Michael Vick and the Eagles overcame a 21 point fourth quarter deficit to stun the Giants 38-31 at the Meadowlands. It was the Eagles tenth win of the season and put them firmly in control of the NFC East. Vick certainly bolstered his already strong MVP credentials in a fourth quarter where he simply took over the game facing one of the NFL’s best defenses. He finished the day 21-35 for 242 yds & 3 TDs plus 130 yards on the ground and a rushing TD.
While Vick’s heroics were enough to tie the game, it was DeSean Jackson who won it an incredible 65 yard punt return with no time on the clock. Giants rookie punter Matt Dodge took a high snap with :14 seconds left in the game and just needed to kick the ball out of bounds or away from Jackson. He ended up hitting a line drive straight at him. Jackson initially bobbled the kick but picked up the ball, paused to look for a lane, and shot up the middle of the Giants coverage team. It was only a second or two before he was beyond the punter and and strolling into the end zone with game clock at zero.
Just seven minutes earlier it looked as if Jackson would be playing the role of the goat. He had caught a 30 yard pass over the middle which he appeared at first to fumble. Replays clearly showed that he was touched on his way down which would have negated the fumble, but Andy Reid inexplicably opted not challenge the play. The Giants took over and quickly marched down the field to take a 21 point lead. It looked like the game was over.
On the ensuing drive Michael Vick would hit Brent Celek for a 65 yard TD for a quick score. The Eagles then caught the Giants completely off guard when David Akers executed a perfect onside kick which was recovered by rookie WR Riley Cooper. On play later Michael Vick escapes a sack and busts off a 35 yard run down to the Giants 9 yard line. Four plays after that he runs the ball off tackle four yards for a TD.
The Giants were reeling at that point. The get the ball back with five minutes left and manage just one first down before they had to punt. Michael Vick takes over and rushes for gains of 33 and 22 on the next drive before hitting Jeremy Maclin from 13 yards out to tie the game at 31. In just 7 minutes, the Eagles had erased a 21 point deficit.
The Giants then get the ball back with 1:10 remaining. Eli Manning quickly throws two incomplete passes and gets sacked on third down by Trevor Laws. The sack allowed the Giants to take the clock down to :14 before they had to punt to DeSean Jackson. The rest is history.
The win put the Eagles at 10-4 and in firm control of the NFC East. The Eagles will clinch with another win or Giants loss. The Eagles host the Vikings next week in prime time while the Giants travel to Green Bay to face the Packers in a game where both teams will be fighting for their playoff lives.