Blitzing Birds harass Manning
Boykin’s big day helps Eagles
The Eagles knew how to frustrate Eli Manning. They were just biding their time.
After surviving an up-and-down first half, the Birds’ defense brought the blitz in the second half, starting late in the third quarter and into the fourth. The pressure resulted in three fourth-quarter interceptions, including an acrobatic, one-handed theft job from Brandon Boykin. He literally stole the football out of the reliable hands of Victor Cruz.
“When there’s a tie or a tangle-up they give it to the receiver, so I just wanted to establish myself and tuck it as fast as I could,” Boykin said. “I just tried to get my hands up underneath of it and thought I could break it up. I had a firm grip and my hand stuck to the ball, tried to jerk it and get it back in, and it was good.”
Boykin was beaten on a few routes in the first half and flagged for some iffy pass interference calls, too. However, the second-year cornerback kept his chinstrap on and erased his early failures from memory. He finished with an interception and was responsible for another pick after he tapped Manning’s elbow on a blitz and forced an errant pass that landed in Mychal Kendrick’s gut.
“I came off the edge and Eli didn’t even see the blitz. Me and Trent Cole hit his elbow,” Boykin said. “If you disrupt Eli’s timing, he’ll throw the ball and you’ll have a chance to pick it off.”
Boykin, Kendricks and Cary Williams recorded picks and the Eagles’ offense turned them into 14 points. Kendricks also recovered a fumble on the day, his league-leading third fumble recovery. For a unit that has taken a lot of heat over the past few weeks, this one was rewarding.
“There’s going to be times when you don’t have the greatest game and you give up a lot of touchdowns or plays or whatever it is throughout the season,” Boykin said. “There’s going to be adversity. It’s just bouncing back from it and forgetting that play, and continue to strive and move forward.”
That process began as soon as the reporters left the room and the team boarded the bus back to Philadelphia.
“It’s just another game, ” Boykin said. “We got the win, we got to move on to the next one.”
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