Sunday's contest between the Eagles and Giants had all the makings of a great football game before the ball was even kicked off: cold weather, new stadium, transcendent/controversial athlete who could do something jaw dropping at any second, historic rivalry, bad blood, geographic proximity, coaches with short tempers, two teams with identical records at 9-4, and the NFC East title on the line.
The winner would likely get a first round bye. The loser could only hope to hang on for the final two weeks of the season to get the final Wild Card spot and face a considerably more difficult road to the Super Bowl.
The Giants were in full command at the half, leading 24-3, after a couple of costly turnovers by the Eagles. However, Philadelphia had three major factors working on their side...DeSean Jackson, Michael Vick, and history.
First, Herm Edwards and "The Miracle at the Meadowlands" in 1978 (pictured) lead to an eventual playoff berth. In more recent memory, Brian Westbrook's punt return in 2003 propelled him into the spot light and he would lead the NFL in total yardage a few years later. Now, add DeSean Jackson 2010 to the list of Giant killers. If only someone could get through to the brash, speedy receiver that he needs to score the touchdown before he can safely start showboating. It's going to bite him and the team in the a** one of these days.
Coincidentally, the ball hit the ground on each of the three plays that lead to the heartbreaking loses for the Giants. Lesson there is to never give up on the play, or the game for that matter. Philadelphia scored 28 points in the final 7:28 of the game for the 38-31 improbable victory. As Jimmy V said, "Don't give up, don't ever give up." (fast forward to 9:28)
Final thoughts on the game:
In addition to being the third installment of "The Miracle at The Meadowlands" trilogy, it was the Eagles way of baptizing new Giants stadium and an opportunity for Michael Vick to bolster his MVP resume.
Vick's MVP Resume:
The Eagles are 8-2 in games where Vick has attempted at least 10 passes.
1st place in NFC East.
3rd in touchdown to interception ratio (4:1...20 TD/5 INT)
3rd in passer rating (103.6). Only once in 11 starts has Vick had a rating under 90 (83).
18th in total passing yards (2,755) even though he ranks 24th in total attempts (329).
2nd in yards per completion (8.4).
32nd in rushing yards/#1 among QB's (613...6.7 per carry) even though he ranks 46th in attempts (92).
Top ten in rushing touchdowns (8).
Justin Tuck and the New York Giants endorsement.