2008 Game 13... Eagles 20 Giant 13
Between Donovan McNabb not knowing that ties existed in the NFL and Andy Reid benching him during halftime of the Ravens game, it is refreshing not to have our hometown football team’s off the field activities featured on every hour and new edition of SportsCenter. The past week or so that job belonged to the New York Giants and their trigger-happy wide receiver Plaxico Burress. As the Eagles traveled north to play the Giants it appeared they provided the G-Men with some on the field drama to go hand in hand with their troubles off the field.
The Giants got the ball to start the game, got a few first downs, and entered Eagles territory. Whether it was the North Jersey wind or the cocky 11-1 record, the Giants went for it on 4th and 4, no dice. After a back and forth punt parade the Eagles had the ball with just over two minutes left in the first quarter. They gained 29 yards and kicker David Akers gave his team a 3-0 lead after one.
The first play of the second quarter Eli Manning threw a pretty ball downfield to starting wide receiver Domenik Hixon. The football hit him right between the 8 and the 7 but fell incomplete. For a team that doesn’t miss Burress, something tells me if it hit between a 1 and a 7 I would be writing about a touchdown. Anyway, the Giants managed to get down to the Eagles 29 yard line and decided to kick the field goal. Perhaps they should have gone for it again, because defensive end Trent Cole did a standing broad jump over the Giants line and blocked it. That had to be one of the most impressive and athletic plays of the year.
There is nothing like a balanced offensive attack. The Eagles second possession of the second quarter was a nice mix up of Westbrook running the ball and McNabb dropping back to pass. The middle of the drive leading up to the two-minute warning was made up of four straight passes. Just give back to #36, they did and Westbrook bounced a 30-yard touchdown run to give the Eagles a 10-0 advantage.
Nothing comes easy when we’re talking about the Eagles. Just like the game against the 49ers the Eagles tried a last second 32-yard field goal and BOOM blocked, but that’s not all, touchdown Giants, 10-7.
The Eagles continued to play hard on both sides of the ball. The offense started the second half and burned seven minutes off the clock before having another field goal attempt blocked. The Giants only had six offense plays in the third quarter, which was due to the fact that the defense made stops and the offense kept their drives alive.
On 3rd down and 11 early in the fourth quarter McNabb found Westbrook one-on-one with linebacker Antonio Pierce: mismatch. The catch and run went for 40 yards and a second touchdown for Westbrook.
Another field goal by Akers and a late touchdown by the Giants with about twenty seconds left and the Eagles live to fight another day with a 20-14 win, nicely done.
The Eagles beat the Giants in every aspect of the game. The defense held them scoreless when it mattered, at the end of the game Jim Johnson played prevent defense and basically let them score. The Eagles defense line pushed the Giants backwards on almost every play holding them to just 88 rushing yards. The Eagles offense line blocked for McNabb and Westbrook. Donovan was sacked just one time and Westbrook ran the ball for 131 yards.
131 rushing yards from Brian Westbrook, he got those 131 yards off of 33 carries. That’s right, 33 carries. The play calling for the second straight week was nothing to complain about. We all want them to run the ball and remain balanced, and that’s just what happened. McNabb threw the ball just 30 times and used his legs 5 times to pick up extra yards and first downs.
Whoa, first downs. The Eagles were 12 for 18 on third down. Are you kidding me?! A 66% third down conversion is a good sign if a team is looking to win out in the month of December.
It was a great performance on both sides of the ball by the Eagles. Quite a shame that it took this long for everything to fall together, but I digress…
Monday night the Eagles face a Cleveland Browns team that is starting their third quarterback. The Birds aren’t off life support by any means, but they are out of the basement in the NFC East and one game closer to the Cowboys and the Wildcard.
Happy belated birthday T.O.!! Hope you enjoyed Pittsburgh. See you in a few weeks!!