On the night when former Eagle Brian Dawkins was honored, the Philadelphia Eagles took down the arch rival Giants, 19-17 behind a strong defensive effort. The Eagles bounced back after an embarrassing loss to Arizona last week, which shows the true heart and determination of this team. What is more impressive is that the Eagles have won all three of their games by scoring on their last possession. These are the type of games the Eagles were losing last season, which should encourage Eagles fans everywhere.
For the first time this season, the Eagles committed zero turnovers in a game. Thank goodness for that, because even one turnover could have sunk the Eagles Sunday night. LeSean McCoy rushed for 123 yards on a season high 23 attempts, averaging over five yards per carry. It seems that Andy Reid heard the criticism over the lack of running the football this past week. Will they stick with this balanced attack? History overwhelmingly says no, but we’ll see. What we do know is that the Eagles were very effective on the ground against the Giants; especially in the second half.
Michael Vick completed 19 passes for 241 yards and threw a touchdown. More importantly, he took care of the football. He did not force his passes, ran when he had to, threw the ball away, and took sacks when necessary. This was Vick’s best performance of the season. He must now build on this game and continue to improve.
The offensive line, despite a few holding penalties, showed much needed improvement on Sunday. The first half was a bit shaky, but the line began to take control of the Giants blitz in the third quarter. Michael Vick helped out his line by getting rid of the ball quicker than he did a week ago. Eagles fans should be encouraged after seeing the improvement Sunday.
DeSean Jackson and Brent Celek both came to life combining for 10 catches totaling 156 yards and a touchdown. One of the things the Eagles needed to do was get Brent Celek more involved, and they did that tonight.
Overall, this was a solid performance by the Eagles offense. However, the inability to score a touchdown on 1st and goal from the three is troubling. The Eagles need to work on getting a push on short yardage situations, especially at the goal line.
The Eagles defense, for the most part, played well Sunday. The Giants were unable to establish any type of run game against the Eagles front seven, rushing for just 57 yards. The passing game was a different story, however. Eli Manning completed 24 passes for 309 yards and threw two touchdowns. The most troubling drive occurred midway through the fourth quarter, where the Giants drove 83 yards on just five plays to take a 17-16 lead.
Cornerback Namdi Asomugha left the game in the second quarter after being poked in the eye. He would later return wearing a
protective visor, but he was obviously not the same player. As the game wore on, it seemed as if the Giants were targeting the receivers that Asomugha was covering. The Eagles will have an update on Asomugha’s injury Monday morning.
The Eagles caught a break in the second half when Eli Manning threw a pass right into the hands of Dominic Rodgers-Cromartie in the endzone. Rodgers-Cromartie made a boneheaded play by not taking a knee in the endzone, but it proved to be a non-factor because the Eagles scored a field goal making the score 16-10.
It seems as if the presence of Brian Dawkins bolstered the Eagles defense tonight. There are still things to fix, especially in the secondary; but overall the Eagles played a solid game defensively Sunday Night. It is also worth mentioning that the Giants were the highest scoring offense in the league coming into this game.
We saw the best and the worst of the Eagles special teams tonight. Alex Henery sunk four field goals, which proved to be the difference in the game. However, the Eagles kickoff coverage was horrendous. It seemed like the Giants were starting every drive at mid field. That cannot happen against the top scoring offense in the NFL. Give credit to the defense for stopping Eli Manning and the Giants, but this kickoff coverage is a huge problem that the Eagles need to correct immediately.
Andy Reid almost cost the the Eagles the game when he called a timeout right before Giants kicker Lawrence Tynes missed a 54 yard field goal with 15 seconds left in the game. Luckily for Reid and the Eagles, Tynes missed the field goal again after the timeout which sealed the Eagles win.
To the credit of the coaching staff, the offense was much more balanced and kept the Giants guessing throughout the entire game. Defensively, the Eagles suffocated the Giants run game, making them one dimensional. However, there is still work to be done with the pass defense
This was a great win for the Philadelphia Eagles, who improved their record to 3-1. They will play the Steelers and the Lions before the bye week, so if they can at least split those two games, they will be in good shape.