Philadelphia Eagles’ QB Michael Vick orchestrated another beautiful fourth quarter comeback (his third in four games this season) while leading his team to victory over NFC East rival the New York Giants.
Vick showed poise in the pocket and confidence in his arm as he put together a very respectable stat line with 241 yards, one touchdown and no interceptions on 19 of 30 passing. He also showed off his wheels a little bit as the QB ran 6 times for 49 yards.
The 19-17 nail-biting win came in large part to the fact that for the first time this season, Vick and the Eagles did not commit any turnovers.
Not one. None at all.
Only one fumble occurred on the Eagles’ end when RB LeSean McCoy stretched for the end-zone while hugging the sideline, and got the ball knocked out of his hands when he was basically already out of bounds. This obviously did not result in a turnover for the birds.
This isn’t to say that Vick wasn’t under constant pressure from the Giants’ monstrous defensive line, because he was. Justin Tuck, Osi Umenyiora and Jason Pierre-Paul were breathing down his neck all night long.
The difference was that Vick was prepared for the rush and continuously made smart decisions when throwing the ball, making sure not to let loose any ill-advised passes even when he knew he was about to get clocked.
With WR Jeremy Maclin basically invisible (1 catch, 7 yards) after coming off of his hip injury, WR DeSean Jackson showed up in a big way, which the young wide-out has been known to do when facing the Giants.
Jackson recorded 6 receptions for 99 yards and a touchdown, which came on a 19-yard strike from Vick in the second quarter. This would end up being huge as it was the Eagles’ only touchdown in the game.
In some respect I owe LT Demetress Bell a small round of applause. Maybe a golf clap would do.
Don’t get me wrong, it is not that Bell greatly impressed in anyway, nor did his game-play and toughness dramatically change. But he did not allow Pierre-Paul, Umenyiora or Tuck to just trample his quarterback all night, which is what I expected.
Yes, all three of the beasts got a couple of licks on Vick throughout the game, but Bell was not nearly as much of the gaping hole that he was last week against the Arizona Cardinals. And for that I salute him.
Giants’ QB Eli Manning experienced relative success against the Eagles’ secondary, as he completed 24 of 42 passes for 309 yards, 2 touchdowns and one interception.
But Manning’s only interception came at a huge cost, as he was picked off in the fourth quarter by CB Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie inside the Eagles’ end-zone.
In my eyes, this was the play of the game, as a touchdown or even a field goal by the Giants at this time could have easily sealed the game, and caused the Eagles to execute a very different game-plan.
The contest came to a conclusion after a slew of pass interference penalties against the offensive and defensive. After walking the ball back and forth multiple times, the final play came with Giants’ kicker Lawrence Tynes coming up short on a 54-yard field goal attempt.
This came as a huge relief to Eagles’ head coach Andy Reid, as he had iced the Giants’ kicker right before missing his initial attempt.
I have always hated the notion of icing the kicker, as I believe it gives no advantage to the defensive side. You are a lucky man Andy, as all of Philly was one made field goal away from demanding your termination.
This was far from a perfect performance by the Eagles, but was a huge step in the right direction. Vick and the offense still need to learn how to jump out to a lead and hold on, as opposed to fighting back in the fourth quarter. Sure it is heart-pounding and exciting, but every game can not end this way.
With what I saw on Sunday night, I am confident that if the Eagles’ o-line can continue to hold off pass rushers and Jackson can keep getting open down-field for Vick, this team can do big things.
One game is one game. But the Giants are the Giants.
And the Eagles are now on every team’s radar, atop the NFC East at 3-1.
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