Andy Reid is a very lucky man in Philadelphia after the Eagles beat the New York Giants with another 4th quarter comeback and risky timeout to freeze Giants kicker Lawrence Tynes. The gamble paid off. And now the Eagles have three wins by a total of 4 points and sit atop the NFC East division.
Tynes was short on a 54-yard field goal attempt (twice) with 15 seconds left as the Eagles held on for a 19-17 victory against the New York Giants on Sunday night.
“When you’re surrounding by 66,000 people that probably wanna rip your head off, yeah,” Eagles coach Andy Reid said when asked if he regretted calling a timeout to ice Tynes on his first try.
Vick responded by saying that Reid would be evaluated on a week to week basis if he ever did that again. Well, he didn’t actually say that but he did say that icing the kicker is never a good idea and should be stopped.
There’s a lot to take out of last night’s win. The Eagles did not just beat the New York Giants on Sunday night, they beat them. The defending Super Bowl champs have struggled against Philadelphia, losing eight of the last nine meetings. Here are some of the key moments to remember:
1) A Well-Balanced Gameplan – Yes folks, Reid finally had a balanced offense, much like he did against the Baltimore Ravens two weeks ago with 30 pass attempts and 36 run plays. Vick was 19 of 30 with 241 yards and 1 TD completion to DeSean Jackson. The Eagles running game was anemic in the first half, but McCoy came back and ran 121 of his 123 yards in the second half. The offensive line finally found its tempo and was able to protect Vick. All in all, the Eagles rushed for 191 yards on 36 carries, while the Giants ended up with 57 yards on 19 carries.
2) NO TURNOVERS – Like Brian Dawkins said in his halftime retirement ceremony, “Hallelujah!” Michael Vick wasn’t just clutch last night, but played a very flawless game in terms of turnovers. Eli Manning had 1 interception in the endzone by Dominic Rodgers-Cromartie. I think that was the turning point in the game. Had that been a completion for a touchdown, or had the Giants settled for a field goal, we would talking about a entirely different game. DRC now has 3 interceptions in the first 4 weeks of the season.
3) Special Teams Needs Work – Part of the problem that I saw in the first half of the game was the Eagles special teams allowing the Giants to play with a short field on kickoff and punt returns. The Giants rookie, David Wilson, took five of six kickoff returns to the 35 or beyond. If not for a touchdown-saving tackle by Mardy Gilyard on one return late in the third quarter it would have been an even more disastrous effort from the Eagles kickoff coverage unit. Even without Colt Anderson and Akeem Jordan - two of the teams’s best special teams players – the Eagles were unconscionably incompetent in this phase of the game Sunday night. Wilson finished with a 36.2-yard average. Eagles kickoff returnerBrandon Boykin, meanwhile, hasn’t taken a single kickoff return more than 29 yards this season. He averaged 16.7 yards on three returns in the victory over the Giants. Special teams coach Bobby April’s units have been underwhelming the last two seasons. Also, DeMarius Johnson learned it was better to settle for a touch-back than to catch balls behind the 10 yard line early.
All in all, not too many people could rip Andy Reid last night after the game he coached. The Eagles drive across Pennslyvania to face off against Ben Roethlisberger and the Pittsburgh Steelers. Rashard Mendenhall is expected to return from a torn ACL that he sustained
NOTE: The Eagles became the first team in NFL history to have each of their first three victories by two points or less according to information provided to the Eagles by the Elias Sports Bureau.