Football in many ways is like a live game of chess. Every move and counter move is diagrammed and planned for well ahead of time. Each coaching staff does their best to disguise their strategy and adjust to the strategy of their opponent. Obviously in the end, it's up to the players of the field to execute... but like pawns in the game of chess often those players are successful because the chessmaster put them in the right position.
The 54 yard touchdown pass to Desean Jackson was a great example of the kind of preparation and scheming a team needs to do to be successful in this league.
"All week in practice, we knew that if they ran a Cover 2 on that play, it was going to be great for us," Jackson said. "We run that play a lot and I cross the field. So I faked the cross and rode it back out, there was nobody else there and Donovan made a great throw."
ESPN NFC East blogger Matt Mosley noted that right after the play McNabb pointed at Mornhinweg, who had called the play. Clearly, that was one the Eagles had planned to run all week and were waiting for the right time to unleash it.
"That was a heck of a call," Reid said of the touchdown pass to Jackson. "Donovan was fired up because [the Giants] played it just like we hoped they would play it. Sometimes those things work out. Marty had a good feel on it, he and Donovan had talked about it, and it was a great job on both their parts."
It makes you wonder how many of these plays the Eagles had the Giants figured out on, or how many they thought they had the Giants figured out on but didn't?
Of course it's not as simple as scheme. The Eagles offensive line needed to give McNabb time, McNabb needed to make a good throw, Desean Jackson needed to sell a fake and use his speed to get downfield.... Without the talent to execute these plays, they're just sparkles in a coach's mind. However, talent probably is going to help when your opponent knows what you're going to do before a play even starts.