Lets beat the Giants fans to the punch. Over at Big Blue View they're saying they ran a prevent defense and that Perry Fewell changed his play calls, so before they get over their devastation and come over here, lets correct them. This is simply NOT true. And since I know Giants fans will refute this vehemently, I'll be so kind as to provide them video evidence.
Early on the Giants were blitzing, the blitzes were getting home and the Giants were just dominating the Eagles. Late in the game, Fewell kept bringing the heat and it came back to bite him, live by the sword, die by the sword. The Giants were blitzing and bringing heat through out the ENTIRE game, their defensive strategy NEVER changed.
First, we need to educate some ignorant Giants fans. I'm afraid they have no idea what a prevent defense is. A prevent defense is not a "We got our asses whooped late so it must've been prevent" defense.
The defense will pull back into what is called a soft zone. They will most likely play in a nickle, dime, or quarter package. A soft zone means that all the safeties and cornerbacks are playing back, five or ten yards off the line. The free safety will often play as much as 20 yards back. There will be no jamming of receivers on the line. The zone means that each defensive back is responsible for an area of the field, so they're all watching the quarterback's eyes instead of running stride for stride with a receiver. It is very easy for the offense to make short plays against this defense, gaining four to eight yards per play, but it's almost impossible for the offense to make a big play of 20 or more yards against this sort of defense.
That is the prevent defense, read up Giants fans.
Anyways... Now that Giants fans actually understand what a prevent defense is, we can establish that the Giants DID NOT use a prevent defense.
The first Jeremy Maclin touchdown:
You'll notice the Giants blitz Antrell Rolle and Michael Boley. Also you'll notice man to man coverage on the back end of the play. This is clearly NOT prevent defense. Also this play did not show any variation from what Perry Fewell did all day, he blitzed a safety and a linebacker, clearly he was still bringing the heat.
The 65 yard Brent Celek touchdown:
This is a zone blitz call by Fewell, clearly not straying away from bringing pressure. Justin Tuck and Osi Umenyoria drop into coverage and Fewell blitzes a linebacker, a safety and the nickel back. This is once again, clearly NOT a prevent defense.
Michael Vick 33 yard run:
Once again, Fewell is bringing the heat. On this play, the Giants brought seven players on the pass rush, dropping four into coverage. Bringing seven pass rushers and dropping 4 into coverage is literally the EXACT opposite of a prevent defense. Once again, Fewell brought a corner, a safety and a linebacker on the blitz. Very very clearly NOT playing prevent defense.
Michael Vick 35 yard run:
Once again, Fewell blitzes seven players. Tuck rushes as a stand up pass rusher, Deon Grant the safety blitzes and Kenny Phillips blitzed as well. Blitzing two safeties is CLEARLY NOT a part of prevent defense.
Michael Vick 4 yard TD run:
Fewell is STILL bringing pressure, he blitzes two safeties off the edges and Corey Webster is playing press coverage on the outside. This is once again an extremely clear example that the Giants did NOT change their defensive gameplan.
Michael Vick 22 yard run:
Fewell blitzes two linebackers, he is still trying to pressure Vick with 2 minutes left in the game. There is still no signs of any prevent defense or any sign of a change in Fewell's playcalling. No prevent defense on this play.
Jeremy Maclin 13 yard TD pass:
Still blitzing, although in the redzone Fewell reigns it in a bit as he only blitzes one extra guy. But once again this is clearly NOT a prevent defense.
As you can very clearly see, absolutely nothing changed for the Giants on defense schematically, they were still bringing the heat. I will readily admit that the Giants dominated the Eagles for 3 quarters of this game and that I was ready to call it quits after the Kevin Boss touchdown. The Giants were simply outplaying the Eagles, then suddenly the Eagles found themselves and started absolutely dominating the Giants. The Giants didn't stop playing, the Giants didn't get comfortable, the Giants didn't play prevent defense, the Giants didn't adjust their schemes defensively and on offense the Giants were trying to milk the clock with one of the best running games in football.
The Giants didn't change a thing, the Eagles changed, not the Giants.
The Eagles won this game, the Giants didn't lose it. The Eagles stepped up in every facet of the game and just dominated the Giants.
-Offense? Michael Vick was making the Giants look silly, all of a sudden he was evading that pressure that had been getting him all day, all of a sudden he was hitting receivers and all of a sudden the Eagles offense was rejuvenated.
-Defense? The Giants didn't really change their game plan on offense either, Eli attempted 10 passes (almost exactly 1/4 of his total on the day). The Eagles run defense continued to stop the run game but what changed was the Eagles were finally bringing the heat on Eli Manning. The Eagles started getting much needed pressure on the QB. Trent Cole took his game up a notch, the defensive tackles started getting penetration and Kurt Coleman got some pressure on blitzes.
-Special teams? An onside kick recovery and a walk off TD punt return? I think its safe to say special teams really stepped up and won this game for the Eagles. The Eagles started getting momentum with the Celek TD but that onside kick recovery put all the wind in the Eagles sails. And then DeSean Jackson came up with the play of the season. Special teams was truly special, hats off to Andy Reid, Bobby April and DeSean Jackson on special teams, they won this game for the Eagles.
Giants fans are going to come over here and try and tell us this win was because the Giants choked but I'd argue that the Eagles just stepped up their game, BIG TIME. Because the Giants defensive game plan didn't change, their offense didn't change, nothing the Giants did changed, the Eagles are what changed. When it came down to crunch time, Michael Vick showed he was the best player on the field, DeSean showed why he is regarded as one of the most explosive players in the NFL, the special teams took it up a notch and the defense made stops. The Eagles stepped up and the Giants couldn't stop it.
Oh and just for giggles, best Manningface ever: