Inside Slant

The Sports Xchange

November 22, 2018 at 1:34 am.

Eagles close to rock bottom

The Philadelphia Eagles walked out of MetLife Stadium on Oct. 11, confident they had turned their season around.

They had just vanquished the New York Giants, 34-13, in what was their best overall game of the early season. They left with a 3-3 record staring at two more games before the bye week.

The Giants, on the other hand, were in a free fall. They left their building that night sitting at 1-5 and mired in a three-game losing streak that expanded to five straight losses.

My how things changed, with the Eagles now on a two-game slide and trying to right a sinking ship that may already be well beyond rescuing after last Sunday’s 48-7 loss. It was the Eagles’ worst loss since a 42-0 stinker to the Seattle Seahawks in December of 2005 and left them at 4-6. It was also a game in which quarterback Carson Wentz threw three interceptions for just the second time in a career that began in 2016.

And the Giants? Well, they have won two straight and are rising at 3-7.

“Since we played them last they had a bye and they’ve come back with a couple wins,” said defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz. “They’re leaning more – and we probably opened this box – but leaning more on (running back Saquon) Barkley not only catching the ball, which he was early on in the season, but running the ball and really pounding it on inside runs. So I think that’s probably the biggest difference.”

Barkley shredded the Eagles with 130 yards on the ground and 99 yards receiving.

The Cowboys beat the Eagles two weeks ago on the strength of their running back, Ezekiel Elliott, who hammered out 151 yards rushing and another 36 yards receiving.

“We obviously have an outstanding running back and it’s important he gets his touches,” said New York head coach Pat Shurmur. “He’ll get over 20 touches a game, whether it’s a catch and a pass or running the ball. We happened to run it the other day (in a 38-35 win over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers). He had 27 rushes, which is probably his high for the year, but that was the way the game was playing out as well.

“There have been other games where he’s going to touch the ball, probably run the ball close to 20 then maybe have six or eight more catches. I hate the whole idea of saying so and so is going to touch the ball so much, but it really makes sense for him to have the ball in his hand.”

SERIES HISTORY: 168th regular-season meeting. Giants lead series, 83-82-2. The Eagles have won four in a row over New York and eight of their last nine. Dating back to 2008, the Eagles are 16-4 in their last 20 games versus the Giants.