Eagles 38, Giants 31
Call it the Mike Vick effect. With his team facing incredibly long odds, Vick told his teammates to go out and enjoy the game. After DeSean Jackson’s 65-yard punt return for a touchdown, the Eagles enjoyed one of the rowdiest celebrations of the Andy Reid era, complete with a Gatorade bath for the head coach.
“Crazy,” guard Todd Herremans said. “I’m at a loss for words right now.”
Following Sunday’s 38-31 win, which completed a season sweep of the New York Giants, the Eagles control their own destiny.
“We’re first place in the NFC East, baby,” Jackson said.
With the Eagles facing a 21-point deficit, Vick showed why he’s a leading candidate for MVP by orchestrating a fourth-quarter comeback for the ages. Vick started the rally with a 65-yard scoring strike to Brent Celek. From there, the Eagles reeled off 28 unanswered points before Jackson danced into the end zone with zeroes showing on the clock.
“This is a dream come true,” Jackson said, while clutching his game-worn cleat. “I was thinking, ‘They’re not really going to kick it to me.’”
But Giants punter Matt Dodge did, drawing the ire of Tom Coughlin. Now, Jackson’s play will be remembered in the same breath as Herman Edwards’ 1978 “Miracle at the Meadowlands” fumble recovery and Brian Westbrook’s 2003 punt return.
However, it was a virtuoso performance from Vick that has the Eagles (10-4) sitting pretty. He totaled 372 yards, three passing TDs and a rushing TD.
“When Mike comes in the huddle, he’s got this determined look on his face,” Herremans said. “He’s like ‘Alright, I’m about to win this game. If you guys want to help, you’re more than welcome. If not, I win.’”
What went right …
1 Winning the trenches: After being manhandled by the Giants’ Zero Blitz scheme in the first half, the Eagles diagnosed the problem and took advantage in the fourth quarter on Vick’s 65-yard strike to Brent Celek.
2 Special occasion: Bobby April’s special teams unit hasn’t lived up to the hype for much of the season. But yesterday, they provided perhaps the two biggest plays of the game: an onside kick and Jackson’s TD. “Fantastic call,” Akers said about the onside kick.
3 Luck be an Eagle tonight: The Eagles were lucky to come up with a win. Andy Reid self-admittedly “goofed” when the coach missed an obvious challenge call early in the fourth quarter on DeSean Jackson’s fumble.