Sunday, December 13, 2009
This game was about as far from smash mouth NFC East football as you can get. The Eagles jumped out to an early 14-0 lead after a stellar first drive and a Sheldon Brown fumble return touchdown but the Giants responded quickly by marching the ball down the field with little resistance from the Eagles. The two teams would go on to trade scores for the rest of the game with the Eagles making just a few more big plays than the Giants.
The star of the game for the Eagles was easily DeSean Jackson. Jackson was a threat to score a touchdown every time he touched the ball and he nearly did as he amassed 178 yards and had a pair of touchdowns, one on a 72 yard punt return and the other on a 60 yard reception. For a guy that sat out with a concussion last week, DeSean seemed to be in his best health of the season as he ran wild throughout the night. Donovan McNabb didn't have a great rhythm throughout the night be he knew that he just had to get the ball in number 10's hands and the points would come.
Jackson's big night was a necessity because the Eagles defense couldn't stop the Giants at all. Eli Manning was able to throw the ball all over the Eagles secondary that looked uncharacteristically awful. Somehow, the Giants collection of mediocre receivers managed to find gaping holes in the defense and once they caught the ball, the Eagles defensive backs couldn't tackle to save their lives. To make things even worse, the Giants kept the Eagles off-balance by also running the ball at a 4.3 yards per carry clip. I have no idea what happened to that amazing Eagles defense we saw the last few weeks because the Giants just made them look silly.
With the win, not only do the Eagles take over sole possession of the NFC East, they also knocked the Giants back in their quest for a playoff spot. With three games left against the Niners, Broncos and Cowboys, the Eagles now hold their division title hopes in their hands. With the Saints and Vikings never losing games, there is no way the Eagles can earn themselves a first round bye but they will need the division title so they can host at least one playoff game before having to go to New Orleans or Minnesota.
What an offensive showdown this game turned out to be. Who would have thought an NFC East game in mid-December would end up with 83 points on the scoreboard and about 900 total yards? No matter, the Eagles pulled out their 4th straight win and now are looking down on the rest of the division. Now it's up to the Birds to stay there as they control their own playoff destiny. As an Eagles fan, you can't ask for anything more than that.