Boykin, defense bounce back in big way

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. – The Philadelphia Eagles' defense needed to atone for the previous week’s game. Brandon Boykin needed to atone for the previous quarter.

The cornerback committed two penalties -- one while covering a punt, the other while covering Victor Cruz -- that gave the New York Giants 47 yards in less than 30 seconds. The penalties helped the Giants score a third-quarter touchdown to take a 21-19 lead.

In the fourth quarter, Boykin and the rest of the Eagles' defense came through.

Boykin blitzed Eli Manning, disrupting the quarterback’s delivery. His pass hit a teammate’s helmet and was intercepted by Eagles linebacker Mychal Kendricks. On the very next play, Nick Foles threw a 25-yard touchdown to Brent Celek that helped the Eagles pull away.

“You saw my blitzing a lot, and then I’ll drop back in coverage,” Boykin said. “I’m just willing to do my role and play what I have to do.”

On the Giants’ next possession, Manning fired a pass to Cruz. Boykin leaped, getting a hand on the ball. Somehow, he managed to wrest possession from Cruz. The play was ruled an interception by officials on the field and then confirmed by video review.

“I just wanted to establish it in my arm and tuck it as fast as I could,” Boykin said.

When Cary Williams intercepted Manning later in the quarter, the Eagles' defense completed its bounce-back from last Sunday’s embarrassing performance in Denver.

“We held our own,” Boykin said. “The end result was a win. You can go back and correct all the other things. They were going deep on us a lot early. People had to step up and make plays, and that’s exactly what we did. They came at us early and had success, but we kept our cool and did what we had to do.”

The Eagles created four turnovers. They sacked Manning just once, but harassed him into mistakes, including the picks and three intentional-grounding penalties. They also smothered the Giants’ running game, knocking David Wilson out of the game with a neck injury and holding New York to 53 yards on the ground.

“It was a great outing by the defense,” coordinator Bill Davis said. “It was a good, solid step forward and we’re excited about it. The players showed a lot of character today.”

After losing 52-20 in Denver, Davis said, the approach was to refocus on fundamentals and techniques.

“It wasn’t about ripping and yelling and screaming,” Davis said. “Everybody has so much pride that when you get a beatdown like we had in Denver, the only way to get back is you get back to fundamentals, and that’s what we did this week."