Sunday, January 07, 2007

The Life of Brian

Absolutely no question about it, my Brian Dawkins Player of the Game award goes to the other Brian... RB Brian Westbrook. On a day when a lot of national writers were poised to talk about another great game by Tiki Barber improbably extending the Giants season, Brian said oh no-no....

He outdueled Tiki, rushing for 141 yards and a TD, (Tiki turned in his best performance against the Eagles in a while, gaining 137 yards) and just kicked much ass in general. Oh by the way, his 49 yard touchdown scamper (pictured courtesy AP) set an Eagles post-season record. Finally, when the Eagles need to move the ball into field goal range to attempt the game-winner, who did they turn to? guesses are necessary...Marty dialed up a great run/pass mix but the off-right-tackle runs by Westbrook totally demoralized the Giants defenders...

My other stars:
**** Jon Dorenbos, Koy Detmer and David Akers....provided a sterling example to Romo and the Cowboys about HOW ITS DONE...snap, hold, kick - GOOOOOOOOOOOOD! After watching the Cowgirls dork up the win Saturday night, Head Coach Andy Reid's decision to re-sign our long-time holder looks better and better...Akers appeared comfortable all night long...I said early that if Koy helps us makes 1 FG this post-season it'd be worth it...hell, he not only did that, he helped WIN THE FRIGGIN' GAME?

*** Sheldon Brown - Sheldon has been maligned by a lot of folks lately...but I tell you what, homey came to play on Sunday. He scooped up the first and only turnover of the day (Garcia and O got a FG out of it), snagging an INT over the middle in the 2nd qtr. It was a great momentum changer for the Eagles as we finally shifted field position after the Giants played nearly the entire first quarter in our territory (though they only scored 7 pts)....Moreover on a day in which we lost our Pro Bowl CB Lito Sheppard to injury (later in the game), SB stepped up and helped lead the he perfect...maybe not, but we need him more than ever now.

** Jeff Garcia - ok, so 17/31 for 151 and 1 TD is fairly pedestrian statistic-wise...but I tell ya what. He made the key plays when he had to, and he didn't turn the ball over. That bears repeating...the Eagles played secure football today, and didn't give the Giants any cheapo scores.

* The Coaches - I don't usually take this space to acknowledge the coaches, and some might disagree because the passing game wasn't exactly sparkling yesterday...but you know what that was a problem of EXECUTION, not necessarily play-calling. The reason I put the coaches here: the way they maintained an even keel when the game started out tilted in the Giants favor (field position-wise)...I mean the Giants played almost the entire first quarter on the Eagles side of the 50, but Jim Johnson kept dialing up just the right calls to stymie Manning and a Giants offense that opened up the game like gang-busters...The team weathered the early storm (something I think the coaches assisted with) and made the adjustments necessary to take advantage of what opportunities the Giants WERE giving us....

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