Nov 222010
Eagles WR Jeremy Maclin

Eagles WR Jeremy Maclin

November 22:

Philadelphia Eagles news and stories from around the web…

Eagles defense produces

November 22 Camden Courier-Post:

“As the final seconds ticked away on another Eagles’ win, NBC commentator Cris Collinsworth told the national viewing offense the Giants gave away the game.

Maybe it was that the Eagles took away the game — a 27-17 win.

It all depends on how you look at it.

From the Eagles’ view, while their offense was leaving points on the field Sunday night, the defense was taking away the ball at Lincoln Financial Field.

They took the ball away from the Giants five times, including an interception and a fumble recovery in the final four minutes, when games between playoff contenders are won.

Rightfully, the offense with Michael Vick at quarterback exhumed every breath of discussion from the local and national media this past week. Putting up 28 points in the first quarter on the road for an NFL record only six days before against Washington will do that quicker than Vick’s feet.

However, lost in the brilliance of the Eagles’ blooming offense last week was the ball hawking of the defense this season.

The defense came into the game, with first place in the NFC East on the line, leading the league in the unflashy takeaway/giveaway ratio.

With five takeaways against the Giants, including two interceptions and a fumble recovery by the omnipresent Asante Samuel, and two giveaways — including a fumble by Samuel with just under four minutes left, when he should have gone down on an interception return, the Eagles are now a plus-15 in takeaway/giveaway.

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Eagles fans puts Giants’ Shawn Andrews through the fryer

November 22 Philadelphia Daily News:

“Shawn Andrews, a sensitive, communicative soul, heard it all.

Hey, Shawn! Get your Michael Phelps on!

You stink!

You owe us $20 million!

Those taunts rained from the stands at Lincoln Financial Field last night as Andrews and the Giants visited the Eagles.

“I heard so much stuff, man,” said Andrews, sadly.

Andrews spent six seasons with the Eagles, the last two, 2008 and 2009, recovering from two back surgeries. His recovery was complicated by bouts with depression. He has indicated that his depression led him to alcohol overuse and the contemplation of suicide.

A first-round pick in 2004, as an Eagle, Andrews’ commitment to football was questioned – questions that seemed validated when the Birds dumped Andrews this spring.

Of course, when you’re employed by a straight-laced institution like the NFL, it’s tough to fit in when you sport an orange Mohawk, get a huge signing bonus and contract, have an addiction to Twitter and act on your ill-advised urge to freestyle rap on YouTube, especially when you reference pot-shamed Olympian swimmers.

Still, did Andrews expect this level of bitterness?

“I did, yeah,” Andrews said. “I was here for 6 years, man.””

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Eagles win over Giants far from a work of art

November 22 Philadelphia Daily News columnist Sam Donnellon:

“LAST WEEK, the Eagles teased their fans and the nation into believing they were a Super Bowl-worthy team.

Last night’s messy, 27-17 victory over the Giants suggested there’s still more faith to that than fact.

Wasted chances, dumb and costly penalties, challenges reversed and upheld – this was a game that had all the artistic beauty of a game among friends and family members after a Thanksgiving Day meal.

You know that line about it being a shame that somebody had to lose?

Not applicable here.

The shame was that eight men in striped shirts had to officiate it.

“Things happen sometimes,” said DeSean Jackson, who had a couple of drops. “There are times when everything clicks like last week. And there are going to be times when it’s not going to go as well as we want it to go. And we just have to find a way to win.”

At halftime against Washington last Monday, the Eagles bounced into their locker room ahead by 31 points. Their execution was nearly flawless, especially near the end zone, and after putting some second-half touch-ups to their one-sided victory over the Redskins, they and their second-chance quarterback created an instant Super Bowl buzz throughout this great land.

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Reality of ‘the show’ hits Hobbs hard

November 22 Philadelphia Daily News columnist Rich Hofmann:

“‘I’LL BE BACK,” Ellis Hobbs said.

He was walking out of the Eagles’ locker room, flanked by a couple of club employees, wearing a leather jacket and a neck brace. Injured players generally don’t do interviews after games, but Hobbs shared those three words with ESPN’s Sal Paolantonio early this morning as he moved toward the door.

I’ll be back.

Brave. Hopeful.

Football player.

Two hours earlier, Hobbs lay face down, not moving, on the turf at Lincoln Financial Field. However long you watch the game, it is the sight that never fails to leave you with a terrible feeling in your chest.

The back board comes out, and then the stretcher, and the players kneel in prayer, and the medical staff works with accelerated care, and the stadium goes quiet, and every bad thought flies through your head. You never get used to it.

Hobbs eventually raised his arms and waved from the stretcher. X-rays on his neck were negative. He had suffered a serious neck injury last season, and he reportedly has had a half-dozen concussions in his career, and now this. Hobbs will have an MRI today just to make sure there isn’t a fracture.

“When I was out there, it didn’t look good,” Eagles coach Andy Reid said. “He was trying to fight to get up and we were having to keep him down on the ground just to make sure everything was OK.”

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Eagles atop NFC East with wild win over Giants

November 22 Philadelphia Daily News:

“THIS WAS A NIGHT when the Eagles couldn’t buy a break, until suddenly, at the most crucial time, they could.

Eli Manning ran for a first down on fourth-and-6 from the Giants’ 44, but instead of sliding, Manning decided to dive forward, a la Michael Vick. Manning hit the ground hard and the ball came loose, where Eagles defensive end Darryl Tapp recovered, with Asante Samuel following, very much relieved. Samuel had intercepted Manning four plays earlier, but fumbled the ball away. “First time I ever did that,” he said afterward, smiling from the interview podium.

