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November 8 Philadelphia Daily News:
“This game of giants changes remarkably when one of its littlest threats takes the field.
DeSean Jackson yesterday returned from a concussion and, with a special helmet hopefully designed to lessen the risk of further head trauma, Jackson provided the answers to every question the Colts’ defense offered.
He caught a 9-yard touchdown pass less than 2 minutes into the game. He burned the Colts for a 58-yard reception 10 minutes into the quarter that set up a field goal. He took a pair of end-around handoffs 11 yards, then 6 yards, to help milk 69 seconds off the clock near the end of the Eagles’ 26-24 win.
“He’s able to do so many things other players can’t do,” said quarterback Michael Vick, who also returned from injury. “DeSean is just a different breed. He’s a freak of nature.”
Despite their recent separation, Vick remained telepathically connected with Jackson, optimistically listed at 5-10 and 175 pounds. When plays disintegrated and Vick sprang free, Jackson having drawn the defense toward the end zone, Vick was able to scramble 10 times for 74 yards.
Jackson caught seven passes for 109 yards, his third 100-yard game of the season – all wins – and the 10th of his career (the Birds are 8-2). He ran three times for 20 yards. He generally put the Colts in a prevent defense whenever he lined up wide. Jackson’s mere presence makes defense so defenseless that, without eyepopping statistics, he made the Pro Bowl last season as a kick returner and as a receiver.
“You’ve got to respect his deep threat, and also his playmaking ability,” said running back LeSean McCoy.
November 8 Philadelphia Inquirer:
“Rookie safety Nate Allen suffered a neck strain while making a second-quarter tackle on running back Donald Brown in the Eagles‘ 26-24 win Sunday and did not return to the game.
Allen, who has started every game this year at safety, later said he felt OK, but he is scheduled to have an MRI Monday. He was replaced by fellow rookie Kurt Coleman, a seventh-round pick.
Guard Max Jean-Gilles suffered a concussion in the first quarter and was replaced by Nick Cole. Jean-Gilles was the sixth Eagle who has suffered a concussion. Cole had previously failed to hold down opportunities at center and guard but may have another crack at the starting lineup. All the other Eagles who have had concussions have missed at least one game.”
November 8 Philadelphia Daily News columnist Paul Domowitch:
“Five years after he entered the NFL through the back door as an undrafted free agent, Eagles cornerback Dimitri Patterson finally got his first starting opportunity yesterday.
The fact that it came against a guy who, just a couple of days earlier, was voted the eighth greatest player in the history of the NFL didn’t faze him in the least.
“I was excited about that,” said Patterson after the Eagles‘ impressive 26-24 win over Peyton Manning and the Colts. “I was excited to show [what I could do].”
Patterson knew there was going to be a big red target on his back yesterday afternoon. He knew Manning was going to go after him, and he was right.
The Colts’ top wide receiver, Pro Bowler Reggie Wayne, spent most of the game on Patterson’s side of the field. Manning attacked him with bubble screens and deep routes and crossing patterns. He targeted Wayne 16 times. While Wayne finished with 11 receptions, he averaged a puny 7.5 yards per catch and didn’t have any touchdowns.
“It just so happened I was in their game plan,” Patterson said. “They gave me three double moves [early]. They went deep on me twice. What does that mean? It means I’m in the game plan.
November 8 Camden Courier-Post columnist Kevin Callahan:
“As if there wasn’t enough of a challenge playing against Peyton Manning.
However, the Eagles‘ defense also played against the new NFL on Sunday.
The league is understandably protecting its players. The NFL is trying to keep their stadiums from becoming mobile triage units. The league isn’t interested in seeing re-runs of MASH.
That is why the officials are under increased scrutiny and instruction to call a new restrictive policy on tackling since Oct. 17 when a rash of horrifying hits by defenders laid out receivers, including the Eagles‘ DeSean Jackson.
On Sunday, referee Carl Cheffers and back judge Todd Prukup unveiled to the home crowd what the new NFL looks like now in the first game at Lincoln Financial Field since Jackson was injured.
An unnecessary roughness penalty in the Eagles‘ 26-24 win over Indianapolis was assessed in the second quarter to safety Kurt Coleman on a hit to Colts wide receiver Austin Collie.
For a scary few minutes, Collie laid still on the turf before being carted off on a stretcher. He suffered a concussion, but he was awake and had movement after the game.
Of course, the safety of its players is paramount and should be for the NFL. Players aren’t Roman gladiators.
