Giants vs. Eagles: Birds’ broken dream
While Mike Vick left Lincoln Financial Field with his right hand wrapped in bandages, the Giants left with a win.
The takeaway by the national media will be Vick’s fractured right (nonthrowing) hand, but for the Giants they got their first crack at the Eagles’ ‘Dream Team’ and looked more than impressive.
“I’m just glad to come down here and win,” Giants head coach Tom Coughlin said. “This is a big weekend in the division, everybody’s playing each other. So to come in here and win was big.”
The Giants (2-1) defense pummeled Vick all game. They had two sacks and forced three interceptions. Vick was unhappy with the officials in his postgame press conference.
“Everybody seen the game, I’m on the ground constantly,” Vick said. “I don’t know why I don’t get the 15-yard flags like everybody else do, but I’m not going to complain about it. I’m just making everybody aware and hopefully somebody will take notice.”
A timetable for Vick’s return is unknown.
Five good …
1. Ball control
The Giants ended their six-game losing streak to the Eagles by keeping things close to the vest offensively and not putting the game entirely in Eli Manning’s hands. Manning had a very solid day, going 16-of-23, 254 yards and four touchdowns, but it was the Giants’ ball-control offense that kept Philadelphia’s defense off balance all afternoon. Even though the Giants didn’t win the time of possession battle (37 minutes to 23 minutes in favor of the Eagles), they made their time count. The two-headed monster of Ahmad Bradshaw and Brandon Jacobs totaled 200 yards from scrimmage. Bradshaw (83 yards rushing and 53 yards receiving) and Jacobs (19 yards rushing and 42 yards receiving) each added touchdown receptions in the win.
2. Pressure packed
As expected due to their porous offensive line, Mike Vick got battered and bruised by Big Blue. Vick (16-of-23 for 176 yards, no touchdowns and one interception) wasn’t his usual breathtaking self as the Giants found a way to neutralize his jaunts from the pocket. And when he dropped back to pass, Vick was under constant pressure from a Giants defensive front that rarely blitzed. They registered two sacks and multiple hits. Also not a surprise was the fact that Vick had to leave the game with a broken right hand midway through the fourth quarter. His replacement, Mike Kafka, was then promptly picked off by Aaron Ross on his first attempt.
So much for that “Dream Team” label. Manning and his patchwork receiving corps had little trouble manipulating Philadelphia’s defensive backs. Manning hit seven targets, including a 40-yard touchdown pass to the hulking Jacobs, who was running a wheel route down the sidelines. Victor Cruz led all Giants receivers with a career day — three catches, 110 yards and two touchdowns. The Paterson, N.J. native may have played himself into the permanent slot receiver position with a great game. His highlights included a 74-yard score after breaking three tackles and then an impressive jump-ball win over All-Pro corner Nnamdi Asomugha for a 28-yard touchdown to seal the win.
4. Ross’s redemption
After getting yanked from the lineup earlier in the season and avoiding his media obligations for most of this young season, the much-maligned Ross let his game speak for itself. His first impact play came when he picked off Vick on Philadelphia’s opening drive. Former Giants wideout Steve Smith deflected a ball that fell into Ross’s hands. Ross wasn’t even covering Smith, but capitalized on the error. Ross then made backup quarterback Mike Kafka pay when he picked off the second-year passer with eight minutes remaining.
5. Shutdown corners
The defense went into the game third against the run and 24th against the pass, but it was the banged-up secondary that made life miserable for the high-flying Eagles passing game. Besides Ross’s two picks, the Giants held the dynamic duo of Jeremy Maclin (five catches for 69 yards) and DeSean Jackson (two for 30) in check. Neither speedster scored. Jackson wasn’t even a factor in the return game, returning one punt for 13 yards.