“Pick it up, secure it,” Tapp said, when asked his thoughts as the ball bounced free. “You’ve got to be ready when the play is there for you.”

The recovery withstood video review, unlike an Ahmad Bradshaw fumble earlier in the fourth quarter, and the Eagles had the ball at their 40 with 2 minutes, 51 seconds left, and a seven-point lead.

The ensuing 27-17 victory, capped by David Akers’ fourth field goal of the night, at the end of a long evening of missed chances and a blown 13-point lead, established the Eagles as the top team in the NFC East, at 7-3.

Vick led a late comeback just as the win seemed to be sliding through the Birds’ hands, the way Vick’s sure touchdown pass flummoxed Jason Avant in the second quarter.

“This was an important game for him, to battle through when a team’s coming after you,” Eagles coach Andy Reid said after his team’s third victory in a row and its fifth in its last six games. “He battled his tail off.”

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Eagles’ McCoy rejoins century club

November 22 Philadelphia Daily News columnist Paul Domowitch:

“The Eagles entered last night’s game against the Giants ranked third in the NFL in rushing. But their top running back, LeSean McCoy, hadn’t really had a lot to do with that lately.

While quarterback Michael Vick was playing his catch-me-if-you-can game with opposing defenses and even newcomer Jerome Harrison was racking up his first 100-yard rushing performance as an Eagle last week against the Redskins, McCoy has been earning his keep lately more as a pass-catcher and blocker in the Eagles’ max-protect schemes than as a ball-carrier.

In the Eagles’ last four games, he had rushed for just 250 yards on 64 carries for a not-particularly-impressive 3.9 yards per carry. He had just one run of 10-plus yards in his previous 75 rushing attempts.

If you took out his 62-yard run against the Colts, he had just 156 yards in his previous 58 carries and one rushing touchdown in his last seven games.

For much of last night, his futility as a rusher continued. He headed into the final 5 minutes of the Eagles’ 27-17 win over the Giants with just 13 yards on eight carries.

Then, on a critical fourth-and-1 at midfield with 4 1/2 minutes left in the game and the Eagles trailing, 17-16, that all changed.

McCoy took a pitch from Vick, got a great kickout block from left tackle Jason Peters and bolted 50 yards for the touchdown that gave the Eagles sole possession of first place in the NFC East.

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Too many points left on the field

November 22 Philadelphia Inquirer columnist Ashley Fox:

“This could have been so much easier.

Look out there on the choppy Lincoln Financial Field turf. That’s where the Eagles left so many opportunities to put away the New York Giants on Sunday night. One was on the left sideline. Two more were in the south end zone.

Sure, the Eagles beat the Giants, 27-17, in a dramatic game. They had the lead, lost it, then grabbed it again. They now lead the NFC East with a 7-3 record that is tied for the second best in the conference and they trail only the 8-2 Atlanta Falcons.

The Eagles are in perfect position to make a playoff run. But to be truly special, they need to quit settling for field goals and put teams away when they have the chance.

“We have to be more efficient in the red zone,” Vick said. “It was disappointing we didn’t put the ball in the end zone more than we did. That can’t happen. We’ll correct that.”

It did not cost them against the Colts two weeks ago, and it did not cost them against the Giants. But you’ve got to think it eventually will catch up to them. Great teams put teams away when they have the opportunity. Good teams find ways to win.

The Eagles are happy to be good, but aspire to be great because this season has such potential. All of the players in the locker room feel it. They don’t really want to talk about it just yet, but this team wants to make a Super Bowl run.

They are young and brash and talented enough on offense to think it can happen, and with the muddled NFC, who is to say it can’t? Who is really special? Atlanta? Green Bay? Chicago? New Orleans? The Eagles?

To be special, to go from good to great, the Eagles have to capitalize when they have the chance. Had they done just that in the second quarter against the Giants, they never would have needed that fourth-quarter rally powered by LeSean McCoy’s young legs and his quick moves that look like another running back who was in his prime here a few years ago.

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National media in full Vick-mania

November 22 Philadelphia Inquirer columnist John Gonzalez:

“The NFL should expand its injury reports. It’s time for the league to include media members in the updates.

Most weeks, the studio hosts on ESPN, CBS, Fox, and the NFL Network would be listed as questionable (judgment) or doubtful (use of logic). With Michael Vick dominating the NFL and its story lines lately, all of them would have been upgraded to probable (hype and hyperbole).

Vick’s numbers weren’t as cartoonish against the New York Giants on Sunday night as they were against the Washington Redskins on Monday night, partly because his receivers dropped at least two passes that should have been touchdowns. And his careless fourth-quarter fumble led to a Giants touchdown that almost won the game for New York.

Still, and more importantly, his outing came complete with a dramatic, fourth-quarter comeback that pushed the Birds past the Giants, 27-17, and into first place in the NFC East.

It won’t be long now until Vick’s spectacular season leads to a twisted tongue or a sprained brain for one of the yammering television ninnies. They squeal about Vick like teenagers reading about him in Us Weekly.

Before ESPN ran its “Ultimate Vick Highlight” on Sunday – not to be confused with Fox’s “Michael Vick Experience in Full” package – Cris Carter and Keyshawn Johnson raced each other to see who would be the first to cross the crazy line. Carter won.

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