PHILADELPHIA - NOVEMBER 07: Peyton Manning #18 of the Indianapolis Colts congratulates Michael Vick #7 of the Philadelphia Eagles after their game on November 7 2010 at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia Pennsylvania. The Eagles defeated the Colts 26-24. (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)
This was an epic game and the Eagles best win of the season. The Colts had a lot of injuries, but they've had a lot all year and that hasn't stopped them from being one of the elite teams in the league. The Eagles made a statement today. It's November and the Eagles are for real. As odd as it feels for me to say this, they're going to go as far as Michael Vick takes them. If his play today and earlier in the season is any indication, that could be pretty far.
Michael Vick out-dueled Peyton Manning today. He made the big plays, Manning for the most part did not. This is not to say Manning didn't play well, for the most part I thought he did... But he finished today with 65.7 QB rating compared to Vick's 93.8. The big difference was turnovers. Vick had none, Manning had two both of which were Asante Samuel interceptions. It was Samuel's pick with under :20 to go that sealed the win for the Eagles.
Michael Vick and DeSean Jackson were the Eagles offensive stars for the day. Vick threw for 218 yards and a TD while running for 74 yards and another TD. DeSean Jackson had 7 catches for 109 yards and a TD, plus his key runs late in the game were instrumental in running down the clock. The last time we saw these two guys on the field one was seeing stars and the other looked like he was broken in half. If either Vick or Jackson were feeling any ill effects from their injuries, they sure didn't show it today.
LeSean McCoy had a fairly impressive line today with 95 yards on 16 carries, but 62 of them came on the first snap of the game. Otherwise, the Colts did a good job holding him in check. Still, with his big play and Vick's legs the Eagles did manage 195 yards on the ground today. The Eagles defense completely shut down the Colts running game to the tune of 62 yards.
The Eagles defense got soft to end the first half after the controversial hit on Austin Collie and gave up 10 points to give Indy the lead, but after the half the looked like a different unit. They allowed just 7 second half points and Peyton Manning was just 13-25, most of which were short passes that didn't hurt. Asante Samuel shut down Pierre Garcon and picked off Manning twice while Dimitri Patterson did yeoman's work against Reggie Wayne. Wayne still caught 11 passes, but it was only for 83 yards. He gave up catches, but nothing deep. It was frustrating at times to watch Manning complete lots of quick slants to Wayne, but it sure beat watching Kerry Collins complete TDs to Kenny Britt. So good job Dimitri.
It was a great win, the Eagles really signaled their intent to the rest of the conference and I expect it will be reflected when the power ranks come out Tuesday. Next up, it's the McNabb bowl part deux.
P.S. I have too much to say about the officiating to put in this one story. We'll address that next.