Tuesday, January 13, 2009

The Eagles Beat the Giants in Giants Stadium

Going into this game, all eyes were going to be Brian Westbrook because the last time he was in Giants Stadium, he gave the Giants defense a beating that they'll never forget. There were some eyes on Donovan McNabb too. The controversy about not knowing there is a tie in football and the benching heard around the world follow McNabb all season long. The Eagles won 23-11 while hanging their hats on the defense.

The Giants settled for field goals in the redzone while the Eagles scored touchdowns. The game got off to a huge start for the Giants as Ahmed Bradshaw had a long kick return on the opening kickoff. The return was for 65 yards and started the Giants off Eagles territory. The drive resulted in a field goal as the Giants were not successful inside the Eagles 10 yard line. On the next drive for the Giants, the Eagles get an interception by Asante Samuel that was return inside the Giants 5 yard line. The Eagles pressured Manning in the pocket and Manning overthrows Domenik Hixon by a wide margin. The wind could have been a factor as the ball sailed on Manning.

Throughout the game, Manning did not look comfortable in the pocket as Jim Johnson was blitzing every chance he had. Some of the balls thrown by Manning came out wobbling. The wind was blowing but not by much. McNabb didn't have problems throwing the football as he was rifling passes to Jason Avant and DeSean Jackson. Manning just couldn't gain a grip on the football as numerous passes were sailing or falling short to it's intended targets. This was not the best game for the Giants quarterback but it was hardly his worst.

There was some questionable playcalling from the Giants. They had an important 4th and 1 in the 4th quarter near the 50 yard line. The Giants chose to use a quarterback sneak instead of Brandon Jacobs. The Giants didn't get the first down. Why not use your 6'4" 265lb running back to get you a couple of inches? On a separate drive, the Giants had a 4th and 2. They chose to run Brandon Jacobs and didn't get it. The Eagles had virtually all 11 players in the box to stop the run which they did. Why not play action pass in this situation? Second thought, this might a little nitpicking right here, but the Eagles knew Jacobs was going to get the ball in this situation.

In the end, McNabb made the plays that he had to make and helped his team score touchdowns. The Giants settled for field goals and their kicker missed two other field goals in the game. That sums up this game in it's entirety. The Eagles move on to play the Arizona Cardinals in Arizona. The Eagles have less question marks than the Cardinals right now, who are not sure if Anquan Boldin will play on Sunday and played two opponents with quarterbacks that made bad and mind-boggling mistakes. McNabb will take better care of the football and not give the Cardinals a short field to work. Everyone knows that Jim Johnson will be blitzing early and often in this game. Can the Cardinals run the football? Can the Eagles get to Kurt Warner? Those questions will get answered this Sunday.

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