8 minutes. That’s how long it took to rip out the collective hearts of the New York Giants. 8 minutes. That’s how long it took for the Eagles to sit atop the throne of the NFC East. 8 minutes. That’s how long it took for Michael Vick to snap out of a 3 quarter slumber. 8 minutes. That’s how long I screamed as DeSean Jackson skipped into the end zone.
It’s only right that the Eagles christened the New Meadowlands Stadium with a kidney shot to the rivals from up north. Even without Stewart Bradley and Brandon Graham, and losing Nate Allen during the game, the defense bowed up and made the necessary plays.
But I have to mention Dmitri Patterson. They say it’s not how you start but how you finish. It was extremely true for him. He had one of the worst first halves that I can remember for a cornerback. The Eagles played a lot of zone coverage, and he was routinely toasted while giving up the first 3 touchdown passes. In the second half, the Eagles became more aggressive with blitzes and played more man to man. That was a great adjustment, allowing him to react rather than sit and watch. He really stepped up his play, along with the rest of the secondary.
There are no words left to describe Michael F. Vick. He may not win the MVP award, but it’s obvious that he is just that. Without Vick, the Eagles get 0 yards in the 4th quarter. He accounted for all 245 yards( 151 passing, 94 rushing). In the first 3 quarters, the Giants did a great job of limiting Vick’s effectiveness. Then it seemed like their defense wore down and lost discipline. It allowed Vick to have some more time in the pocket and to break the contain of the defense. You can’t stop him, you can only hope to contain him.
And finally special teams. Football is a game of three phases. Offense and defense get the most glory, but in a game of too evenly matched squads, special teams tends to be the difference. It certainly was in this game. The Eagles recovered an onside kick after completing a 64 yard touchdown pass to TE Brent Celek. How could the Giants not be ready you ask? Well Coughlin says they reminded them to watch for an onside kick, but it looks like the message wasn’t received. Which brings me to…
Matt Dodge. Paging Matt Dodge. There’s an angry coach waiting for you on the white courtesy phone. He and everyone else are wondering how you didn’t kick the ball into the parking lot. Coughlin again said that he told the rookie to kick it out of bounds, and not into the waiting hands of Djax; But it seems something was lost in translation. What we have here is a failure to communicate. Take this excerpt from the mouth of my 11 year old son: “Why didn’t he kick it out of bounds? All he does is practice kicking into a net on the sidelines. If he can’t do it, they should call me. I can kick it out of bounds.” Nuff said.
So what’s next? One more win to officially clinch the division. Two wins and a Bears loss gets a first round bye. Two wins and two losses by the Falcons gets home field through out the playoffs. I’m not going to hold my breath, but just laying out scenarios.
First things first. Minnesota comes into the Linc this weekend. They have the best running back in football, but that doesn’t scare me. What does is the effect that an emotional win like this can have on the team. It will be easy to enjoy this one too long, especially when we have no idea who the QB for Minnesota is going to be. Reid has done one of his best jobs this year with all of the injuries and changes at quarterback. He will have to keep the boys focused on the prize. Win one more, get the division wrapped up, and then go from there. As for me, I’m going to enjoy this one for as long as I damn well please. FLY EAGLES FLY!