This is why they play the games. We had a feeling the Giants would show up today. The pendulum had to swing back at some point.
The Giants pounded Michael Vick in Philadelphia this afternoon and drove him from the game in the fourth quarter with a broken hand. They then took further advantage of a disorganized Eagles defense to win what many thought was an un-winnable game for them, 29-16.
It's not total payback for last December's Meadowlands Meltdown, but its close enough....we'll take it.
Embattled offensive coordinator Kevin Gilbride quelled his detractors by doing a tremendous job game-planning this week and then executed it by calling a terrific game today. The Blue finally got some breakout performances from their skill players, who stepped up in clutch situations and made big plays in big spots.
QB Eli Manning threw four TD passes: two to WR Victor Cruz and one each to his running backs, Ahmad Bradshaw and Brandon Jacobs. He did not throw an INT.
Bradshaw led the club in both receptions and carries today amassing 139 total yards. Cruz scored on a 74-yard play where he broke free from coverage and sped to daylight up the left sideline. He then outmuscled All-World CB Nnamdi Asomugha on another play to snare a pass on the goal line and then break the plane for six. Jacobs scored on a 40-yard pot pass which caught the Eagles defense in a deep slumber.
The Giants' defense bent, but did not break - again. Their short-yardage defense was on their game as they thwarted the Eagles on several key third and fourth-down plays.
Aaron Ross, who was under fire all week for his inconsistent play the first two games, answered critics with two picks and a solid game in the coverage scheme.
Rookie Jacquian Williams led the club with 9 tackles, which is no surprise to this reporter. He is a real talent. When I first saw him in training camp, he reminded me of Jesse Armstead. Today, he played a lot like Armstead.
Williams' college teammate, Jason Pierre-Paul was also a force today. He seems to improve with each game. With seven tackles and two sacks (and uncounted QB hits at press time) he played like an All-Pro this afternoon.
The Giants jumped out to an early 14-0 lead, only to see that evaporate at the hands of the elusive Vick and the slippery RB LeSean McCoy. But the Blue hung in there. This time, they did not fold.
With the Eagles leading 16-14 in the early going of the 4th quarter, Philadelphia coach Andy Reid decided to go on a 4th and 1 on the NYG 43. McCoy was stopped three yards behind the line by LB Michael Boley and the Giants took over on downs.
More importantly, Vick was floored on the play by Giants' DT Chris Canty and broke his non-throwing hand during the fall. He attempted to return after having x-rays taken in the locker room, but was unable to continue, giving way to inexperienced backup Mike Kafka.
The Giants then drove the ball into Eagles' territory, which culminated in Cruz' second TD grab of the game. Jacobs then put the Giants up by six with a two-yard run on the conversion.
When the Eagles got the ball back they inexplicably came out throwing and Kafka was picked off by Ross. The Giants then drove down the field for the game-sealing score - an 18-yard screen to Bradshaw.
The Giants, who literally limped into this game are now 2-1. The Eagles, who limped out of it, are now 1-2.