Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Giants Score, Birds Unleash Whirlwind

Updating: Drive safely. It's 40-17 Eagles with about 5 minutes left in the Eagles' most significant victory of the season (unless the Giants just keep losing the rest of the season and turn into Tampa).

Giants Score, Birds Unleash Whirlwind

Updating: Drive safely. It's 40-17 Eagles with about 5 minutes left in the Eagles' most significant victory of the season (unless the Giants just keep losing the rest of the season and turn into Tampa).

Donovan McNabb has been dominant, 16 for 22 for 246 yards and a 148.9 passer rating. The Birds have run the ball effectively without Brian Westbrook. The defense has tormented Eli Manning, who is fortunate to have 17 points on the board.

That's really all there is to say, except, whatever happens with the Phillies tonight, the 5-2 Eagles' season just got a lot more interesting.

Previously: The Giants got a really fortunate defensive holding call that negated a Sheldon Brown pick, and Eli Manning eventually hit tight end Kevin Boss for an 18-yard TD, getting the Giants within 16-7, but on the Eagles' first play after the kickoff, DeSean Jackson was all alone for a 54-yard TD that restored the 16-point margin, at 23-7, with 1:38 left in the first half. Then Manning was picked without a flag fluttering, first career interception for Quintin Demps, and a laser-sharp Donovan McNabb threaded a 23-yard TD pass to Jeremy Maclin. Thirty to 7 at the half? Seriously?

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McNabb's halftime numbers: 11 for 15 for 201 yards, 3 Tds, no picks, 154.9 passer rating.

He might be out of that little slump he was talking about last Wednesday.

Standing ovation for the team running off the field at the half.

Previously:  The Eagles just drove 72 yards in 15 plays, eating up six minutes and 56 seconds of clock, before taking a 16-0 lead on a 30-yard David Akers field goal. A few stats: 152 total yards for the Eagles vs. 43 for the Giants. Four third down conversions in five tries for the Birds. Eli Manning has completed two of his first seven passes. Donovan McNabb is 6 for 10 for 82  and a TD.

Previously: Well, we're still less than four minutes into the game, and the Brian Westbrookless Eagles have two touchdowns, just as we all predicted (not).

First score was set up by a nice Ellis Hobbs kickoff return to the Eagles' 40. Third play of the drive, two tight end set, the Eagles ran Leonard Weaver up the gut, and the Giants were so surprised, he just kept running, 41 yards to the end zone.

The Giants got the ball and on second and 10 from their 43, Eli Manning threw a pick to Asante Samuel, who ran it down to the 10. On third and goal from the 18, thanks to a Jason Peters hold, Donovan McNabb hit Brent Celek perfectly for the TD. David Akers' extra point try was blocked, 13-0 Birds.

 So we can conclude, of course, that the Eagles still can't sustain long drives. (Yuk, yuk).

 Previously:: Eagles running back Brian Westbrook is inactive for today's game against the Giants. LeSean McCoy will get the start.

Also, Sean Jones will start at free safety for the injured Macho Harris.

Other inactives: wide receiver Kevin Curtis, defensive end Victor Abiamiri, guard Max Jean-Gilles and lineman Mike McGlynn. Kevin Kolb is again listed as the third QB with Donovan McNabb and Michael Vick on the active roster.

For the Giants, despite saying he was ready to go, wide receiver Mario Manningham is inactive.

From earlier

Eagles running back Brian Westbrook is not expected to play today against the Giants, ESPN is reporting, citing a team source. 

Westbrook sufferd a concussion on Monday night when he was kneed in the head against the Redskins. He has not practiced this week and has undergone a series of tests.

LeSean McCoy would start in Westbrook's spot at running back.

The Eagles listed Westbrook as questionable and coach Andy Reid said on Friday that Westbrook would be a game-time decision. He said Westbrook was feeling "pretty good right now."

"These are experts you are talking about that are looking at these things," Reid said Friday. "I know he wants to play. We have to listen the doctors, both Brian and myself and [head trainer] Rick [Burkholder].”

In other injury news, Giants wide receiver Mario Manningham told the NFL Network that he was "good to go" for today's game, despite a shoulder injury that kept him out of Friday's practice.

STAFF PREDICTIONS

Expecting a close game? We sure are ...

Les Bowen: Giants, 20-17

Ed Barkowitz: Giants, 23-17

Bill Conlin: Eagles, 27-24

Paul Domowitch: Giants, 23-20

Marcus Hayes: Giants, 18-15

Mike Kern: Eagles, 20-17

Vegas Vic: Giants, 23-21

KEY MATCHUPS 

1. Eagles WR DeSean Jackson vs. Giants CB Corey Webster: Webster likely will shadow Jackson much of the game. He's bigger and stronger than Jackson, but lacks Jackson's quickness and speed. Advantage: Eagles

2. Eagles RDE Trent Cole vs. Giants LT David Diehl: Diehl held Cole to just one sack in three meetings last year, but Cole is on fire right now with 6 1/2 sacks. Advantage: Eagles

3. Eagles MLB Will Witherspoon vs. Giants RB Brandon Jacobs: Witherspoon's size is better suited for the WILL. He could have problems with the 264-pound Jacobs. Advantage: Giants
 

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