Sunday, December 13, 2009
Rapid Reaction: Eagles 45, Giants 38
By Dan Graziano
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- The New York Giants learned a painful lesson Sunday night in the Meadowlands. You should never get involved in a shootout against a team that features DeSean Jackson.
The Eagles' electrifying receiver delivered another record-breaking performance in leading his team to a 45-38 win over the Giants. With the win, the Eagles (9-4) take sole possession of first place in the NFC East and they have the inside track on hosting a first-round playoff game.
The Giants fall to 7-6 and they'll probably have to win their final three games to have any chance at a wild-card spot. It took the Eagles less than four minutes to drive for their first touchdown and then they followed it up by returning a Brandon Jacobs fumble 60 yards for a touchdown. It was cornerback Sheldon Brown's fifth touchdown of his career, tying him for first place on the Eagles' all-time list for defenders.
The Giants kept answering the Eagles for most of the game and they even took the lead midway through the third quarter on Domenik Hixon's 61-yard touchdown catch and run. But even with a 31-30 lead, you never got the feeling that the Giants' defense could slow down the Eagles' high-octane offense. Donovan McNabb answered immediately when he found Jackson on a deep crossing route against safety Aaron Ross.
For the Eagles to make another deep playoff run, they'll have to play better defense than they did against the Giants. But on this night, the Eagles' offense simply overwhelmed the Giants' secondary. McNabb was efficient in going 17-of-26 for 275 yards and two touchdowns. And when he threw an interception to Giants linebacker Jonathan Goff, Eli Manning helped out by fumbling inside Eagles territory.
When McNabb has time, this can be one of the most prolific offenses in the league. And when they needed a long drive in the fourth quarter, LeSean McCoy and Leonard Weaver stepped forward with some powerful running. The Eagles put together a 12-play, 91-yard touchdown drive to make it 45-31.
Before that drive, the Giants had the ball at the Eagles' 43-yard line before inexplicably choosing to run the ball on third-and-5. If the Giants had a puncher's chance of stopping the Eagles, maybe the play would've made sense. But we all know they didn't -- and the Eagles finally put them away.