Eagles at Giants, Sunday, November 20, 2011
Stud of the week: As hard as it is to go with the guy who threw THREE picks (thank God the Giants couldn't seem to capitalize), I have to give it to Vince Young, since he also engineered a nearly 9 minute drive in which he converted I think four third downs that ended when he tossed what turned out to be the winning TD to Riley Cooper (who also had a really good day, despite the fact that he hadn't caught a pass yet this year prior to Sunday night). Shout-out to Jason Babin, too, for the strip sack of Eli Manning that ended their last scoring chance.
So I was watching the game alone, with Chef Spouse in Pittsburgh after an afternoon spent talking business with a bunch of smart association peeps and keeping one eye on the games. And I was honestly kind of half watching it because I was expecting to be disappointed/pissed off and really didn't want to not be able to sleep Sunday night.
So here's what I remember:
The Giants couldn't do shit offensively. Their o-line was made of #FIAL -- couldn't open holes for the run game, couldn't protect Eli. The Eagles defensive front, on the other hand, was made of "WE WILL F YOU UP!" Where have those guys been for the past 3 months?
The Giants receivers were also made of #FIAL. I was constantly astonished at their inability to catch ANYTHING. Not every pass was perfect, but it wasn't Eli's fault he was 18 for 35 Sunday night.
The Eagles o-line, on the other hand, did a great job. Vince Young stayed clean. I had a conversation about this with... someone the other day. There is the issue that the Eagles' o-line is young and they've been shuffled around all season and whatnot. But it's a lot harder to protect a QB who's running all over the place than it is to keep a clean pocket for a guy who's inclined to stay in it. And/or the line's finally coming together.
Down both Vick and Maclin, it seemed to me like Marty and Andy slimmed down the offensive playbook a bit for the game. Yeah, dumping the trick plays and 60 yard bombs for the rest of the season might be a good way to go.
DJax will not be an Eagle next year. You heard it here first. The FO might franchise tag him so they can trade him, or they might just let him walk. But the idiot who hands a 50 yard gain back in exchange for some childish showboating not only isn't going to get Fitz money, he isn't worth it.
LeSean McCoy, on the other hand, is. I'm bummed that he didn't get a TD Sunday night, so the streak ends at nine games, but I think he's gotten to 1000 yards maybe the fastest of any RB in Eagles history? Well, at least recent history.
And the guys FINALLY didn't GIVE AWAY a lead in the fourth quarter. I cannot get over how magic that final drive was. Every time the team was looking at third down, I kept thinking: "Here we go. They won't convert, they'll punt, and the Giants will waltz down the field to score the winning TD, leaving us 53 seconds or something ridiculous to try to tie. Which, of course, we won't." Except when I was thinking: "Here we go. They won't convert, they'll kick the field goal, and the Giants will waltz down the field to score the winning TD, leaving us 53 seconds or something ridiculous to try to win. Which, of course, we won't." You know, later in the drive. I didn't believe in a nine minute drive leading to the winning TD until it happened. And I saw the replay. Twice.
This team is just maddening this year. We see flashes of competence all the time, and flashes of brilliance more than occasionally. Unfortunately, those flashes generally end up doused by whole stretches of complete boneheadedness. I know no teams seem to be playing consistently this year (well, other than the Packers and the 49ers), but this is ridiculous. Just when I'd given up on this season, they'll pull me back in. But Sunday night, to quote Berman, they played as a team. And they won.
Oh, and you know that whole thing about a QB controversy being the only catastrophe the Eagles had so far managed to avoid I mentioned in the picks? Yeah, looks like Vince Young might be starting against the Pats next week. If he reels off another win, boom, QB controversy. Mark my words.
Around the rest of the NFL...
I did better with my picks this week. Well, at least a little. Check it out at Snarkin' the NFL.