Eagles Survive Shootout: Take Over Sole Possession of NFC East Lead

Phil Andrews@philandrewsWMCNCorrespondent IDecember 15, 2009

Eagles fans certainly know what it's like to have the last ever game in their stadium end in defeat. Reference the 2002 NFC Championship game.

Tampa Bay closing down the Vet with a shocking 27-10 victory, while on their way to winning Super Bowl XXXVIII. 

Now granted, the Giants do still have one game remaining in the North Jersey Swamps against Carolina, but the fact the birds beat one of their biggest division rivals for the final time in their building, was like getting a big fat holiday bonus.

Next year the Giants will move across the parking lot and into a new building.         

Philadelphia’s 45-38 win not only completed a two game season sweep of New York but also helped thrust the birds into sole possession of first place in the NFC East.

At 9-4, Andy Reid and company control their own playoff destiny with three regular season games remaining: 49ers, Broncos, and Cowboys.  

Before we look ahead to Sunday's show down with San Francisco, how about a look back at some interesting nuggets of information from Philadelphia’s latest win, courtesy of Eagles' Director of Media Services Derek Boyko and his staff.

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Closing Out Giants Stadium

  • The Eagles won their last four games at Giants Stadium (three against the Giants and one vs. the Jets). They finished with a 24-16 record in the Meadowlands (20-16 against the Giants and 4-0 against the Jets).
  • The Eagles scored a single-season high 85 points against the Giants this season, their highest ever vs. the Giants since they scored 80 in 1948.
  • The Eagles 45 points last night was their  second-highest total ever against the Giants (49 on Oct. 4, 1959).

Offensive Quick Hits

  • The Eagles scored 30 first-half points in both games against the Giants this season. Since 2000, they are 44-2 when scoring 30-plus points (6-0 in 2009).
  • QB Michael Vick scored on a his third touchdown of the season on a one-yard run (two rushing, one passing).
  • FB Leonard Weaver picked up his career-high second rushing touchdown of the season.
  • Holding a 37-31 lead early in the fourth quarter, the Eagles embarked on a 12-play, 91-yard TD scoring drive that ate up 7:24 of clock time. It was their longest touchdown drive of the season in terms of yards and time, and tied for the longest in terms of plays.

Brown Delivers Another Six

  • With a 60-yard fumble return for a touchdown, CB Sheldon Brown tied a team record with his fifth defensive touchdown of his career. Eric Allen and Seth Joyner also scored five defensive touchdowns during their Eagles' careers. Brown, who recorded an 83-yard INT return for a score last week at Atlanta, was also the last Eagle to score a defensive touchdown in back-to-back games (Oct. 2, 2005, at KC, Oct. 9, 2005 at Dallas).

Big Play DJ

  • WR DeSean Jackson had a 72-yard punt return for a touchdown, his second of the season and the third of his career to set a new team record. He surpassed Brian Westbrook , Brian Mitchell and Steve Van Buren (two each). He tied Brian Westbrook (2003) for the single-season team record.
  • Jackson also had a 60-yard touchdown reception, en route to a career-high 178 receiving yards—his sixth career 100-yard receiving game and his fourth in 2009. His yardage was the most by an Eagle since Kevin Curtis posted 221 on Sept. 23, 2007 vs. Detroit. For the season, Jackson has a career-high 947 receiving yards.

McNabb Wins Fourth Straight

  • QB Donovan McNabb completed 17-of-26 passes for 275 yards and two touchdowns (110.3 passer rating).
  • The Eagles own a 45-1 record when McNabb’s rating exceeds 100 (5-0 in 2009).
  • McNabb has won his last four starts and is 12-4 in his last 16 regular-season starts.
  • He played in his 145th game, passing Jon Runyan for the 11th-highest total in team history.

Defensive Nuggets

  • The Eagles have not allowed a 100-yard rusher in their last 20 regular-season games.
  • DE Juqua Parker picked up a half sack and now has a career-high 6.5 this season.
  • DE Darren Howard had two sacks and a forced fumble, marking his 18th career multi-sack game (12-5-1 record).

Magnum TE

  • TE Brent Celek picked up his seventh touchdown of the season, which is the fourth-highest total ever for an Eagles tight end. Pete Retzlaff owns the top three (10 in 1964, eight in 1961 and 1964)
  • Celek has five touchdowns in his last seven games and he has a touchdown in each of his last three games against the Giants (including playoffs).