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Game Film: Anatomy of an Epic Comeback

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Before we look ahead to next Sunday night's game against the Minnesota Vikings, let's take one last look at the key plays and drives that made the Eagles comeback a reality:

1) Brent Celek's 65 yard TD - Nice blitz pickup by McCoy, great protection, Justin Tuck inexplicably covering Celek 30 yards downfield, a selfish play by Kenny Phillips looking for an interception instead of wrapping up, an incredible block by Jeremy Maclin, and the comeback was underway:

You saw Brent Celek with a heck of a catch, and how about the block Maclin threw him, that was a big time block

- Andy Reid

I think there was very much a concern on my part as to how fast they went down the field.  That's not what the intent was. Even if you bleed them and they score, you do have the advantage of the clock, but that didn't happen.

- Tom Coughlin

We had a chance to tackle 87 on the long play and we didn't do it.

- Tom Coughlin

I knew Mike was gonna come to me on that.  We had to score.  We had to start getting some points to get a comeback, but you take it one possession at a time.  That helped, but it wasn't the deciding factor.

- Brent Celek

I saw Celek catch the ball, and my guy was chasing him... I kind of sped up and knocked him out.

- Jeremy Maclin

2) The ensuing onsides kick - Tom Coughlin stubbornly decides to not put in his hands team in to defend against an onsides kick, hoping to get a good return and positive field position.  That decision obviously backfires in a major way, as David Akers hits a picture-perfect onsides kick.  Really, this kick should be studied by young kickers everywhere on how to execute an onsides kick.  Even more impressive is that Akers sells the deep kick, and still gets off as perfect of a kick as you possibly can.


You can't draw it up any better than that, as far as the front that they gave us, the 5-man front, with our guys making the proper blocks and Riley (Cooper) trailing behind and catching it at the highest point.

- David Akers

I think whenever you get caught off guard on an onsides (kick), it kind of takes the wind out of your team... if you capitalize on that while they're trying to regroup, that's just an awesome momentum builder.

- Todd Herremans

Bobby (April) did a great job with that.  That was a surprise onside.  In other words, we didn't have our hands people in there, you know our onside kick people in there.  We had our normal crew in... I looked over to just make sure they weren't putting their hands team in.  We didn't do an overload, or anything on it, we just made it look like normal personnel.  They had normal personnel.  They went five up front, which was kind of key there, and it worked out.

- Andy Reid

We talked about the onside kick as a possibility.  We didn't put our hands team in there, no.  There were still seven and a half minutes to go and they were down two scores, so we didn't think it was necessary to do that at that time.  There was no reason for us not to make a better play on the ball.  We didn't have anybody even around the ball.

- Tom Coughlin

The upside is to try to get field position for your offensive team.  Seven and a half minutes to go, let's have a return and position - we had been doing a good job returning.  Danny (Ware) was knocking the ball out.  However, all people up front, again, were told to watch out for the onsides kick.

- Tom Coughlin

3) With the offense back on the field following the onsides kick, the Eagles move to within 7 - Nice little checkdown to Jackson, followed by the 35 yard run by Vick, a HUGE offsides penalty on Justin Tuck, and an easy walk in TD off left tackle by Vick.  Also note on this drive, something that hasn't been discussed to my knowledge was the unbelievably horrible spot the officials gave Vick on his long run when he dives inside the 10.  He clearly dives head first and is touched down at the 5, yet they spot the ball at the 9. How did that happen?


You could tell that after we were down by 7, that it was starting to get to them, and the momentum was on our side.

- Brent Celek

It's just a blessing to have Mike Vick on our team.  Those big runs he was having were unbelievable especially when you have a defense that's doing things to purposely stop him from running.  They're bringing people off the edge, they're blitzing people and doing all this type of stuff and for him to stay in there and the corner and pick up 30 and 40 and 50 yards down the field, guys don't really know how huge that is for us to sustain drives and keep our defense off the field and get them rest.

- DeSean Jackson

It was such a team game.  We got the onsides kick by the special teams, the punt return, and then the defense stopping them, and then the offense scoring.  All facets of our game were clicking in the 4th (quarter).

- Brent Celek

4) After a defense stop, the Eagles drive 88 yards for the game-tying TD - The 1st down pickup on Vick's 3rd and 10 run for 33 yards was obviously huge, and I don't think there was a soul in the building that didn't think the Eagles were scoring once they converted on that.  Note on the Maclin TD - Watch LeSean McCoy pick up the blitz like a 10 year pro, as he stones Deon Grant and makes that play possible.  Pass protection was something that McCoy worked on this offseason, and the Eagles most certainly reaped the rewards on that play.

Your guess (on how Vick was getting free) is as good as mine.  I don't know what was taking place.  A lot of times, my back was turned to him and sometimes I was blitzing to the opposite side and I don't know.  I don't know how he got free and I would just turn around and see him running. I would be covering my guy down the field and I'd see him running.  We'll have to evaluate that once we look at the film come Monday.

- Antrel Rolle

They dictated the tempo the whole day.  Finally when we got in 2 minute, it slowed them down and made them tired.

- Jason Avant

It was such a team game.  We got the onsides kick by the special teams, the punt return, and then the defense stopping them, and then the offense scoring.  All facets of our game were clicking in the 4th (quarter)."

- Brent Celek

(after scoring) I looked at the clock to see how much time was left, and thought we might get the ball back again.

- Jeremy Maclin

5) Sweet glorious victory - We've all seen this thing now at least a dozen times.  This time, focus on the de-cleater by Jason Avant on Zak DeOssie.


That man (Jackson) is one of the most incredible athletes I've ever seen in my life. He doesn't have the size, but the speed, the quickness, the agility, the hand-eye coordination.  One of the most incredible athletes I've ever seen.  Hell of a player.  A lot of heart.

- Asante Samuel

I've never been around anything like this in my life.  It's about as empty as you get to feel in this business, right there.

- Tom Coughlin

Jason Avant, I don't even know who he hit but he took them like two feet off the ground and made a huge block and from there I just used my instincts and my speed to get to the end zone.

- DeSean Jackson

I wasn't sure they were going to punt to him, but I wanted to make sure (Jackson) was on the field... I think it went off his foot wrong because it ended up being a line drive which is even double trouble.  If you're going to kick it to him at least give it some hang time.

- Andy Reid

I was definitely looking out of bounds the whole way. I got the snap and tried to get it off quick.  Not a good time to hit a line drive, that's for sure.

- Matt Dodge

Their coaches were out on the field screaming to the punter to kick it out of bounds right before the play.

- Dimitri Patterson

I couldn't believe they kicked it him... That's what happens when you kick it to 10... You know what's funny? I was watching with the Tisch's, the owner of the Giants. They didn't like that at all, baby.

- Brandon Graham

(DeOssie) outweighs me by 45 pounds, so I knew I had to throw it in there, because if I had been soft, it wouldn't have done anything. I was trying to avoid helmet to helmet.

- Jason Avant

(On whether or not he saw DeSean cross the goal line) "No, I was laid out on the field."

- Jason Avant

I just still can't believe they kicked it to him, and the he dropped it and I was like ‘Oh, I guess we're going to overtime,' and then he hit the seam, and... yeah, you saw it.

- Todd Herremans