Giants vs. Eagles: 6 Things We Learned About New York in 29-16 Win

Jeff Shull@Jeff_ShullAnalyst ISeptember 25, 2011

Giants vs. Eagles: 6 Things We Learned About New York in 29-16 Win

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    The New York Giants shocked the world, silenced the haters and took it to the Philadelphia Eagles in their house in the incredible 29-16 victory today. 

    After a satirical article from myself claiming the Giants didn't have a shot, I gladly ate my crow and celebrated a great victory. 

    I don't think I've ever been more happy to be wrong. 

    The Giants confirmed everything people have speculated about the Eagles so far this season. They can't stop the run, they can't protect Michael Vick and their secondary is overrated due to poor safety play. 

    This really is a stunning upset, but maybe the Eagles aren't as good as everyone thought, and maybe the Giants can actually overcome their injuries. 

    We'll see. The Giants definitely had the emotional factor working for them after last year's terrible loss, so they could have just played above their true ability. 

    Hopefully this means the Giants can be playoff contenders, but I'd hold off that talk for at least a few weeks. 

    The following are five things we learned from today's win over the Eagles. 

The Eagles Are Not Who We Thought They Were

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    Despite most of the world anointing the Eagles as NFC favorites prior to the first snap of the season, many Eagles writers on this site were cautiously optimistic in their team. 

    There were some red flags headed in to the season. Juan Castillo was a offensive line coach prior to being given the defensive coordinator job, the offensive line was in shambles all preseason and the linebackers were showing their youth. 

    All of those problems reared their ugly head today, prompting me to believe the Eagles are still a good team, just not as good as the national media would have you believe. 

Eli Manning Is Starting to Trust His Receivers

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    Eli Manning had a terrific day, passing for 254 yards, four touchdowns and no interceptions. Despite the Eagles showing a ton of pressure, he looked calm and collected and finally like he had some trust in his receivers. 

    Obviously, we won't get this type of performance from Eli every week, but since the second half of the Rams game, he's looked almost flawless and is dictating the offense like we know he can. 

The Offensive Line Can Actually Run Block

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    The Giants' offensive line was finally able to open up some holes in the run game. They struggled at the beginning of the season last year before getting it together, and they might have done the same this year. 

    One of the biggest components of offensive line play is confidence, so this definitely helps. 

Kevin Gilbride Called a Terrific Game, for Once

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    It's funny. Two weeks ago, I was screaming at my TV for Kevin Gilbride to get creative with his play-calling. Today, I'm amazed by the job he did against the Eagles. 

    He always seems to save his job with a game like this. He was able to take advantage of the Eagles' weaknesses from the get-go. The Giants' first touchdown came on a 40-yard pass to Brandon Jacobs after he burned Casey Matthews on the play. 

    Funny, Matthews had recently been switched to weak side linebacker and completely bit on the play-fake. 

    After that, he went after Kurt Coleman on the 74-yard touchdown pass to Victor Cruz. The first two scoring drives were beautiful to watch. 

    After struggling for the second and third quarters, mostly because of the offensive line giving up three sacks, Gilbride was able to orchestrate two more great drives for touchdowns and put the game away. 

    He was able to neutralize the Eagles' pass rush by running the ball and calling short routes and screens, taking away the Eagles' strength on defense. 

    Hopefully he gets his you-know-what together and calls plays like this for the rest of the season.

The Giants Finally Have a Great Red-Zone Defense

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    For years, one of the Giants' biggest problems was that when teams got into the red zone, they would get touchdowns more often than not. 

    Now it seems to be the other way around. 

    In two straight weeks now, the Giants allowed a team to get inside the 5-yard line three times. That makes six in total, and they have allowed just six field goals. 

    It doesn't get any better than that. 

The Giants Still Have Some Issues

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    I know, I know. The Giants just had an unbelievable win. That doesn't mean they have nothing to work on. When Vick had time, he was able to find wide open receivers in zone coverage, LeSean McCoy ran all over the Giants and the offense disappeared for the second and third quarters. 

    Not only that, but they got called for a handful of offsides and personal foul penalties. That kind of chippy stuff can't happen, and it could have cost them the game. 

    Coughlin will remind them of that after they come down from cloud nine.