Eagles soar past rival Giants and secure a spot in NFC championship game

Eagles quarterback Jalen Hurts reacts after he ran for a five-yard touchdown in the second quarter Jan. 21, 2023.
Eagles quarterback Jalen Hurts reacts after he ran for a five-yard, second-quarter touchdown. He accounted for three touchdowns in Philadelphia’s 38-7 divisional round win over the New York Giants.
(Matt Rourke / Associated Press)

Jalen Hurts erased lingering doubts about the state of his right shoulder by throwing two touchdown passes and running for a score during a dominant first half, and the Philadelphia Eagles overwhelmed the New York Giants 38-7 on Saturday night in an NFC divisional playoff game.

Hurts is back, and so are the Eagles as Super Bowl threats. Top-seeded Philadelphia will host the NFC championship game next Sunday against Dallas or San Francisco.

Hurts missed two late-season losses because of a sprained right shoulder and then showed the Giants nothing in the regular-season finale when the Eagles ran a vanilla offense designed to protect the Pro Bowl quarterback.


Under the bright postseason lights at Lincoln Financial Field, the Eagles unleashed an offense designed to clobber the Giants. Hurts dazzled early with his arm, and Philadelphia’s offensive line opened big holes for Miles Sanders and Kenneth Gainwell as the Eagles finished with 268 yards on the ground.

Patrick Mahomes returned from a first-half ankle injury to help the Kansas City Chiefs top the Jacksonville Jaguars 27-20 in the AFC divisional round.

Jan. 21, 2023

“I think we were just starving, eager for an opportunity to come out here and play,” Hurts said. “We just wanted to come out and play our best ball. I think we chose the right time to do that. We were very efficient on both sides of the ball. We scored early and often. We just want to keep it going and be consistent.”

Hurts finished 16-for-24 passing for 154 yards. He showed he was fine when he aired out a throw on the second play of the game and hit DeVonta Smith in stride for a 40-yard reception. The fun was just starting in Philadelphia.

Hurts was flawless on the drive, completing passes of nine yards and five yards and then a 16-yard touchdown pass on a one-handed grab by tight end Dallas Goedert.

Second drive, more of the same. Hurts had completions of 12 yards and nine yards en route to a nine-yard touchdown pass to Smith.

It was 14-0 in the first quarter, and the Giants already needed a standing eight count. New York turned the ball over on downs on its first possession, and Daniel Jones was intercepted by James Bradberry on its second.


The Linc was bonkers with full-throated chants of “E-A-G-L-E-S!” filling the air, and coach Nick Sirianni went wild chest-bumping assistants on the sideline.

Hurts’ shoulder might not have been 100%.

But his passing was: He went seven for seven for 89 yards in the first quarter.

“Yeah like they were saying. Anybody would look great at QB for the Eagles.. yeah ooook. HATERS MAN!! Jalen Hurts is SPECIAL,” Lakers star LeBron James tweeted.

Even when the calls were obvious for the Eagles, the Giants were helpless to stop them. Case in point: The Eagles had the ball on the New York three-yard line. Give the ball to Boston Scott? Yes, they did. Scott scored his 11th touchdown against the Giants for a 21-0 lead. He has only 19 touchdowns in his career. Giants defensive coordinator Wink Martindale riled up Philly fans this week when he insisted Scott wasn’t a “Giant killer.”

Hard to argue against that point now.

Hurts wrapped the half with a five-yard touchdown run — he bobbled the shotgun snap but still coasted untouched into the end zone — for a 28-0 lead. There have been only four more lopsided first-half playoff shutouts in NFL history.

“I’m so proud of this team, how we came out here,” Hurts said. “I’m so proud of these fans. It’s a Philly thing, you know? It’s special.”

Giants quarterback Daniel Jones is hit by Eagles defensive end Brandon Graham, right, during the second half Jan. 21, 2023.
Giants quarterback Daniel Jones is hit by Eagles defensive end Brandon Graham, right, during the second half.
(Matt Rourke / Associated Press)

Gainwell finished with 112 yards in 12 carries, including a late 35-yard touchdown. Sanders had 17 rushes for 90 yards.

Coach Brian Daboll’s Giants were discombobulated from the start. The Giants played nothing like the team that beat the Minnesota Vikings 31-24 last weekend for their first postseason win since their Super Bowl victory under Tom Coughlin 11 years ago.

Matt Breida had an eight-yard touchdown run for the Giants in the third quarter. Jones was 15-for-27 passing for 135 yards and an interception.

The Buffalo Bills that went to four consecutive Super Bowls in the 1990s have kept their connections with the city and see a team with super potential.

Jan. 21, 2023

Hurts ran, threw and directed the offense with the same authority as he did when he led the Eagles to a 14-1 start and won over a city that still wasn’t so sure about him in the preseason. In last year’s playoff loss to Tampa Bay, Hurts threw two interceptions and was just 23 for 43 for 258 yards.

Never break the chain

There was a busted link at the Linc.

The game was briefly stopped in the opening quarter because of a broken first-down chain. The NFL still uses chains connected to two signal poles to measure the distance to a first down. With the Giants driving midway through the quarter, the game was delayed because of an “administrative stoppage.” The chain was quickly replaced, and the game resumed with the Eagles ahead 7-0.



Two-time National League most valuable player Bryce Harper, who led the Philadelphia Phillies to the World Series, narrated a hype video. Angels star and three-time American League MVP Mike Trout, who is a New Jersey native and Eagles fan, attended the game and exhorted the crowd to get louder.

Up next

The Eagles moved to 6-0 and Hurts threw two touchdown passes in a 26-17 win over the Cowboys in October. Dallas won 40-34 on Dec. 24 against Hurts’ backup, Gardner Minshew.

The Eagles last played San Francisco in 2021 and lost.