Eagles over Giants, Sunday, November 21, 2010
Stud of the week: LeSean McCoy, who put the Eagles ahead for good with his 50 yard TD run on an almost-botched 4th-and-1 conversion attempt with about 4:30 left in the game. Shady had a good day, with over 100 yards, although most of them came on two big plays. I'm not complaining, though.
In some ways, this felt like the game where the Eagles couldn't do anything right. Well, except win. There was an awful lot of "YES!!! Wait! NOOOOOO!" in my living room last night. The receivers had the dropsiers, most notably with both DeSean Jackson and Jason Avant dropping TDs. Even Al Michaels pointed out that Avant is one of the most sure-handed wideouts in the NFL, so that was just bizarre.
The game also saw Michael Vick's first 2010 season turnover, although he still hasn't thrown any picks (knock wood).
Speaking of turnovers, Asante Samuel created one only to turn the ball over himself with a completely unnecessary run just after the Shady TD. Fortunately, as Shoegal observed, Eli Manning clearly doesn't know how to slide, either, leading to the Akers' field goal that iced the game with under 30 seconds left.
Speaking of, how often does Akers end up with a blocked kick? Of course, stats on SNF revealed that Akers has trouble against the Giants. It occurs to me, though, that the Giants' field goal coverage is what every team should study against the Eagles, since Akers holds the all-time franchise record for points scored. Good tackle, Sav. I guess that's why you want an Aussie rules punter - he's not afraid to knock guys down if it comes to it.
And the Eagles almost killed themselves with dumb penalties. There were like 120 yards of Eagles penalties. That is not good.
Of course, how many times did Trent Cole get obviously held and it's wasn't called? More than once, I saw a Giants lineman have him in a half-nelson (and to his credit, he just kept on driving his legs). I'm pretty sure that's not kosher.
Now, this game WOULD be a great example for other teams of how to defend Mike Vick...if it wasn't for the fact that the Eagles won anyway. The Giants certainly did a good job of limiting the big plays, and amazingly, this season, smart teams go ahead and let Mike Vick run, since he's changed his game so much that his arm is more dangerous than his legs.
A quick note: I've been very impressed with Dimitri Patterson over the past two weeks. It's not hard for a corner to impress against the Redskins, but remember that the Giants have the #2 ranked offense. Maybe he's finally found a home with the Eagles. One team's (well, actually three teams' - Redskins, Vikings and Chiefs) trash is another team's treasure.
The thing to take away from this, though, is that too many times over the years it's felt like the Eagles couldn't win close ones. DMac was always great at putting up a ton of points, but he wasn't necessarily always clutch (although he was more clutch than a lot of people give him credit for). It was good to see the team overcome some mistakes that really could have been devastating to gut out a tough win over one of the best teams in the NFC.
Get the rest at Snarkin' the NFL.