December 3 Philadelphia Inquirer:
“If Andy Reid intended to send a message with his locker-room rant after the loss to Chicago on Sunday, his young Eagles team received it loud and clear.
Just four days after they delivered an effort the coach deemed worthy of an outburst, the Eagles responded, overcoming a momentum-shifting third quarter by streaking past the Houston Texans, 34-24, with a dominating fourth quarter Thursday night at Lincoln Financial Field.
“Obviously, he’s never been that way before since I’ve been here,” veteran safety Quintin Mikell said of Reid’s Chicago tirade. “Sometimes with a young team, you have to do something like that. . . . We’re all grown-ups, we’re all professionals here, but every now and then it’s good to get a kick in the tail.”
After a stretch in which they played four games in 17 days, the Eagles earned a 10-day rest before they travel to Dallas for their first meeting with the Cowboys. They’ll enjoy this win – their eighth against four losses – after they lethargically lost to the Bears, 31-26, on Sunday.
With four games remaining, the Eagles have maintained at least a tie with the New York Giants atop the NFC East through Week 13, and have kept alive whatever hopes they have beyond just making the playoffs.
The heroes Thursday night were familiar names, Michael Vick and LeSean McCoy. The Eagles quarterback rebounded – if you can call it that – after two games in which he was not superhuman. And his feisty tailback was his running mate, scoring two first-half touchdowns and ripping off a long gain on a screen pass in the fourth quarter.
Vick completed 22 of 33 passes for 302 yards and threw two touchdowns and one interception. He also gained 48 yards on the ground and scored the go-ahead-for-good touchdown with 13 minutes, 4 seconds left in the game. Vick was a magician in the pocket and somehow survived hit after hit.
“It’s not that bad. They look harder than what they seem,” Vick said. “If I take one and lay down there, I took a good one and you know that. I’m a pretty tough guy, I feel, for the most part.”
McCoy rushed for just 44 yards, but he caught eight passes for 86 yards as another defense focused on receivers DeSean Jackson and Jeremy Maclin. His longest reception was a 40-yard screen that set up the Eagles‘ final tally.
If the 5-7 Texans owned the third quarter by taking the lead against an Eagles defense that survived without Pro Bowl cornerback Asante Samuel, the Eagles notarized the fourth quarter as theirs, rallying from four down.
Against the Bears, they lost momentum after Vick threw an interception just before the half. This time, they overcame a third quarter in which the Texans scored 14 points to take the lead.”
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