*It took more than the prescribed 60 minutes, but the Philadelphia Eagles (6-7) finally pulled even atop the division on Monday night. Philly came back from a 14-point second-half deficit at home to defeat the New York Giants (2-11), 23-17, in overtime. Here's what we learned from Philly's victory: *
- Philadelphia's offense was broken. Philly entered Monday without DeSean Jackson, Nelson Agholor and Jordan Howard and then lost Alshon Jeffery and Lane Johnsonin the first half against New York, forcing Carson Wentz to attempt passes to the likes of Josh Perkins and Greg Ward down the stretch. At one point on Monday night, the Eagles punted on five consecutive drives on all of which they ran just three plays. But then Philly turned a switch by leaning on its most reliable pass-catcher and a breakout scat back. With Miles Sanders dealing with cramps, Boston Scott filled in to log a career-high 16 touches for 128 yards against the Giants; before Monday night, Scott had never logged more than 14 offensive snaps. A fiend out of the backfield, Scott was complemented in the open field and the red zone by the ever-reliable Zach Ertz (91 yards), who had to play receiver at times in the fourth quarter. The tight end was on the receiving end of Wentz's game-tying touchdown pass with 1:53 to go in the game and then the game-winning toss from two yards out in overtime. In a war of attrition against themselves, the Eagles came out ahead in one of their sloppiest wins in recent memory, a victory that increased their chances of winning a division title and finally, maybe, hopefully turning everything around.
"We just stopped being ourselves, man. We were just killing ourselves. The first 12 weeks of the season we've been killing ourselves" Ertz told NFL Network's Mike Garafolo after the game. "We just said at halftime, let's just see how tough we are, not only physically, but mentally especially.
"We never doubted each other. We never pointed fingers. I'm proud of this team."
- The NFC East wasn't going to be won or lost either way on Monday night, but Philly's comeback against New York ensured that it wouldn't be surrendered without a fight. When dawn breaks on Tuesday morning, the Cowboys and Eagles will be tied atop the division at 6-7 with three games remaining. Before the NFC East pace-makers meet in Week 16, Dallas will host the surging Rams (7-5) and Philly will travel to D.C. to take on the Redskins (3-10). When the Eagles host the 'Boys in a do-or-die showdown in Week 16, the division will be on the line, and Philly, for the first time all season, could be in the driver's seat.
- The return of Eli Manning to New York's starting lineup in place of the injured Daniel Jones brought a nostalgic air to Monday night's otherwise ugly matchup. Peyton was in the building, Victor Cruz and other Eli acolytes were rooting hard for him online and the age-old Is-Eli-a-Hall-of-Famer argument returned to the public discourse like it had not since he was benched in Week 3. Against the rival Eagles, Manning flashed shades of the anticipatory thrower he once was, mostly on two big TD throws to Darius Slayton in the first half. On throws to Slayton, Manning was 5-of-8 for 154 yards; but on tosses to his other pass-catchers, he was just 10-of-22 for 49 yards. Still limited in his pocket mobility and inaccurate more often than not, Manning proved he was capable of hitting the big throw but not on a consistent basis. On six second-half possessions, not counting kneel-downs, New York ran 20 plays, gained 30 yards, picked up two first downs and punted six times. With the game on the line, Eli also failed to muster much of a game-winning drive, going three-and-out on New York's final possession.
When Jones is recovered from his ankle sprain, he should return to the lineup. But with the rookie possibly sidelined for the remainder of the year, Giants fans won't mind an Eli encore in the season's final quarter, at least for old time's sake before the franchise and its Hall of Fame-ish signal-caller part ways for good. Big Blue's present and future are scary propositions. Why not live in the past?
- More on Slayton: The Giants have found something in the fifth-round rookie. A favorite of Jones, Slayton has logged three two-TD games this season and now has seven scores on the year, the most among rookie receivers through 13 weeks. Along with A.J. Brown and Terry McLaurin, Slayton can count among his peers one highly esteemed contemporary from the recent past. With Monday's performance, Slayton became the first rookie to have multiple games of at least 100 receiving yards and two receiving TDs in a single season since 2014, when three players did it, among them one Odell Beckham Jr.