Sunday, November 7, 2010

Post bye-week champs: Eagles edge Colts

Andy Reid's perfect post bye-week record remains intact! Despite the best efforts of the referees, the Eagles held on to edge the Colts, 26-24, giving Reid a perfect 12-0 record after a bye.

Michael Vick deserves much of the credit for the win as he was the best player on the field for most of the game. While Vick didn't put up great passing numbers (17 of 29 for 218 yards), he was a serious weapon with his legs, repeatedly gouging the Colts for big yards on the ground. Vick also continues to be nearly unstoppable on third downs, even converting two 3rd and 10's late in the game when the Eagles were trying to melt the clock. At this point, I think we can safely bury the Eagles quarterback controversy. The difference between the Eagles offense in this game and when Kevin Kolb was behind center is night and day; Vick makes the offense look explosive while things seem to plod along with Kolb.

The Eagles defense also should get a lot of credit for having to overcome some terrible calls by the refs while managing to slow down the Colts offense. After the Colts offense hit its stride in the second quarter, the Eagles defense responded in the second half by nearly keeping them off the scoreboard entirely. While Peyton Manning was still able to put up some solid numbers, the Eagles did hurry and hit him often, even forcing him to throw a pair of interceptions. The Birds young secondary deserves a ton of credit for not allowing any big plays by the Colts receivers.

One of the biggest stories in the game will inevitably be about how the refs nearly stole the game from the Eagles with two very questionable calls. First, there was the legal hit by Kurt Coleman that was flagged in the second quarter, then there was the ridiculous roughing the passer penalty called on Trent Cole for barely batting the back of Manning's head with his hand late in the game. While the Coleman hit on Collie happened so fast I could see why it was called, there would have been hell to pay had the weak call against Cole cost the Eagles the game.

All in all, what a huge win by the Eagles in a game everyone had penciled in as a loss since the day the schedule came out. The Birds really needed this one, especially after the way they collapsed against the Titans. Suddenly, with a record of 5-3 and a second half schedule that looks not nearly as difficult as it once did, the playoffs seem like a very real possibility. If Michael Vick stays healthy and they continue to play like they did today, the Eagles might even win a round or two.
(Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)

1 comment:

Ethen said...

If the NFL continues to allow the referees to make calls like the ones that we saw in this game it is going to change the entire format of football games. Instead of 2 teams going head to head it will be a judgement call by the refs on who should win or lose. I am proud of the Eagles because they didn't allow poor play by the NFL's finest determine the outcome of this game and I am looking forward to finding out if any Eagles players will be finding fines in their mail....then we will really have something to talk about. Lets Go Eagles!