However, players are now confused what is a clean hit and what is now illegal under new NFL rules.
November 8 Philadelphia Daily News columnist Bill Conlin:
“‘TIME KEEPS ON slipping, slipping, slipping, into the future . . . ”
Ironically, that line is from the classic rock anthem, “Fly Like an Eagle.” And it is hard to believe that the performer who sang it was Steve Miller and not Andy Reid.
On the first day of Eastern Standard Time, Andy’s watch stayed on EDT –
Eagles Delay Time.
If Reid had been Frederic Chopin, the “Minute Waltz” would have run out of clock.
In a week when Tea Party candidates helped rearrange the national political landscape, coach tossed a “T-Party” of his own.
Thanks to a lost Reid challenge and a TO called by quarterback Michael Vick as the play clock was about to run out, the Eagles were out of timeouts with 7:14 left in the first half. DeSean Jackson had lost 8 yards on a quick out pass that was blown up by strong safety Aaron Francisco.
When Vick began the first-half 2-minute offense with 1:58 on the clock, he had a 16-14 lead and the wind at his back. But time was not on his side. He had to work the sidelines, lost 10 yards on a first-down sack and faced a third-and-20 from his own 20. Fullback Owen Schmitt’s reception left him 8 yards short. But he wisely stayed in bounds, forcing the Colts to use a timeout.
Sav Rocca’s wind-influenced punt went just 18 yards and Peyton Manning had the ball back at midfield with 1:04 to move into field-goal range. With the clock at :07, Adam Vinatieri drilled a 37-yarder and the Eagles trailed 17-16, despite totally outplaying the team that lost to the Saints in Super Bowl XLIV.
November 8 Philadelphia Daily News:
“ON THE EAGLES‘ sideline, Michael Vick was mulling how “any time [Peyton Manning] is out on the field, you think he’s going to score a touchdown.”
That’s certainly how it has seemed, whenever the Eagles have played the Indianapolis Colts, but that wasn’t how it was yesterday.
While Vick and the rest of Eagles nation fretted, trying to will those pesky final seconds off the clock, Asante Samuel told safety Quintin Mikell to line up in Samuel’s corner spot for what turned out to be the Colts’ final snap. Samuel wanted to play centerfield, on third-and-10 from the Colts’ 41, with 18 seconds remaining.
Manning was pressured and lofted a pass that might as well have been thrown to Samuel, the Pro Bowl corner’s second pick of the day, and the answer to why the Eagles overlook Samuel’s hit-and-miss approach to tackling.
Samuel ran around with the ball, on parade, eventually backtracking, braids flowing, before finally coming to rest. One Vick kneeldown later, game over, Eagles 26, Colts 24.
“I told him to go to the corner and let me go to safety and read Peyton a little bit. So I read [Manning]’s eyes, and when I caught the pick, I was going to try to score, but then I saw 85 [Pierre Garcon] coming up fast on my tail, so I said, ‘Let me play around with it a little bit,’ ” Samuel said after the Eagles hit the midway point at 5-3, overcoming an unfortunate festival of yellow flags to nail down their most impressive victory of the season. “We fought like champions today.”
November 8 Philadelphia Inquirer columnist Ashley Fox:
“There is so much confusion over the National Football League’s new policing of helmet-to-helmet hits and hits to defenseless receivers that even the officials can’t get it right.
No wonder Quintin Mikell was left scratching his head after the Eagles‘ 26-24 win over Indianapolis on Sunday. He thought he knew the rules, but apparently he doesn’t. It appears the men who worked as officials for this game don’t know them either, or weren’t paying sufficient attention to get one specific call right, with two opportunities to do so.
I get that everyone is freaking out over protecting players from hits to the head. The potential consequences of concussions are terrifying, and doctors and researchers have only scratched the surface in explaining what repeated blows to the brain will mean to the men who play this game.
But there is protection and there is overreaction, and in the Eagles‘ locker room there is now much confusion.
The play in question happened in the second quarter. Colts quarterback Peyton Manning threw what looked to be a completion to second-year wide receiver Austin Collie, who appeared to catch the ball, take two steps, wrap up the ball and brace for a collision with Mikell. Mikell hit Collie with his shoulder, bouncing Collie into the Eagles‘ backup safety, Kurt Coleman. One replay showed Coleman’s helmet hit Collie in the back of Collie’s helmet.
It was inadvertent, but intent doesn’t matter.
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