Big update: You might have just noticed Nick Cole introduced with the first team offense. That's because Todd Herremans, last week's touchdown-scorer, is not in the starting lineup. A team spokesman called it a "coach's decision." No details were available. Generally, some sort of team rules/tardiness issue is at the root of such things.
The Birds are out now for their second series, finally, and Herremans remains on the bench.
It's 10-7 Giants after huge mistakes for both teams. The Eagles' Mike Patterson intercepted an Eli Manning pass and ran it to the New York 9, where on second down, the Birds joined the "wildcat formation" trendiness, with Donovan McNabb split left and DeSean Jackson taking a direct snap. Jackson turned the right corner and sliced to the end zone cone, his first rushing touchdown.
But the Giants then drove 80 yards in 10 plays, scoring on third and 9 from the Eagles' 17. The Birds seemed to bring a corner blitz that didn't get there, and which left Brian Dawkins covering Plaxico Burress, with predictable results.
Then Quintin Demps fumbled the ensuing kickoff, and the Giants ended up kicking a 27-yard field goal.
Now the Giants seemed poised to score again as the first quarter ends; they have first down at the Eagles' 1. Jim Johnson's defense looks overpowered on the running plays and totally confused on the pass plays, like they watched the wrong tape all week or something.
Last week, Jason Avant had enough of a back injury that the Eagles deactivated him against the Seahawks, which gave them room to dress both Reggie Brown and Kevin Curtis for the first time, on the first occasion both were healthy. It was pretty obvious to reporters watching practice this week that Avant was going to be part of the gameplan for tonight's home game against the Giants, so it was interesting to speculate which of the other five wideouts would be deactivated.
The answer: None of 'em. Andy Reid has opted to deactivate running back Lorenzo Booker for the first time this season. Booker hasn't had much of a role, but leaving him out completely, along with backup fullback Kyle Eckel, means that if something were to happen to both Brian Westbrook and Correll Buckhalter, Donovan McNabb would be handing off to Dan Klecko. Let's hope that doesn't come to pass.
Also inactive this week is tight end Matt Schobel, with L.J. Smith back. The Giants are missing injured safety James Butler (knee), as expected; rookie Kenny Phillips will start in his spot. Ex-Eagle Jerome McDougle, bothered by a sore knee, also is inactive for New York.
Stay tuned for updates.
First update: Vice President Joe Biden is in the house tonight, and apparently will participate in the coin flip along with a couple other recent victors, Phillies Cole Hamels and Pat Burrell.