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Sunday, September 25, 2011
Boley comes up huge on fourth down

By Mike Mazzeo

Michael Boley made the biggest play in Sunday afternoon’s stunning 29-16 victory over the Eagles.

Facing fourth-and-1 at the New York 43 and leading by two, the Eagles elected to go for it.

They put the ball in the hands of superstar LeSean McCoy (24 carries, 128 yards, one TD), who killed the Giants all-game long. But as McCoy tried to run to the right, he ran into Boley, who dropped the Eagles running back for a three-yard loss.

The turnover on downs led directly to Victor Cruz’s touchdown, which gave the Giants a 22-16 lead they’d never relinquish.

“It was just a good read,” Boley, who finished with six tackles and a pass defense, said. “I saw the back get the ball. He cut and back and I was just able to get over the top and make the play.”

Oh what a play it was.

“I think what happens there is that they’re confident that they either have a play or they have something that they are very, very sure is going to be effective,” head coach Tom Coughlin said. “You know, it’s kind of like the fourth down that we went for. Had we made that, we keep the ball, we move the ball down further, we keep it out of their hands and we thought very well about what we were doing as well but didn’t make it.”

Coughlin was talking about a fourth-and-3 in the second quarter. Eli Manning completed a pass to Travis Beckum, but the tight end stumbled and fell a yard shy of the first down marker.

• The Giants secondary stunk the first two weeks of the season, surrendering over 300 yards passing to Rex Grossman and Sam Bradford.

But they turned it around in a big way on Sunday afternoon, making plays when they needed to.

In all, they intercepted Eagles quarterbacks Michael Vick and Mike Kafka a combined three times, and limited the duo to just 211 yards through the air.

“Philadelphia’s going to make some plays,” Coughlin said. “There’s no doubt about that, but we made some key, critical stops at the right time.”

Steve Weatherford should be commended for his efforts. Aside from keeping DeSean Jackson off the scoreboard in the punt return game, Weatherford, holding for Lawrence Tynes, drew the Eagles offsides with a hard count during a fourth-down play in the fourth. The five-yard penalty extended the New York drive, and allowed Ahmad Bradshaw to eventually score the game-sealing TD.