The game was over... Lawrence Tynes had lined up for a 54 yard field goal and he missed it wide right. The game was over.
Only, it wasn't.
Andy Reid had called a timeout the moment before the kick in an attempt to "ice" the kicker. As I've written extensively before, icing the kicker is useless and doesn't work. In fact it has the opposite effect. So as Tynes lined up for his second crack at the game winning FG, the sense of foreboding was thick in the air at the Linc. And sure enough, Tynes hit this one dead on and it looked like it was about to split the uprights. But then...
It was short! The kick was short and this time the game really was over with the Eagles escaping with a 19-17 win. It just yet another nail biter between the Eagles and Giants... and yet another one that the Eagles won. Philadelphia has now taken 8 of the last 9 from New York with the last 3 coming in 4th quarter, heartbreaking fashion.
There was a lot to celebrate about this win but nothing more than this... The Eagles did not turn the ball over once. After a league leading 12 turnovers over the first 3 weeks, the Eagles finally played a clean game where they actually came out positive in the turnover battle. The driving force behind that was the same guy who was causing most of the turnovers, Michael Vick.
We really saw a different Michael Vick tonight, one that looked more like the 2010 version we all fell in love with than the 2012 version that had his covering our eyes with every throw. Vick was decisive with his throws, he didn't take unnecessary chances and he ran the ball! Not only did he run it, he did so effectively without taking big hits. Vick threw for 241 yards and a TD and ran for another 49 on 6 carries.
The first half of this game was a defensive struggle. The first points came with less than 2 minutes left in the half. Neither offense was moving. But in the second half, when things picked up, it was balance that drove the Eagles offensive success. Vick was very good, but LeSean McCoy started gouging the Giants with his signature cut back runs. After a frustrating first half where he managed just 2 total yards, Shady put up 121 in the second half.
The Eagles called 30 runs plays tonight and probably 35 pass plays. There's the balance we've been looking for.
This is the 3rd time this season that the Eagles have won a game with a 4th quarter drive. And its the second time they've done it against a team considered a Super Bowl contender.
The win leaves the Eagles at 3-1 and alone atop the NFC East, pending tomorrow night's game. The Giants, meanwhile, are 2-2 with both losses to NFC East teams. They've got more games to make up, but that's putting yourself behind the 8-ball.