Eagles-Giants Up-down Drill
The Philadelphia Inquirer Blog - Eagles
Eagles-Giants Up-down Drill
Jeff McLane, Inquirer Staff Writer
The highs and lows from the Eagles' nail-biting 19-17 win over the New York Giants on Sunday night:
↑ The Eagles quarterback bounced back with an efficient and nearly error-free performance. Vick had zero turnovers and handed in his finest outing of the season. Will Vick be this solid the rest of the season? Who knows, but he can enjoy this one for now.
↓ You never know what you're going to get in the NFL. Manning entered tonight's game a conquering hero. Vick, meanwhile, seemed as if he was on the verge of losing his job. Guess who was rock solid and guess who wasn't? Manning tossed an ill-advised pass into the end zone in the fourth quarter that Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie picked off.
↑ Speaking of Mr. Pink, the flamboyant cornerback did not have his best game of the season. But Rodgers-Cromartie came up with the game-changing play when it seemed that settling for field goals would come back to haunt the Eagles.
↑The running back carried the Eagles offense in the second half, rushing for 121 yards on 17 carries. It was a different story in the first half as McCoy was held to just two yards on the six carries. But the coaches stayed on the ground and McCoy was excellent.
↑ The lithe receiver turned in another gutty effort. Jackson caught six passes for 99 yards and his first touchdown on the season. With Jeremy Maclin all but absent, Jackson was Vick's most reliable receiver. Through four games Jackson has 20 catches for 333 yards.
↑ The Eagles have had their greatest success this season whenever they've gone without a huddle. The offense did almost nothing for the entire first half until Michael Vick effectively engineered an 11-play, 70-yard drive late in the second quarter that produced the lone touchdown of the first 30 minutes.
↑ The rookie defensive tackle set the tone for the defense on the Giants' first drive, penetrating into the backfield and forcing Eli Manning into two incomplete passes.
↓It can now officially be labeled a concern. Alex Henery's kickoffs have been lacking thus far this season. Of his 14 first kickoffs, only four have been touchbacks. His first two kickoffs last night were well short of the end zone and resulted in long returns. His third kick reached the end zone but was returned 45 yards in the third quarter. The fourth was returned for more than 50 yards.
↑ Henry's kickoffs may have been short and the Eagles special teams' effort on kick return coverage may have been lacking, but the kicker hit three big second half field goals -- from 48, 35 and 26-yards -- and he did it with a new holder in punter Mat McBriar.
↑After Nnamdi Asomugha left with an eye injury, the reserve cornerback stepped in and broke up two passes in the first half, including one in the end zone that could have been intercepted. He also made a strong tackle on punt coverage.
↑Another week, another untimely penalty from the defensive end. With Babin, a ferocious pass rusher, sometimes you just have to take the good with the bad. But he kept a drive alive when he knocked the helmet off Giants tackle Sean Locklear on third down. Luckily for the Eagles, the Giants were later forced to punt.
Bell and Reynolds
↓They're bruised and battered, but the Eagles offensive linemen had a rough first half, particularly left tackle Demetress Bell and center Dallas Reynolds. The unit did show some improvement on the Birds' touchdown drive before halftime when Vick took more three-step drops.
Herremans and Watkins
↑The Eagles opened the second half with a couple of LeSean McCoy runs to the right that featured Todd Herremans and Danny Watkins. The Eagles running back, who did virtually nothing up until that point, gained 34 and 22 yards on successive carries. The drive netted a field goal.
↑ The Eagles safety broke up a long pass earlier in the first half, but his tackle of Martellus Bennett on a key second down just before the half was a more important play. The Eagles blitzed and Allen was alone on the big tight end. But he dropped Bennett for just a 2-yard gain and two plays later the Giants settled for a field goal.
↓ In the days leading up to the game, the rookie was getting tired of questions about Victor Cruz. The cornerback knew he was going to be covering the wide receiver in the slot, but he tried to downplay the matchup. He wasn't completely overmatched, but Boykin had issues, especially when Manning zipped a 14-yard TD pass to the receiver after he got by the rookie.
↓ Andy Reid can't seem to get his game management in order, or at least his players who are running the game. The Eagles had to burn two unnecessary timeouts - one by the defense in the first half and a second in the third quarter as the offense was driving.