Eagles' D responds in win vs. Colts

Juqua Parker and Stewart Bradley stop Colts running back Donald Brown in the first half. (Ron Cortes/Staff Photographer)

Going into halftime, it seemed like Peyton Manning had figured out the Eagles' defense.

The Colts scored on their final three offensive possessions of the first half to take a 17-16 lead. The Eagles started the game hot, but seemingly lost all momentum.

However, a defense that has stumbled in the second half all season came out and contained Manning and the Colts, as the Birds came away with a 26-24 victory to improve to 5-3 on the season.

With 40 seconds left, Indy's offense took over at its own 26 yard line. But Manning was unable to get the Colts into field goal range as Asante Samuel picked him off for the second time to end the game.

Indianapolis did not register a second-half point until 1:50 left in the game. The Colts punted on their first four second-half possessions.

Andy Reid improved to 12-0 after the bye in the regular season.

Here are observations from the game:

Eagles' offense

* The Eagles scored on their first four possessions, but three of those were field goals. Entering the game, the Birds had converted seven of eight red-zone opportunities into touchdowns with Michael Vick at quarterback.

* Before today, all of Vick's three touchdown passes in the red zone were to Jeremy Maclin. Today, Maclin went without a catch in the first half, and he was not targeted until the 1:21 mark of the second quarter. He did not have a catch until the 13:22 mark of the third. Maclin ended up with four catches for 48 yards.

* LeSean McCoy got the Eagles off to a great start with a 62-yard run on their first offensive play from scrimmage. Two plays later, Vick hit DeSean Jackson for a 9-yard touchdown.

* Jackson had three catches, a carry and was back for a punt return in the first half. Overall, he had seven catches for 109 yards and three carries for 20 yards.

* Vick ended up 17-for-29 for 218 yards and a touchdown. He still has not been intercepted on the season but had several close calls today.

* Vick's legs were a weapon once again. He carried 10 times for 74 yards and a touchdown.

* The Eagles put together a 10-play, 80-yard drive that resulted in a Vick touchdown run to take a 26-17 lead in the fourth quarter. Vick hit Maclin for a 22-yard completion and ran for a gain of 32 on 3rd-and-4 during the drive.

* Eagles running back Jerome Harrison saw his first action of the season. The Birds acquired Harrison from the Browns in a trade last month.

* Vick hit Jackson for a 58-yard bomb with the Eagles' backed up at their own 4 yard line in the first half. By my unofficial count, it was Vick's seventh completion that went more than 25 yards from the line of scrimmage this season.

Max Jean-Gilles suffered a concussion in the first half and was replaced by Nick Cole. The Eagles came into the game with only two reserve linemen available: Cole and Austin Howard.

Eagles' defense

* The play that many will be talking about is the hit on Austin Collie with 2:23 left in the first half. Quintin Mikell initially hit Collie, and then Kurt Coleman made contact with his helmet. Collie was taken off on a stretcher and suffered a concussion, but was concious in the locker room, sitting up. He reportedly had movement. The Eagles were called for a 15-yard unnecessary roughness penalty. Officially, it was on Mikell, although it looked like Coleman was the one who made helmet-to-helmet contact. Click here for video of the play.

* Peyton Manning had been intercepted twice in 299 attempts coming in, but Asante Samuel picked him off twice in four quarters.

* Samuel was sidelined for the second possession. Joselio Hanson replaced him, and Trevard Lindley came in for nickel situations. At at that point, the Eagles had two rookies and one player making his first start on the field.

Brodrick Bunkley returned and saw his first action since suffering an injury in Week 5.

* In the first half, it looked like the Eagles used a special package with Stewart Bradley and Moise Fokou as the only two linebackers on the field. Hadn't seen that previously this season.

* Nate Allen left the game with 12:17 left in the second quarter. He was replaced by Coleman.

* Rookie Keenan Clayton was activated for the first time and saw some action with the defense. He was also called for a special-teams penalty for running into the kicker in the third quarter.

* The Colts lined Reggie Wayne up with Dimitri Patterson all game. Manning targeted Wayne 16 times, completing 11 for 83 yards. But overall, Patterson competed well and did not allow a big play. Wayne's longest completion was for 18 yards.

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