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Justin Boylan

Justin Boylan...Game 7 Eagles beatthe Giants 40-17... 11-2-09

There is nothing more frustrating in the NFL than inconsistency. When you can't figure out whether or not a team is good it messes with your head (not to mention your weekly picks).

After eight weeks, there are only a few teams that we know are above average and a handful of teams we know are terrible (a few examples: the Colts, Saints, Vikings, and Broncos in Column A and the Skins, Rams, Bucs in Column B), what lies in between is a mess of uncertainty. The Houston Texans have won three games in a row including a win in Cincinnati (who only lost to Denver in week 1), but Houston has lost to a crappy Jacksonville team and snuck past the 49ers (who made a quarterback switch mid-game) by a field goal. The Arizona Cardinals are the reigning NFC champs and defeated the Giants last Sunday, yesterday they were outplayed and beat by the Carolina Panthers (Jake Delhomme did NOT throw a single interception the whole game. Uh oh, watch out for these guys!).

The Eagles are in the same boat. The past two weeks they have looked mediocre at best. They were beaten by the Raiders and played just as poorly against the Redskins a week later, but got the win anyway. This week the Eagles found themselves in position to hand the Giants their third loss in a row and take over first place in the NFC East. With all the ups and downs in football, you got to be consistent.

With a 1 o'clock start and the Phillies looming in the evening, it was up to the Eagles to set the tone for the day. They spent no time getting their message across, scoring twice in the first five minutes of the game. The first, a 41-yard run by Leonard Weaver (after his first touchdown of the season I made a joke about picking up Weaver for fantasy football, now I think I should. He had 8 carries for 75 yards and this touchdown, due to the absence of Brian Westbrook. My group of fantasy running backs didn't show up like that on Sunday, with the exception of Maurice Jones-Drew, go Weaver go!!), the second, a 17-yard pass from Donovan McNabb to Brent Celek following an Eli Manning interception. The point-after was blocked, its 13-0 Eagles after one.

The Eagles opened the second quarter by adding to the lead with a field goal. After punts by both teams, the Giants put together a long, 89-yard drive ending in a Kevin Boss touchdown reception. Just like that its 16-7 and the Giants are back in it, but the next 1:54 is what can make the Eagles so dangerous when things are clicking. McNabb responds on first down with a 54-yard bomb to a wide open DeSean Jackson for a touchdown, Eli gets picked off for the second time, and two plays later McNabb hits Jeremy Maclin for another score. That takes it to a 30-7 halftime lead, and everybody in Philly is ready for the baseball game.

But the rules say you have to play the entire game, even if we all just wanted to take the win and fast forward to the Phillies (in retrospect I would rather have re-watched the Eagles-Giants game then see Brad Lidge turn the lights up for the Yanks). The Birds tacked on another field goal early in the third, then on their next possession McNabb is sacked and stripped of the ball (a good challenge by Reid takes a Giants defensive touchdown off the board and forces Manning to earn the points with his offense). The Eagles D continued their impressive day holding the G-Men to a field goal after the turnover. Unfortunately, the Eagles muff the in suing kickoff and the defense has to go right back out on the field. There's only so much you can stop on a short field, as Ahmad Bradshaw scores from the 1-yard line making it 33-17.

I'm sure you felt like I did in the fourth quarter, We need one more touchdown to lock this game up. (In my head it kind of sounded like, I hope we run the score up because I hate everything that is or was the New York Giants from Tiki to Eli to North Jersey to that blue that gives me a headache just looking at it). On a 3 rd and 1 for the Eagles, LeSean McCoy is rewarded for a hard day's work with 66 more yards and a touchdown. That ought to do it, Eagles cruise 40-17 over the Giants.

As much as the Eagles have played down to their opponents this season, they decided to play up to the Giants on Sunday. This was all around the best game the Eagles have played all season. The offense was dynamic; McNabb completed 17 of 23 passes and threw three touchdowns without an interception. McCoy has played extremely well in place of Westbrook, and when he returns to action that will only make McCoy more lethal in favorable situations (I imagine other NFL teams are checking the 09 Draft trying to figure out where McCoy came from. He was the 53 rd player taken and is playing like a starter). The Eagles knew where they could be successful and stayed with what worked. Take Celek's touchdown for example, he caught a pass for a touchdown that was taken away because of a penalty. McNabb went right back to him on the next play, the same spot on the field for a touchdown. The Eagles were aware of the match ups in their favor and exposed the weak secondary of the Giants.

These teams know each other all too well, and it seems the biggest reason why the Giants were unsuccessful on offense wasn't even in the state of Pennsylvania. Plaxico Burress has been an Eagles cornerback's nightmare for years. With him off the team, the Eagles don't have to worry about doubling any of their receivers like they had to do with Burress (tight end Boss had the most receiving yards on Sunday with 70, wide receiver Steve Smith had 8 catches but just 68 yards). Nobody killed the Eagles like Burress did and its great not seeing him around the Linc.

The Eagles are looking to complete the three game schedule sweep of the division when the Cowboys visit Philly on Sunday. Now is the time to be consistent, as the schedule isn't getting any easier. Just found out the Eagles-Cowboys game is Sunday Night Football on NBC, excuse me while I prepare to be forced to listen to Cris Collinsworth. I suggest you do the same.

 

 

Justin Boylan

 

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Copyright 2008. Jules Pilla

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