A few observations from the Eagles’ 36-21 win over the Giants
The Giants weren’t the only team that struggled today. The announcing team of Brian Billick and Thom Brennaman didn’t have their best games either.
First, they kept talking about the Giants accepting a holding penalty that allowed the Eagles to repeat third down and subsequently pick up a first down. They kept saying that “the Eagles were forced to punt” if the penalty was declined. Apparently, it didn’t cross their minds that the Eagles might have actually gone for it on 4th down.
Towards the end of the game, they also seemed completely out of touch with the situation on the field. When the Giants were down by two scores with under eight minutes left, apparently Billick thought the Giants “might” be in four down territory. (Indicating that the Giants would go for it on fourth down) I think that was pretty much a given. Later, when the Giants had the ball with under four minutes, and the game was pretty much decided, Billick couldn’t understand why the Giants would run the ball. It was obvious to me that Coughlin was just trying to not get Eli Manning killed.
Perhaps I can forgive the announcers. If I was forced to read a promo that read “Everyone is losing their heads over Sleepy Hollow,” I might die a little on the inside too.
Since he came into the league, I said that Tom Coughlin has only one facial expression: Incredulous. But during today’s game, there seemed to be a sense of resignation mixed in with his incredulousness. It’s almost as if he’s accepted that he’s going to become irritated by his team. Then again, when a coach makes the mistake of calling a timeout and THEN throwing a challenge flag, it’s hard for him to get too down on his players for mental mistakes.
Even though they’re winless, it still seems too early in the season for a team to give up. And yet, the Giants didn’t seem to carry themselves with much pride out there. We’ve come to expect Eli Manning to look like a scolded puppy whenever the Giants struggle – and that was a classic Manning face after his first interception – but none of the Giants seemed to have much fight in them. The only player who played with much emotion was Victor Cruz, and all he did was cry for a flag any time he wasn’t able to catch a pass. I really wish Chappelle’s Show was still around so they could have a skit of him asking for a flag any time something bad happened to him.
This wasn’t the best day for LeSean McCoy and the running game. While the Giants seemed to be focusing on the run – which did open up some opportunities in the passing game – McCoy didn’t have his usual amount of big plays. Backup Bryce Brown was also a disappointment, and the running game definitely loses something when he’s in there. He needs to spend less time trying to bounce his runs outside and more time hitting a hole decisively.
I think it was the right thing for Kelly to declare that Vick is still the starter (Vick was playing well when he got injured), but it was certainly a good sign to see Nick Foles play so well. He moved well in the pocket, and made some big time throws; most notably the touchdown pass to Brent Celek. Foles may not necessarily be the team’s quarterback of the future, but he should definitely be a more than adequate backup this season.
As for Celek, every time I get down on the guy, he does something to remind me exactly why I wear his jersey on game days. His touchdown catch was a thing of beauty.
And how about that Eagles secondary? They didn’t play great, but they held their own against a Giants offense that was determined to test them deep. I would be quite happy if they could just play at this level of basic competence for the remainder of the season.
Forget about the previous three weeks. The Eagles are 2-0 in the NFC East, and with the Cowboys’ loss, they are tied for first place. With winless Tampa Bay next up on the schedule, the Eagles have a great opportunity to get some momentum going.