The Eagles closed out their time in Giants stadium most likely, putting on an offensive show, and winning the game 45-38, in a much needed divisional matchup. The Eagles now sit alone atop the NFC East with a record of 9-4.
The Eagles came out of the gates strong, took the opening kickoff, and marched right downfield and scored a touchdown, and made it look easy. The Giants first possession didn't go so well for them, as Sheldon Brown scooped up a Brandon Jacobs fumble and returned it 60 yards for a touchdown. The Eagles were up 14-0 five minutes into the game. From that point on, it would be an offensive shootout for both teams. The Giants got the game to 14-10, and the Eagles then pushed it to 24-10. The Giants responded with a touchdown, and then the Eagles marched down the field right before halftime to score another touchdown, but missed the extra point to take a 30-17 lead.
In the 2nd half, the Giants continued to play strong on offense, and took a 31-30 lead in the 3rd quarter. It didn't last long, because literally the very next offensive play, McNabb found DeSean Jackson for a 60 yard touchdown. The Eagles then went on a very successful, long 91 yard drive throughout most of the 4th quarter, capped off by a 1 yard Leonard Weaver touchdown run to put the game away.
The Eagles offense played very well. McNabb continues his strong play, and ended the game 17-26 for 275 yards with 2 TDs and 1 INT. McNabb threw a couple very nice deep balls, bought some time on some other plays, and hit his check downs well. Mike Vick also continued his strong recent play, and threw a 32 yard dart to DeSean Jackson on the first drive, which set up the first touchdown of the game. Vick also ran the ball 3 times for 11 yards, including a touchdown. Not only does Vick look like he is getting better every week, the play calling that involves Vick has been a lot better. I will give credit to the Reid-Mornhinweg play calling combo when Vick has been in the game lately. By letter Vick throw a couple passes each game, it doesn't allow the defense to stack the box when Vick is in the game. Also, I like the use of the trick plays they have tried when Vick has been in there. 2 trick plays were used. The first one being a reverse to Vick in which he almost threw a touchdown pass to Reggie Brown. The 2nd one was a Vick handoff to McCoy, who pitched to McNabb, who looked to go deep back to Vick. Even though he didn't have anything deep, McNabb made the right read and dumped it short to Celek. So, not only is Vick getting better and better each week, and becoming more a weapon in the rushing and passing game, the play calling has made more sense as of late.
Donovan McNabb led 4 very important drives in this game. The Eagles took the opening kickoff and marched right down the field the score, which was very important to get a 7-0 lead. Then, right before halftime, the Eagles marched down the field and scored a touchdown with 10 seconds left in the half, which was also very important. Sometimes McNabb often gets criticized for is not playing well with 2 minutes and under in the half or game. The Eagles came into this game 2nd in the NFL in scoring with under 2 minutes left in the half and end of the game, and they continued to add to that total. The 3rd drive was the 1 play drive, which was the 60 yard pass to Jackson. The Giants had just taken a 31-30 lead and had all the momentum at that point. And the final and most important drive was a 91-yard drive which took up most of the 4th quarter, and was eventually the game winning drive.
The rushing attack wasn't as successful as it has been recently, but McCoy and Weaver both got their share of carries, and Weaver and Vick both has a touchdown run. The story on offense however was DeSean Jackson. Without Jackson's return from his concussion, the Eagles do not win that game. Jackson had 6 receptions for 178 yards, and a touchdown. He also had a huge 72 yard punt return for a touchdown. You see people who are fast, but Jackson is ridiculously fast. Brent Celek also played well and ended with 64 receiving yards and a touchdown.
However, I am not so optimistic as some other people are going forward... mostly now because of the defense. I hear people talking today about how they are now starting to get this feeling with this Eagles team that we could go far into the playoffs, and into the Super Bowl. Well, I think that if that Eagles team from yesterday played the Saints, the Saints would have scored 60+ points. The Eagles defense was horrible. It was one of the worst defensive performances I've ever seen to be honest. Sheldon Brown, Quintin Mikell, Sean Jones - all guys who I like and have praised, played horribly. Too many missed tackles, too many penalties still, too many blown coverages, and not enough pressure on Eli. The Giants put up 512 yards of total offense in the game. They ran the ball and threw the ball effectively.
I do think the Eagles defense is a proud defense, and Sean McDermott and the players on the defense will not be happy with this victory. I think they will treat this week of practice like they really almost lost this game for the team, and bounce back. However, if the defense continues to play the way they played on Sunday, this team is not going to the Super Bowl.