Philadelphia edging New York Giants. The Eagles 4th quarter comeback was unbelievable. It was spectacular. It was lightening fast. It was the Philadelphia Eagles at their best. It was combination of old school Michael Vic combined with the new school, more mature Michael Vic. It was DeSean Jackson overcoming a crucial fumble then having a walk off punt run that was pretty much over after he dribbled the ball twice on the field turf the in the new Meadowlands. It was a defense that came up big when it was needed the most by getting key stops. Michael Vic ignited the comeback with a difficult pass to Brent Celek between two defenders and terrific run after catch by Celek. One of the most momentum changing plays was David Akers onside kick after the Celek touchdown. Akers kick took a perfect high hop which the Eagles easily recovered, and sent panic in not only the Giants but of the entire stadium. Then Michael Vic took over with his legs turning potential sacks into long soul breaking runs, which took the air out of the Giants. There was no doubt in anyone’s mind that after the Eagles closed to within seven at 31-24, that if the Eagles got the ball back without the Giants scoring that this game was going to be tied. Sure enough the Eagles defense came through and Vic got the ball back. Vic quickly led the Eagles downfield with another back breaking run getting the Eagles close. His pass to Jeremy Macklin got them even. That left plenty of time for the Giants with a chance to go ahead especially with all three of their time outs. But the Eagles defense stepped up sacking Manning and forcing a punt. The rest is DeSean Jackson history, not bad for man who has sprained foot. This win has all but wrapped up the division and given the Eagles a good chance to get a first round bye. Not to mention a put fear into playoff opponents that they are never out of any game.
This was a crushing defeat for the Giants. This defeat will be difficult to overcome. For 3 ½ quarts they controlled and frustrated the most explosive team in the league and held them to 10 points, and had a 21 point lead. Within a half hour they went from taking the lead in the division and getting the inside track for a bye, to one of the most devastating defeats in team history. Now they will have to win out just to qualify as a wild card team which will not be easy especially after this defeat. This was not a total choke job as many have suggested, but the Giants did have a couple of brain farts at the worst times. The most obvious was Matt Dodge kicking the ball to DeSean Jackson instead of out of bounds like Tom Coughlin told him too. The explanation that he panicked because of the high snap is not acceptable. Many people are wondering what his wonderlic score was because he should have known to kick the ball out of bounds even if he shanks it 10 yards. The other key play was the onside kick by Akers. The Eagles had just scored to pull within 14 points and the Giants should have had their onside kick team in. Instead they had their regular kick return in who bailing out as Akers approached the ball. A special teams blunder of the worst kind. Even with these mistakes, the Giants offense must take blame also. When the Eagles scored they failed to move the ball and score again. They had done pretty much whatever they wanted their entire game. Eli Manning was having his best game in a couple of months. Then were shut down when it counted most. I’m not saying the Giants are done, but they are going to need many years of group sessions with Dr. Phil to get over this loss ไฮไลท์บอล.
New England edging Green Bay. Patriots reserve offensive lineman /goal line fullback Dan Connelly’s
71 yard kickoff return ignited the comeback. Tom Brady 4th quarter touchdown pass put the Patriots ahead, and the defense held on the late charge by the Packers to all but wrap up home field advantage for the Patriots. The play of the game for the Patriots was Connelly’s return. He showed patient as he slowly sprinted through the first line of the Packers defense, showed good open field running ability, shifted the ball into his left hand and also a mean stiff arm to get yards after contact as he approached the goal line. Connelly has earned the right to get more touches. The Patriots were fortunate to win this game. They were man handled for the first time since the Cleveland game. Brady was sacked and hit after throws. He appeared out of sorts. He may even have bruises which is rare. The Patriots did what they often do. They win when they don’t play their best. They were far from their best.
Green Bay almost won a game no one thought they had a chance to keep close. They ran the ball effectively for the first time since Ryan Grant was hurt. They controlled the clock keeping the ball out of Tom Brady’s hands. Mike Flynn played under control and converted often on third down situations. His one mistake was his third quarter interception that was returned for a touchdown. But for the most part he played error free football. The Packer defense stopped the Patriots running game, hit Brady in the mouth. They just couldn’t get any turnovers. A valiant effort for the Packers but they came up short. They still have a chance to the division or make it as wild card, but there is no margin for error left.
Indianapolis over Jacksonville. The Colts did what they haven’t done all year. They ran the ball and stopped the run. The return of the onside kick salted the game away. The Jaguars missed on a golden opportunity to win the division and put an end the Colts reign. They didn’t get it done because they didn’t do what they do best and that is run the football. Now the Colts have control of the division and the Jaguars need help and lots of it. A wild card berth is unlikely.
Baltimore over New Orleans. The Ravens won a game they desperately needed to almost clinch a playoff spot. They did it the Raven way. They ran the ball with Ray Rice and shut down the Saints running attack making the Saints one dimensional, which allowed them to sack and harass Drew Brees all day long. The Saints needed this game to keep pace with the Falcons but they couldn’t stop the run on defense. Now they must win out so they can have the first wild card spot and play the NFC least winner in the first round.
Kansas City over St. Louis. Matt Casel played well considering he just had an appendectomy 11 days ago. But it was the Chiefs running game that won this game and kept them a game ahead in their division. The Rams showed grit but may a year or two away from becoming a real contender. They still have designs on winning the division even if they are 7-9 to do it.
Dallas edging Washington. Jon Kitna is playing well enough to earn the right to compete for the starting job next year. Jason Garrett is now 4-2 as head coach with two close losses. Now evoking conspiracy theorists that he scaled down the offense so that he could get former coach Wade Phillips fired. Maybe Redskin coach Mike Shanahan was right benching McNabb for Rex Grossman. Or maybe it was because the Cowboys defense is just plain awful. I’m going with the awful defense.