>Impossible Comeback for the Birds

>Eagles Beat the Giants in Truly Epic Fashion:

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They were down 24-3 at halftime, they were down 31-10 in the fourth quarter (with only 7:30 left to play), they weren’t even leading with 00:14 seonds left in the game, when DeSean Jackson broke the tie by returning a punt 65-yards for the game-winning score.  It’s like a walk-off grandslam, times a thousand.  It’s so rare for a football game to end on such an incredible, dramatic play, but when you combine it with the comeback that the Eagles orchestrated in the seven minutes prior to that moment, you realize sports miracles don’t come scripted any better than this.

I’m still getting all jittery just thinking about it, it’s the type of game that just won’t leave your mind.  I literally had to restrain myself from wearing my #10 Jackson jersey to work today.  All night, I dreamt of punt returns and Vick scrambles and Eagles celebrations.

I cannot stop watching this damn video.  If you click on this link,
http://www.nfl.com/videos/nfl-game-highlights/09000d5d81d06fc3/Can-t-Miss-Play-Jackson-s-walk-off-punt-return, here’s what I suggest you look for:

1.  The most impressive part of this play is the way DeSean accelerates after he picks up the muffed catch and runs backwards to his own 30-yard line.  If you pause this video at about 00:47 seconds, you’ll see DeSean puts his left leg back, inside the 30-yard line, just for a quarter of a second, then goes from zero to full-speed in literally one step.  No one in the world can do what this man does, the Eagles truly have a world-class athlete on their team in DJacc and the explosive burst he makes from the 30 yard line proves it.  Go ahead, just watch it over and over…

2.  Avant has received a lot of credit for the crushing block that he laid on #51 of the Giants as DeSean is breaking away down the sideline.  In the video, Joe Buck screams “He’s got a block! Are you kidding!?”, referring to Avant’s monster hit and the impending touchdown.  It’s easy to see at about the 00:50-00:51 second mark.  But at that point, DeSean was already in the open field, sprinting down the sideline, and nobody was going to catch him then–with or without Avant’s block. 
The block that really made this play possible is by #96 of the Eagles, our old friend Omar Gaither.  Gaither takes out three Giants players right as DeSean is bursting through the crease.  At the far left end of your screen, at the 00:47 second mark, you can see Gaither push a Giants player, who falls into another Giants player, who falls into another Giants player—all three of them tumble to the ground like bowling pins as DeSean sprints by them in a blur.  That was the block that won this game, resulting in the following euphoric, celebratory explosion:

MiracleatMeadowlands2

Of course, DeSean’s return is only one play…the final, game-winning play that capped off an increible fourth quarter comeback by Mike Vick and the Eagles offense.  Credit must also be given to an injury-riddled defense that stiffened up in the second half and did just enough to give the Eagles a chance to get the win in regulation.

Full game highlights:
http://www.nfl.com/videos/nfl-game-highlights/09000d5d81d07ca6/GameDay-Eagles-vs-Giants-highlights

As much praise as Vick deserves for his resiliency and effort in this game, the win was really a team effort.  Special teams came up huge as well, especially with Akers clinical on-side kick that landed in the arms of rookier WR Riley Cooper.  Still, Vick did some amazing things in the fourth quarter that kept the game alive.  On 3rd and 10 from their own 12-yard line, Vick broke out of the pocket and scrambled for a huge 25-yard pickup.  Earlier,  Vick ducked under a blitzer coming up the middle, a move that has been described as “Houdini-esque”, and shot up the middle of the field for another huge pickup.  He kept these drives alive with his legs, then threw a strike to Jeremy Maclin for the game-tying touchdown with just over a minute remaining.  The rest of the game will be remembered by Eagles fans for decades and decades to come.  If the Eagles make a deep-run into the playoffs, the media will be sure to remind us of this moment as a monumental momentum boost. 

Eagles fan have got to be thinking ahead this Monday, looking at the last two games of the season against the Vikings and Cowboys as very winnable games.  They’re currently sitting atop the NFC as the second seed behind the Atlanta Falcons, a position they are likely to maintain if they can even win one out of the last two games.  Winning both would guarantee a first round bye and the opportunity to host at least one playoff game at home.  I’ve been a fan of the Eagles long enough to know how important a first round bye can be towards your chances of getting in the Super Bowl.  All you’ve got to do is win two games in the playoffs after a first round bye, and you’re headed to the big game.  If the Eagles wrap up the two-seed, expect them to gear up for an amazing playoff run…here’s hoping that this win propels them to win four more in a row, get to the Super Bowl, and try to bring home the Lombardi Trophy.  The Eagles must feel like they’re never out of a game at this point—it gives them confidence to play under any circumstance, and it’s a huge character win for one of the youngest teams in the league.  My dream of the Eagles getting to the Super Bowl, and beating the New England Patriots in Dallas this year, has moved one step closer to reality.  Words can’t describe how awesome that game was, so I’ll stop trying.

Post Script:

Philadelphia’s professional sports teams have been owning this month, especially against teams from New York City:

Since December 9th when the Celtics beat the Sixers on a last second play, the Flyers have gone 4-0, beating the Bruins, Canadiens, Penguins, and the (NY) Rangers. Phillies stole Cliff Lee. The Sixers went 4-1. And the Eagles knocked off the Cowboys and Giants with 4th quarter comebacks in each game.

You’ve got to appreciate regular season success when it comes, but the City of Philadelphia needs a championship.  If you’re a Philly sports fan, it’s time to buckle up and get ready for some fireworks.

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One thought on “>Impossible Comeback for the Birds

  1. […] Yes, DeSean Jackson is my boy, and yes I own his jersey, but no this isn’t my list of favorite players.  So far this year, DeSean is averaging about 4 catches and 70 yards a game, with only two touchdowns on the year.  He is on pace to eclipse 1,000 yards receiving for the third straight year (he had 912 yards his rookie season), but the big-play-making-ability that has defined his career has been absent this year.  With LeSean McCoy’s emergence and Andy Reid’s surprising willingness to run, it seems as though there have been less targets to go around.  DeSean is on pace for 114 targets this year, however, which would eclipse the 97 he received in 2010. He is also catching 54% of the passes thrown his way, up from last year’s 48%.  Overall, DeSean is on pace to barely surpass last year’s receptions and yards total but fall short of the 6 TD’s he put up.  I’ve read that DeSean spent the off-season working on his route running, and he appears to be making crisper cuts on the field.  As the Eagles continue to regain their confidence, I expect Jaccpot to put up a few of the big play TDs that we all crave.  He is still feared as the fastest player in the NFL and often his affect on the game is not properly noticed because of the double teams he draws, which opens up opportunities for other players.  His elite speed, quickness, and acceleration, coupled with his above average hands and improved route running, easily make DeSean a top 15 wide receiver in the league and an extremely valuable asset of the Eagles offense.  Oh, and did I mention he returns punts? […]

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