November 22 Philadelphia Inquirer:
“On a night when Michael Vick was mortal and the Eagles kicked themselves in the rear with red-zone inefficiency, penalties, and dropped passes, LeSean McCoy came up with a winning touchdown run against the New York Giants that was every bit as dramatic as the one his predecessor produced seven years ago at the Meadowlands.
Brian Westbrook’s 84-yard, game-winning punt return was later viewed as a turning point in the 2003 season, which ended with an appearance in the NFC championship game.
McCoy’s 50-yard touchdown dash on fourth down with 4 minutes, 34 seconds left in the game Sunday night gave the Eagles their first comeback win of the season, a 27-17 triumph over the Giants at Lincoln Financial Field. And it could prove to be every bit as important as Westbrook’s defining moment.
“McCoy – that son of a gun,” Eagles coach Andy Reid said. “That was a good one.”
With the victory, the Eagles stand alone atop the NFC East at 7-3, dropping the Giants, a team they have beaten five straight times, to 6-4. They further legitimized the claim that they are one of the NFC’s contenders to go deep into the playoffs and possibly even to the Super Bowl.
It was not a performance anywhere as crisp as last week’s 59-28 mashing of the Redskins, or even the wipe-the-brow win over Indianapolis a week earlier. But it was much more important.
And McCoy saved the day, with an assist from his two blockers, Jason Peters and Todd Herremans. The linemen kicked out and mauled defensive backs Deon Grant and Kenny Phillips, and McCoy did the rest, outracing the defense untouched into the end zone for a 22-17 lead after the Giants had rallied ahead, 17-16, in the fourth quarter.
A two-point conversion gave the Eagles a 24-17 cushion, and a 30-yard David Akers field goal with 25 seconds provided the final tally.
The second-year running back would have never had the opportunity to win the game if it hadn’t been for the Eagles‘ defense. The unit had its best outing of the season, holding the No. 2-ranked Giants‘ offense to 208 total yards, forcing five turnovers, and holding them to the magic number of just 17 points.
“We knew it was going to be physical game,” said linebacker Ernie Sims, who played in his first Eagles–Giants game. “That’s what they were telling me all week – it was going to be a physical game. That’s how it always is with the Giants.”
The Giants had more than enough time to mount a comeback after McCoy’s score, but a strange series of events eventually led to the Eagles‘ regaining possession.
With 4:18 left, Eli Manning tossed a pass to receiver Derek Hagan that bounced off cornerback Joselio Hanson and into the hands of Asante Samuel for his second interception of the game. But on the return, Giants running back Ahmad Bradshaw forced Samuel to fumble the ball away.
Four plays later, though, Manning fumbled the ball back when, on fourth and 6, he ran for a first down to the Eagles‘ 40 but did not slide. The quarterback fell forward untouched, the ball popped out, and end Darryl Tapp was there to pick it up. The Giants challenged the call, but it stood.”
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