I felt like I was watching a live version of Madden 2010. Ton of offense, little defense. The critics will say this was an instant classic game. It was a shoot out no doubt about it. But I can not imagine either one of these coaches left the Meadowlands last night happy with how their teams performed.
The Eagles jumped out a 14 point lead quickly in the 1st quarter just passed the five minute mark. Donovan McNabb hit Brent Celek on an 8 yard TD pass just three and a half minutes into the game. Celek is really emerging as one of the top Tight Ends in the league. He now has 61 receptions on the year. His previous season high for catches was 27. And he doesn't seem to have the 'hands like feet' syndrome LJ Smith suffered from. Two minutes later Sheldon Brown scooped up a fumble and fast walked 60 yards into the end zone. At that point it looked to be a blow out for the Eagles.
But Eli is a Manning. And they have fight. This game turned out to be a slugfest. It was 30-17 Eagles going into halftime. Before the final whistle blew there were three TD passes of over 60 yards, a fumble recovery for a TD of 60 yards and a 72 yard punt return by the always electric DeSean Jackson. He is always open. You would think defenses would try and cover him better. Jackson has turned himself into a fan favorite for not only his ability to make big plays (8 TDs of more than 50 yards, ties record), but also for the fact he chest bumps head coach Andy Reid and that he keeps in touch with fans. Jackson, like many other athletes, uses the social network Twitter to keep in touch with his fans. Now while most of his posts need to be decoded (thanks @DJackTranslated), they are all carry the same message; he loves scoring and playing in Philly. It seems that Jackson has everyone saying: TO who?
The defense for the Eagles has to have some people worried. One of the most feared D's in the league these past couple years was picked apart by Manning. He threw for 391 yards and three TDs. Two of which went for 68 and 61. It seemed the game plan for both these teams was to drop back, pump fake and then lay it over the top of the defenders and let the wide outs run and catch. And it worked, obviously.
The Giants still have a shot to make the playoffs. They are a game behind Dallas for the final Wild Card spot and would seemingly have to win out for any shot at getting in. I can see the Giants going 2-1 the rest of the year, with wins coming over Washington and Carolina. Finishing out the year at Minnesota is going to be tough. Even one loss might be good enough. The Cowboys have New Orleans and Philly in their final 3 and the Packers have Pittsburgh and Arizona. This postseason might very well be decided on the last day of the season, or even the division.
The defense needs to step up. The final score of the game was 45-38 but could easily have been worse. Hakeem Nicks dropped a sure catch and run score and couldn't get his feet down in the end zone on another pass.
With this win, the Eagles take a one game lead on the division with three to play. San Fran, Denver then Dallas. Again not an easy road for the Eagles either. And who said the holidays weren't stressful?