I'll have several more observations from the Eagles' 34-24 comeback win over the Houston Texans, but let's first take a look at what folks around the country are saying about the game:
Bob Ford of the Inquirer doesn't think Thursday's performance was a blueprint for success: "In the first half of Thursday's game -- a game the Eagles led from the outset and still led, 20-10, at halftime -- Reid and offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg called 33 passes and 10 runs. Vick was hit a half-dozen times getting rid of the ball and another half-dozen times when he had to scramble away from pressure. By the end of the half, Vick was limping and sore, needing to loosen the bruises on a stationary bike between series."
The Inquirer's Ashley Fox thought the Eagles needed to show DeSean Jackson more love: "This seemed like the perfect opportunity to make the birthday boy happy. Get him the ball. Pad his stats. Show him some love. Make DeSean Jackson feel appreciated, like the megastar he thinks he is. The Eagles did not do that. Not really. Even though the best Houston had to offer Thursday night was a second-year corner out of New Mexico named Glover Quin, who did not have the foot speed to match Jackson, it was as if the Eagles forgot Jackson existed for much of the game."
Rich Hofmann of the Daily News thinks this Eagles defense lacks an identity -- especially without Asante Samuel: "Leading by 20-10 at the half, and having banged up Houston quarterback Matt Schaub on the second to last play of the half, it seemed as if the Eagles were in decent shape. But then the Texans put together two dominating, varied touchdown drives to open the third quarter and the Eagles were suddenly losing, 24-20. The turnaround was sudden and stunning. The drives featured an alarming lack of a four-man pass rush, and an inability really to get anybody covered for very long downfield. Oh, and because they couldn’t really load up the box with an extra safety to stop the run -- such were the coverage issues -- the Eagles weren’t very good at that, either."
Phil Sheridan from the Inquirer thinks Michael Vick is taking way too much punishment: "The Eagles didn't seem to realize it, but this game was the last bit of kindness shown them by the NFL schedule-makers. With a grueling four-week home stretch ahead, they needed to check this one off the to-do list with as little strain as possible. Instead, they got caught in a firefight, and Vick absorbed most of the enemy fire. Even with a 17-3 first-half lead and Vick getting up more slowly after each big hit, the coaches declined to run the ball enough to take some heat off."
Jeff McLane of the Inquirer offers a nice description of the Eagles win: "Vick completed 22 of 33 passes for 302 yards and threw two touchdowns and one interception. He also gained 48 yards on the ground and scored the go-ahead-for-good touchdown with 13 minutes, 4 seconds left in the game. Vick was a magician in the pocket and somehow survived hit after hit. 'It's not that bad. They look harder than what they seem,' Vick said. 'If I take one and lay down there, I took a good one and you know that. I'm a pretty tough guy, I feel, for the most part.'"
Geoff Mosher of The News Journal led with Brent Celek's huge play in the fourth quarter: "It was symbolic of Thursday night for Celek and the Eagles, whose 34-24 victory at Lincoln Financial Field was closer than the score indicated and required some extra effort. But they're back in the win column four days after a deflating road loss to the Chicago Bears and preserved at least a share of the NFC East lead for another week and with just four games to go in this unpredictable season."
Joe Theismann told John Gonzalez of the Inquirer before the game that Vick shouldn't be the MVP: "After the interview, Vick went out and, once more, proved someone wrong. Theismann is in good company on that front. At this point, if Vick isn't the MVP favorite, it has to be a surprise to the entire league. On their first possession, Vick took the Eagles the length of the field for a touchdown. The boos LeBron James heard during his re-introduction to Cleveland lingered longer than the Eagles on their opening drive. Then, in the fourth quarter, Vick took the Birds on a game-winning march. He finished with another silly statistical performance (302 passing yards, 48 rushing yards, three total touchdowns), and the Birds beat the Texans, 34-24."