesser-known players will start a spark that won't flame out.
"It's huge for us. Obviously, we realized it was a sloppy game for a while, but the way guys just hung tough and stayed together more importantly," Wentz said. "Obviously, we dealt with some injuries and some other guys stepping up and making plays and that was huge. You've got (tight end Joshua Perkins), you've got Ward, you've got J.J. (Arcega-Whiteside), (right tackle Halapoulivaati Vaitai) is out there. You've got guys all over the field, Boston Scott. Guys stepping up and making plays. I think that's huge for each of those individual's confidence and ours as an offense and as a team and each of those guys are going to keep making plays and that's big for us."
Given the ups-and-downs of this Eagles season, no win should be taken for granted, but with the 2-win Redskins on tap next week, and these Giants again in Week 17, Monday night's victory should make the Week 16 matchup against the Dallas Cowboys count as a de facto division title bout.