When the Eagles started this game they knew that if they won they would stand alone in first place of the NFC East. They received the ball first Sunday night and it looked as they knew this and were poised and ready to take advantage of the opportunity they were given. The Birds scored on their first offensive possession then took advantage of a Brandon Jacobs fumble which they returned for a touchdown and jumped out to a 14-0 lead. From here things got much closer but the Eagles found a way to end up on top and leave their last game in the Meadowlands with a win. Let’s take a look at some of the positives and negatives from Sunday nights game.
NFC East Lead – After beating the Giants, the Eagles now are on top of the NFC East and control their own destiny. With three games left, if the Eagles can win out they will be finish first in the NFC East and host a playoff game. The Birds can do worse and still win the East but the fact of the matter is that they control their own destiny. At this point in the season this is exactly where the Eagles want to be.
DeSean Jackson – He missed last weeks game against the Falcons due to a concussion. I was a bit worried about him returning so soon after seeing what happened to Brian Westbrook but was pleasantly surprised. Who knows if the Eagles would have won without him. He had an absolutely huge day returning a punt for a touchdown while recording 178 yards receiving and scoring an offensive touchdown as well.
Michael Vick – I think at this point the Eagles are just finding better situations to put him in the game. His bullet to DeSean in the first offensive series definitely helped set the tone for this entire game. It seems like everyone knew the talent this guy had, it was just a matter of putting him at the right time and calling the right plays. The Eagles are starting to do this now and it’s adding another page to their playbook that makes them enough harder to game plan against. He can execute when given the right opportunities and is definitely being given the right opportunities lately.
Donovan McNabb – I don’t think he had super numbers, especially in a game where the Eagles had 45 points, but I think he was very effective. He definitely had a bad throw on the interception intended for Brent Celek but Eli gave us a present when he fumbled it back to us. Besides that I think Donovan made a lot of good reads and managed the clock very effectively. Besides the down field pass he barely missed to Reggie Brown I think he was pretty accurate and made the passes he needed to make.
Leonard Weaver – Overall on the night he only averaged 3.7 yards per carry but he had some runs in there where he gained some serious yardage and showed everyone the bull he is. He started out nice early and then the Eagles died away from him. It’s hard to get in a rhythm and stay in it if you don’t get the reps but I think he has repeatedly shown us he can be a legitimate option to run the ball when we need him.
LeSean McCoy – Much like Weaver, he started off hot when the Eagles made it seem like they really wanted to run the ball then died down. What I liked about his performance besides what he did on the ground was how he caught the ball out of the backfield as well as his blocking progression. You don’t see him getting after blitzes like Brian Westbrook but I saw him making multiple efforts down the field trying to make blocks. It seems to me like he really wants to improve on his blocking and do whatever it takes to do so.
Quintin Mikell – I think this may have been his worst game of his professional career. He had three penalties and numerous missed tackles and coverages. This is not something I expect to see the rest of the season, but I was disappointed seeing it in such a big game. He is the leader of the defense and needs to set a much better example than he did. Personally, I think he knows how poorly he played and will take it upon himself to play much better next week.
Asante Samuel – He makes you feel great when he’s intercepting the ball, but when he’s not you can get upset with him very quick. The guy simply cannot tackle. Sure there have been some times where he’s popped some guys but that’s because the people have had their back turned or didn’t know it was coming. I think the way he tried to tackle against the Giants was just embarrassing. Will he ever improve on this? I doubt it, but can you please make some interceptions to take my mind off of it?
Defense – Yes, you won, but you gave up 38 points. The Giants are definitely a good offense but I was not happy with the overall performance of the defense. There were a lot of dumb penalties, missed tackles, and poor plays. If this team wants to make a serious playoff run they are going to have to step it up here.
What positives and negatives did you see in the Giants game?