When Shane Steichen smells blood, he finishes it.
And the more successful the Eagles were at running the ball down the Giants’ throats on Saturday night, the more the Eagles’ quarterback started to attack.
When the smoke cleared, the Eagles rushed for 268 yards and three touchdowns in a 38-7 upset of the Giants in their NFC semifinal game at the Linc.
They kept doing it and the Giants couldn’t stop it. By the end of the night, the Giants hadn’t even tried.
“The runners were hitting the hole and going down a lot,” Dallas Goedert said. It was fun being out there.
In the first half, it was all Miles Sanders. He ran 13 times for 75 yards before halftime. The second half, it was all Kenny Gainwell. He rushed six times for 90 yards after halftime.
Gainwell posted his first career 100-yard performance with 112 yards on just 12 carries — the 4th most rushing yards by a running back in 12 or fewer games — and Sanders was 17-for-90 with just four carries. it continues in the second half. Boston Scott added 6-for-32 with a touchdown.
Talk about a three-headed beast.
“That’s a 1-2-3 punch right there,” Gainwell said. “Just go out there and do business. We work very hard and everything works out.”
Gainwell is only the fifth Eagles running back with 100 yards in the playoffs, joining Steve Van Buren, Wilbert Montgomery, Heath Sherman and Brian Westbrook.
The Eagles’ 268 rushing yards are the second most in Eagles postseason history. He rushed for 274 against the Rams as they won the 1949 NFL Championship at the LA Coliseum. It is also the 16th most by any team in the history of the game.
It’s also the most rushing yards ever against the Giants in the postseason, breaking the record of 246 set by the Lions in the 1935 NFL Championship Game at the University of Detroit Stadium.
Nothing like breaking an 87-year-old record.
In the first 89 years of the Eagles-Giants rivalry, the Eagles rushed for 250 yards five times against the Giants. They have now done it twice in the last seven weeks. In their 48-22 win in December, the Eagles rushed for 253 yards and four TDs.
In all, the Eagles rushed for 656 yards and eight touchdowns in their three wins over the Giants this year, and had a different leading rusher in each game — Sanders in a 48-22 win in December, Scott two weeks ago and Gainwell on Saturday. at night.
Ask any quarterback the secret to success in athletics and they will give you the same answer.
“The (o-line), first and foremost,” Sanders said. “I come here and say the same thing, but what he does all week and prepares with coach Stout is amazing to me. … When we know we’re going to have a chance to run the ball, (the linebackers) and the linebackers we always make a statement.”
The Eagles became the eighth team in NFL history to have two players rush for 90 yards or more and average 5.0 yards per carry in a playoff game and the fourth team to have three players average 5.0 yards on six or more carries.
Gainwell’s 35-yard TD with two minutes left is the longest TD in Eagles postseason history, behind Wilbert Montgomery’s 42-yarder in the 1980 NFC Championship Game win over the Cowboys at Vet and Brian Westbrook’s two runs in six days longest in 2006. – 49 yards against the Giants at the Linc and 62 yards against the Saints at the Superdome.
“Everyone knows I’m a third-back, but any chance I get to help the team I appreciate,” Gainwell said. “I know my role and I play my role as best I can.”
Gainwell is the sixth quarterback in history to rush for 112 yards in a playoff game, and the first since Eagle Dorsey Levens of the Packers rushed for 116 yards against the 49ers in the 1999 conference finals loss at Candlestick.
Thanks in large part to the rushing attack, the Eagles had 11 ½ minutes of possession. Their three rushing TDs tied the previous record set in a 1980 win over the Vikings.
Their average of 6.1 is the 5th-highest all-time in the postseason by a team that has run the ball at least 44 times and the highest in 25 years.
The Eagles earned a trip to their seventh NFC Championship Game since 2001. They will host the winner of the Cowboys-49ers game in Santa Clara on Sunday.
“It’s a win or go home mentality,” Sanders said. “Everyone knows what is at stake in this type of game. We’ve just got to play our best football, and that’s what we’ve been trying to preach and practice every game all season.
“We still think that we did not play our football well. I am happy to receive the ‘W.’ We are hungry, and we are not finished.
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