Eagles-Giants Postgame: QB Controversy Anybody?
Michael Vick gets hurt and Nick Foles comes in to lead a come-from-behind victory? Can you say quarterback controversy, boys and girls? Of course you can.
Oh sure, the Philadelphia Eagles beat the New York Giants 36-21, but the biggest story line this week in the City of Brotherly Love is going to be the inevitable quarterback controversy.
Foles (16-25 for 197 yards, 2 TDs, 0 INTs) didn't set the world on fire, but he lead the Eagles on four scoring drives to win the game. When the Giants took the lead in the third quarter, Foles answered with a scoring drive of his own. With the Giants leading 21-19, Foles led an eight-play, 57-yard drive that ended with an Alex Henery field goal to put the Eagles ahead for good with 1:05 left in the third quarter. Foles then added on two touchdown passes to salt the game away and ignite the controversy. He even managed to complete a pass to DeSean Jackson (7 catches for132 yards) in the red zone (a 5-yard TD), which is something Vick hadn't done yet this season.
Vick (6-for-14 passing for 105 yards) didn't play poorly, but he also didn't complete a single pass in the entire first quarter of the game. Instead he kept the Eagles in the game with his legs. In typical Vick fashion, he took off each time his first read was covered. It was working for him (7 carries for 79 yards) until he came up lame on a scramble late in the second quarter. Apparently Vick pulled his left hamstring and didn't return.
Foles came in and led the Eagles on an 11-play, 75-yard drive at the end of the first half that ended with a Henery field goal. It was a completely different drive for the Eagles, since passes were being completed.
And Foles led the team to a win with minimal contributions from LeSean McCoy. McCoy gained only 46 yards on 20 carries in the game, which is over 4 yards less per carry than he was averaging coming into this matchup. Part of that was certainly due to the fact that the Giants defenders didn't have to worry about Vick running, but part of it was also due to the Giants scheme to stop McCoy from beating them. Chip Kelly will need to find better ways to get his most dangerous weapon more room to run in the future, but it didn't matter on this day.
Of course this win should be taken with a grain of salt, because the Giants just might be the worst team in the entire NFL.
They came into the game leading the NFL in turnovers and proceeded to turn the ball over four more times against an Eagles defense that hadn't forced a turnover in their last 10 quarters of football.
Eli Manning showed why his brother is the best quarterback in the family with his performance. Manning threw for 334 yards and 2 touchdowns, but he only completed 24 of his 52 passes and threw 3 more interceptions. That makes 12 INTs that Manning has thrown already this season.
And Manning can't even blame this on the poor protection he usually receives from his offensive line. Manning had plenty of time to throw today and was only sacked once all game. No, Peyton's little brother couldn't beat the worst defense in the entire NFL and couldn't stop his maddening ability to turn the ball over constantly.
The Eagles suspect run defense wasn't even tested in this one since the Giants can't run the football and David Wilson (6 carries for 16 yards, 1TD) left with a neck injury. Brandon Jacobs (11 carries for 37 yards) came in and promptly fumbled the football without even being hit. It was that kind of day for the now 0-5 Giants.
And if all that wasn't bad enough, Giants' head coach Tom Coughlin made one of the worst coaching decisions I have ever seen. After the Eagles were stopped four yards short of a first down on the Giants 47 yard line, Coughlin accepted a holding penalty on the Eagles, which game them another shot at a first down. Of course, Vick scrambled for 34 yards and a first down on the third-and-nineteen play, which set up one of Henery's five field goals. Even the announcers kept wondering why Coughlin would have accepted the penalty when the Eagles would have had to punt on fourth down. It was a curios decision that helped lead to yet another loss for the Giants.
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Eagles fans will now become ridiculously optimistic and cling to the fact that the Eagles are now tied for first place in the NFC East. Actually, if you think about it, the Giants are only two games behind the Eagles and the Dallas Cowboys for the top spot in the division. Yes, it really is that sad these days in the NFC Least.
The truth of the matter is that the Eagles beat a putrid team, who actually beat themselves with turnovers.
Sure Foles and the Eagles offense took the gifts that Manning and the Giants offense provided them and turned them into touchdowns, but not every offense is going to be so generous. And while the defense forced four turnovers, not every team is going to be so careless with the football.
The Eagles won a game that they should have won against an inferior opponent. That doesn't make them a Super Bowl contender. It just makes them slightly better than on of the dregs of the league.
And more importantly, this win showed that Nick Foles is capable of running Chip Kelly's offense and winning a game. I for one would like to see more of that in the future.