Rapid Reaction: Giants 29, Eagles 16
September, 25, 2011
By Ohm Youngmisuk | ESPNNewYork.com
PHILADELPHIA –- It might not completely make up for last year's unforgettable meltdown at the Meadowlands, but the Giants did something they haven't done since 2008 on Sunday by stunning the Eagles 29-16 on the road.
What it means: The Giants said they wanted redemption against the Eagles and Michael Vick, and played inspired. They jumped out to a stunning 14-0 lead, lost the lead and trailed 16-14, but came back and knocked Vick out of the game with a broken right hand. Make no mistake, this is a monster win for the Giants, who have desperately needed something positive to happen after a tough preseason. Despite all the injuries they have endured, the Giants snapped a six-game losing streak to the Eagles and are now on a two-game winning streak and riding high after a big win over a hated rival.
Tom Cruz: Coach Tom Coughlin started Victor Cruz opposite Hakeem Nicks at wide receiver, and the move paid off. With Mario Manningham out due to a concussion and Domenik Hixon done for the season with a torn anterior cruciate ligament, Cruz was next up and he scored on a 74-yard catch-and-run touchdown with 49 seconds remaining in the first quarter.
Cruz broke two poor tackles by free safety Kurt Coleman and cornerback Nnamdi Asomugha on the touchdown that put the Giants up 14-0.
Then Cruz scored again on a 28-yard touchdown catch in front of Asomugha and safety Jarrad Page to help put the Giants up 22-16 with 8:07 remaining.
Hot start: Eli Manning threw four touchdown passes in the Giants' previous game against the Eagles last December. He had two more in the first 15 minutes of this game, as he connected on a 40-yard touchdown to Brandon Jacobs (who beat rookie linebacker Casey Matthews) and then hooked up with Cruz.
The Giants might've had more points but Travis Beckum lost his footing and fell 1 yard short on a fourth-and-3 at the Eagles' 29 while up 14-3 with 5:26 left in the second quarter.
Defending Vick: Defensive coordinator Perry Fewell said he had a plan to counter the Eagles' speed, and it was basically playing three safeties and at times sending out an extra defensive back. Fewell played two linebackers almost exclusively, often using Michael Boley and either Mathias Kiwanuka or rookie Jacquian Williams. Rookie middle linebacker Greg Jones played few snaps for the second straight game.
Fewell also sent pressure from various angles, and Vick took a couple of shots to his head -- once when Jason Pierre-Paul tackled him, and another time when Chris Canty hit him. Vick temporarily left the game to have X-rays on his right hand but he returned to start the fourth quarter.
Then Vick left the game for good with eight minutes remaining with a broken right hand. Backup Mike Kafka immediately threw an interception to Aaron Ross, and threw a second one in the final two minutes.
What's next: The Giants head to the desert and return to the site of their Super Bowl XLII victory as they face the Arizona Cardinals next Sunday.