For much of this dream turned nightmare season, the talk has centered around the head coach. After 12-plus seasons — and no championships — Andy Reid seemed to be on borrowed time. Following last night’s dramatic, possibly season-saving victory over the Giants, maybe Reid has one last ride left in him.
“We’re riding with you Big Red. We’re riding with you,” running back LeSean McCoy shouted in a boisterous postgame locker room celebration.
Players were extra jovial following the Eagles’ 17-10 win Sunday night at the new Meadowlands. With a 4-6 record, they know they still have a long way to go. But, as Lloyd so eloquently told us in “Dumb and Dumber,” so you’re telling me there’s a chance.
“Yeah,” McCoy said, when asked if he thought the Eagles could run the table. “It won’t be easy. I think each week is different. Same mindset, but it’s different.
“It felt good to get a win here, for so many reasons. Where out record is right now, we needed this win. You can think of a million reasons why we needed this win. Tonight was just one step.”
One huge step, courtesy of backup quarterback Vince Young. With Mike Vick out and nursing broken ribs, Young took the reins and did something Vick hasn’t done all season: lead a game-winning drive late in the fourth quarter.
With the game deadlocked at 10-10, Young confidently marched the Eagles down the field. After chewing up nearly nine minutes — 8:51 to be exact — on the clock, Young hit Riley Cooper in the back of the end zone for an eight-yard touchdown that gave the Birds that signature win that has eluded them virtually all season. It was the team’s first comeback victory and also marked the first time they didn’t blow a fourth-quarter lead.
“He kept firing, he kept going, he didn’t let those picks bother him,” said Cooper of Young. “He kept fighting and saying, ‘Let’s put this behind us and keep going.’ Very positive demeanor, a we’re going to come back and win kind of demeanor.”
Cooper added that the Eagles actually game-planned for the exact play that ended up winning it.
“They were getting tired and we were digging deeper,” Cooper said. “I think that was the biggest difference.”
For Young, it wasn’t the prettiest of performances as he chucked three interceptions and went into halftime with a QB rating of 38.7. He finished 23-of-36 for 258 yards, with two touchdowns, and a final rating of 69.0.
"As a quarterback, these types of things are going to happen," Young said. "But I've been preaching and all week saying to our guys that we have four quarters."
And in the fourth, when it mattered most, he delivered. Young went 7-of-9 on the game-winning drive and converted six third downs. The victory raised his career record to 31-17 as an NFL starter, with 13 fourth-quarter, game-winning drives to boot.
“I just go out there and play my game,” Young said. "Just wanted to take it one play at a time, that's pretty much what we were saying on the sideline. And take our time and make plays."
It’s unclear who will start next week, when the Eagles host the New England Patriots. But no matter who is under center, the team really believes they can get back in the race for the NFC East crown.
“There’s always enough time for anything … it’s all about us,” Young said. “As a team, we got to keep working. We got to keep that type of excitement we had today and continue to bring it on the practice field and into games.”
The defense also did its part in the fourth. Jason Babin’s strip and sack of Eli Manning was recovered by Derek Landri and iced the game with 1:11 left. Just to add a little insult to injury, McCoy busted loose on a 60-yard run as the Giants’ faithful filed out of the new Meadowlands.
“I wanted the touchdown on that last one,” McCoy said.
McCoy didn’t get the six points, but the Eagles got to live to fight another day.
“Right now we’re going to enjoy this win, for the next 24 hours, and then we’re going to focus on the Patriots,” Babin said.