Sunday, November 21, 2010
Rapid Reaction: Eagles 27, Giants 17
By Matt Mosley
PHILADELPHIA -- Some quick thoughts on the Eagles' 27-17 comeback win at Lincoln Financial Field:
What it means: The Philadelphia Eagles have the upper-hand in the NFC East with a 7-3 record. And this is one of those wins that could propel the Eagles to a special season. They dominated every facet of the first half, but they kept coming away with field goals instead of touchdowns. Quarterback Michael Vick made some brilliant plays, but the normally reliable Jason Avant dropped a pass in the back of the end zone and the Eagles kept bogging down every time they got near the goal line. But after falling behind the Giants, 17-16, the Eagles put together a clutch drive that resulted in a 24-17 lead.
The play of the game: On fourth-and-1 from the 50-yard line, every Giants defender was keying on Vick. He took the snap and then bobbled the ball before pitching to running back LeSean McCoy. The ball barely eluded the outstretched arms of Osi Umenyiora, but then McCoy raced for a game-winning touchdown. Giants defensive end Justin Tuck got his team back in the game with two strip sacks. One of those plays led to a quick touchdown for the Giants, who took a 17-16 lead when Eli Manning found Derek Hagan for a 5-yard touchdown.
The play of the game II: Facing a fourth-and-6 with just over three minutes left, the Giants (6-4) elected to go for it even though they had three timeouts remaining. Manning took off running on the play and had the first down before he inexplicably fell to the ground head first instead of sliding. The ball came loose as he fell toward the ground the Eagles recovered. Giants coach Tom Coughlin walked almost to midfield to protest the call and then he challenged the ruling. But the call was upheld and the fans at the Linc erupted.
Vick needed help: We learned Sunday night that Vick may occasionally need some help from his teammates. Avant's drop in the end zone was stunning. And DeSean Jackson could've made a catch in the end zone on a ball that was a little low. Vick got careless with the ball in the second half, and Tuck made him pay. It was an impressive rally by the Giants in the second half, but the Manning fumble was a killer. They would've had a first down inside Eagles' territory with three minutes left. Instead, the Eagles were able to march down and ice the game with a 30-yard David Akers field goal.
What's next: The Eagles will head to Chicago for a showdown between two 7-3 teams. And the Eagles should have more confidence than ever because they won a game it looked like they were trying to give away. The Giants will host the Jacksonville Jaguars. And that game has become even more important with Sunday's loss. Don't look now, but the Giants only lead the Washington Redskins by one game. And they'll play each other in two weeks.