The Giants were "underdogs" this week in Philadelphia, but it was clear that the Giants had the advantage due to their record. It would be difficult for me to pick the Eagles in a match up like this because a team with the NFL’s best offensive line, the deepest running back system, a very smart coach, and a reliable defense should be the favorite. Not to mention they were, and still are, the number one team in the NFC coming into this game.
The Game started painfully for Giants fans. Eli Manning threw a ball that was deflected and intercepted by Mike Patterson, who took it deep into Giants territory. The Eagles scored on a touchdown, but the Giants bounced right back. With a 10-7 advantage heading into the second quarter, the Giants hoped to build on their lead. However, nobody could put points on the scoreboard until 6:39 to go when the Eagles scored a touchdown, making it 14-10, Eagles.
After going back and forth in a typical NFC East battle, the teams began questioning some calls by the referees. This led to three challenges, one of which was a desperation challenge by Eagles’ coach Andy Reid to keep his team in the game.
Eli Manning was flagged for throwing a ball while his body was past the line of scrimmage, but the knowledgeable Tom Coughlin took no hesitation in challenging that call. What many people did not understand is that the rule is that the ENTIRE body needs to be across the line. Manning’s back heel was still legally in position for Manning to make a throw, overturning the call.
The Eagles had a chance to win the game down 36-31 in the fourth quarter, but to my surprise, they failed. On a fourth and 1 near midfield, the Eagles was stopped short by Giants linebacker Chase Blackburn, clinching the win for Big Blue.
The Giants will head home to face the first place, 6-3 Ravens at Giants Stadium on Sunday. I would expect to see John Carney continue as the placekicker for the Giants, and Lawrence Tynes, who handled the kickoffs in Philadelphia, to do the same job this week.
Some separation has occurred in the once-tight NFC East. It is still a competitive division by anyone’s standards, but the Giants were able to move two games ahead of the Washington Redskins for the division lead, and three games ahead of both Philadelphia and Dallas.