EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- Some quick thoughts on one of the most remarkable comebacks in the history of this rivalry.
What it means: The Eagles have sole possession of first place in the NFC East with a 10-4 record. The Giants fell to 9-5 with the loss and they'll have to fight for their playoff lives. Eagles wide receiver DeSean Jackson had been held down for much of the day, but he ended the game with a 65-yard punt return for a touchdown. He muffed the punt and then broke two tackles on his way to the end zone. The play stunned the crowd and Giants coach Tom Coughlin tossed his headset in frustration. It set off a wild celebration on the Eagles' sideline.
Giants defensive coordinator Perry Fewell overwhelmed Eagles quarterback Michael Vick with his game plan in the first half. The Giants blitzed from all over the field in the first half and Vick didn't have any time to get the ball downfield toJackson or Jeremy Maclin. Like he did in the first game, Giants safety Antrel Rolle made life difficult for Vick on the blitz. And Eagles right tackle King Dunlap had no answers for defensive end Justin Tuck.
What was Andy thinking? The Andy Reid haters would've had plenty of ammunition in this game. What could Reid possibly have hoped to accomplish late in the first half? His defense had just held the Giants to a field goal, so the deficit was only 17-3. With 22 seconds left, Vick raced up to the line of scrimmage and delivered a short pass to Maclin across the middle. Maclin fumbled and safety Kenny Phillips scooped it up and ran 22 yards. The Giants made it 24-3 heading into the half on a short touchdown pass to Hakeem Nicks. But most of that stuff will be forgotten because of the remarkable comeback by the Eagles in the fourth quarter.
Reid also hurt his team in the fourth quarter when he failed to challenge a Jackson fumble. Replays revealed that Jackson was touched on the way to the ground.
Never count out Vick: Even though things went poorly for Vick for much of this game, he pulled off the miracle comeback. The Giants did such a nice job of containing him for three quarters and then he exploded in the fourth quarter. The Giants stopped doing a good job of setting the edge and Vick put on a show at New Meadowlands Stadium.
I thought the Giants got cute in the fourth quarter when they were allowing Tuck to cover Brent Celek 20 yards downfield. Celek made them pay with a long touchdown, and then the Eagles executed a perfect onside kick. This is one of those losses that could have a carryover effect for the Giants. And for the Eagles, they have to feel like they stole one. A remarkable ending. And we'll have a lot more after I head down to the locker room.
What's next? The Giants will head to Green Bay (8-5) for another huge NFC matchup. The Eagles will host the Vikings at the Linc.