Sunday, December 17, 2006

Observations about the Eagles-Giants game

Just a few stories and observations I've found on the web:

Following the Giants loss Steve Politi, of the Star-Ledger, suggests the Giants just shut the hell up. "Just stop talking. Has any team yapped so much while accomplishing so little? The Giants seem to make it their weekly mission to remind everyone how good they are, only to come out on Sunday and prove their mediocrity, time and time again."

Don Banks at SI asks, "Laugh if you must, but Garcia and the rest of the Philadelphia Eagles have as much going for themselves right now as anybody in that morass of mediocrity known as the there-for-the-taking NFC. Is anyone else out there thinking what I'm thinking, that last year at this time there was another team from the other end of Pennsylvania getting hot at just the right time?"

Gary Myers of the New York Daily News has this to say: The New York Giants have melted down so completely in the money time of the season, they don't deserve to get into the playoffs. Why be subjected to further embarrassment? The Giants are just about out of time. "It's like you are approaching that rock and you got to turn soon, otherwise you are going to hit it," Barber said. In other words, the Giants are on the verge of becoming the Titanic.

Mike Celizic of MSNBC says: "You have to give the Eagles all the credit. They are at least as good a story in the NFC as the Titans are in the AFC, maybe better when you consider that the Titans may not make the playoffs even if they win out, while the Eagles will win the division if they beat Dallas and Atlanta."

David Picker of the NYT notes that as Eli and the Giants took the field down 29-22 with 2:57 left that: "The crowd of 78,657 cheered as Manning trotted onto the field. But the fans’ hopes of another thrilling finish were dashed in an instant." On the first play from scrimmage, the Eagles blitzed Manning...the ball popped into the air like a firecracker...Trent Cole corralled the ball after bobbling it and ran into the end zone, high-stepping the final yards. The play took all of 10 seconds.

John Branch of the NYT notes the importance of scoring touchdowns as the critical factor in the game. He writes: "Sunday’s outcome could be whittled to a pair of back-to-back possessions by the Giants and the Eagles. In the final few seconds of the third quarter, the Giants took over at the Eagles’ 7-yard line after safety Will Demps sacked Garcia and forced a fumble. The Giants moved 1 yard in three plays, and Jay Feely kicked his third field goal for a tenuous 16-14 lead.Philadelphia’s Reno Mahe returned the kickoff 64 yards, to the Giants’ 36-yard line. The Eagles ran three plays, too, but the third was a 28-yard touchdown run off left tackle by Brian Westbrook."

Hank Gola of the Daily News says it was the execution of a better game plan that let the Birds dust the Giants. He notes, "While the Giants couldn't find a way to get the ball into the end zone from what Tom Coughlin calls the green zone (maybe it's color blindness that's killing them), the Eagles came up with brilliant play calls on both of Brian Westbrook's TDs." He also remarks that the Eagles worn down the Big Blue D with a balanced game plan that ran right at the heart of the Giants D, between the tackles...yessir, that we did bucko...we got our own hogs up in there, it was damn nice to see Andy Reid finally using them to wear out an opposing team.

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