When people think about the 19th day of a month, most people will be clueless to the importance of this day, well besides Giants fans. Coming into today, the 19th day of a month has led the Eagles to having two miracles happen at the Meadowlands.
The first was Nov. 19, 1978, when Herm Edwards returned a fumble with less than 30 seconds left to help the Eagles stun the Giants. After this game, fans used the term Miracle at the Meadowlands to describe the scene that day.
Flash forward to Oct. 19, 2003 and with 1:34 left in the game, Giants fans were looking to celebrate a great, 14-10, victory over the Eagles until the unexpected happened. As the Giants were punting the ball deep into Eagles territory, punt returner Brian Westbrook took the ball 84 yards to score the go ahead touchdown and stun the Giants 17-14.
Seven years later, this rivalry has gotten even more intense as today's game would most likely determine this years NFC East champion. The game started off with the Giants on top early on with impressive pass play from Eli Manning to Mario Manningham, who was having an outstanding day. Also, the Giants defense was shutting Vick down throughout most of the game.
Going into the fourth quarter, it looked as if nothing was going to go the Eagles way, as they were down 31-10. But with 7:28 in the fourth, Mike Vick's quick 65-yard touchdown pass to Brent Celek seemed to have put a spark into an Eagles team that was playing like garbage all day.
With a 14-point deficit, Andy Reid surprised just about everybody as he asked David Akers to attempt an onside kick, with over seven minutes still left in the game. To his amazement, Riley Cooper ends up getting the ball back for the Eagles, with terrific field position.
When Vick saw that the Eagles got the ball back, the leading Pro Bowl voter knew the game was going to be determined if he had scored on this next drive. A huge 35-yard scramble helped the Eagles get back into the Giants red zone. As the clock was winding down, Vick was taking the game into his own hands as vintage-Mike Vick was shown, using his speed to get all the way in the end zone with a 4-yard scramble on crucial third-and-goal.
The Eagles defense knew they needed to step it up since there was less than 5:30 left on the game clock and the score was 31-24. With constant pressure by the Eagles defensive line and linebacker core, the Eagles only let the Giants take up a little over two minutes of the clock and forced them to punt inside the Eagles own 12-yard line.
Vick knew he needed to do something as he had to march 88 yards with no timeouts, down seven and three minutes left on the clock. After two straight incompletions, Vick was in a critical third-and-10 situation. Feeling the pressure of the Giants blitz, Vick made one of the most important runs of his career as he rolled out to his left side and scrambled for 33 yards to the Eagle 45-yard line. After another important 22-yard scramble, Vick found Jeremy Maclin running a short curl and Maclin juked out his defender to get into the end zone. His score helped complete the amazing 21-point comeback by the Eagles.
With just over 1:15 left on the clock, and three timeouts, the Giants were in a good spot, but with strong play by the Eagles secondary, especially rookie Kurt Coleman, the Eagles forced two-straight incompletion's by Eli Manning. On third down, Eagles defensive tackle, Trevor Laws got a huge sack on Eli Manning and helped force a three-and-out with 14 seconds left on the clock.
As DeSean Jackson stepped back and got ready to return the punt, Tom Coughlin called a time out to try to make sure that rookie punter Matt Dodge, who was punting poor all day, would not punt straight to Jackson. As Dodge punted the ball, he punted it completely opposite of where he was told to. Instead, the ball went straight at Jackson, who, at first, dropped the ball. But, with great blocking and his lightning fast speed, Jackson ended up finding the right hole to run towards and ran the punt back 65-yards for the winner as time expired.
This comeback, coming 31 years and one month to the day of the Miracle at the Meadowlands, is the third time in the Giants-Eagles series that the game was decided by an amazing last-second play at the Meadowlands.
In my opinion, this game ranks as the greatest comeback ever, no questions asked. Coming back from 21 points with less than eight minutes left and then scoring another touchdown is just an insane feat. Also, the fact that they shut out a Giants offense that was hot all game long and started scoring on a phenomenal Giants defense, is just outstanding.
Giants fans, maybe if you guys decided to play the rest of the Giants-Eagles games somewhere else besides a stadium known as the Meadowlands (or even New Meadowlands. And maybe if you guys stopped playing on the 19th of a month against the Eagles, than maybe your luck will get better and you guys will not have to deal with these type of freakish games.
All I know is that come tomorrow I would not want to be Matt Dodge walking around New York City.
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