While watching the 2nd half of last night’s Eagles 19-17 squeaker over the Giants, I had to wonder if Andy Reid was being held hostage in the locker room. I thought I unknowingly was put into a time machine and transported back to ’03 when the Eagles offense was led on the ground by the 3-headed monster.
After weeks of begging and pleading by Eagles fans to give the rock to the smoothest and most elusive runners in the league, Reid finally saw the light. LeSean McCoy backed up his ridiculous trash talking with Giants DE Osi Umenyiora gaining 123 yards on 23 carries. He took advantage of Umenyiora’s terrible angles on the edge to slash the Giants for big chunks of yardage to win the 1st round of the war of words.
I, like I’m sure most fans were just waiting for Reid to abandon the ground game after it was mostly unsuccessful in the 1st half when McCoy carried 6 times for a paltry 2 yards. But to Reid’s credit, he did a great job staying with it and it paid dividends. I guess he finally dawned on him that this game plan takes pressure off the offensive line and helped wear down that vaunted Giants pass rush. The o-line early on played like it was going to be a long night for Michael Vick as he was dodging rushers on the first few drives, but got progressively better as the game evolved. The backs and tight ends chipped the defensive ends on pass plays to help the struggling LT Demetress Bell, who wasn’t even noticed by the end of the night…the sign that he’s doing his job.
The Eagles still had to score their only TD through the air as mostly invisible, DeSean Jackson, ran a pretty route to score on a 19 yard pass from Vick. But the 2nd half was controlled by the Eagles as Vick, who did and excellent job protecting the ball while making great decisions and not throwing into double coverage. He also looked like the Vick of ’10 scrambling for 49 yards on 6 carries. He even ran out of bounds instead of taking on tacklers like a fullback, as we’re so accustomed to seeing.
The offense still has issues in the red zone as they had to settle for 3 Alex Henery field goals, the other being a 48 yarder. They must find a way to score more TDs, because even as well as they played in the 2nd half, they were still a few feet short of losing when Giants kicker, Lawrence Tynes missed on his second-chance game winning field goal attempt. An attempt that was from 54 yards due to an offensive pass interference call on Giants WR Ramses Barden that made the kick just outside of Tynes’ range.
That miss saved Reid from sure goat-status as he called an unnecessary timeout to freeze Tynes, who pulled his 1st attempt wide left. Imagine the backlash if he’d converter on the next one?
Either way a win is a win, especially within the division. And hopefully Reid continues with this ground attack, because if he wants to continue to coach here, he can’t afford to revert back to his pass-happy ways.
But he got lucky last night and sometimes it’s better to be lucky than good.