Philadelphia Eagles News

Asomugha Helps See Eagles To Win

Even the one-eyed cornerback could see that it was offensive pass interference.

As Eli Manning lofted a ball down the right sideline towards Ramses Barden, Nnamdi Asomugha, who returned to the game after missing about a quarter's worth of action after losing vision in his right eye following an inadvertent poke by a Giants wide receiver, maintained position that would have allowed him to make a play on the pass. Barden then climbed over Asomugha, preventing the interception but drawing a flag that would move the Giants back 10 yards to the Eagles' 36-yard-line.

Two plays later, Lawrence Tynes's 54-yard field goal attempt came up about a yard short and the Eagles won by two points in front of a raucous home crowd.

"I didn't know they were going to call it, I just felt the guy draped over me as I was trying to get the ball," Asomugha said of the play after the game. "Sometimes they don't call it. I know if it's the defensive guy, they're more apt to call it, but an offensive guy, you never know, so I was just happy that they called it. I looked around and I saw the flag and it was a relief. I knew it had to have been on them. There was no way (it could have been on me) because I was looking up for the ball."

The roller coaster of that final drive for the Eagles defense included a pass interference call on Asomugha two plays earlier. But the All-Pro cornerback bounced back when he was challenged again in what turned out to be a bit of baiting by the Eagles defense.

On the Giants' previous possession, Manning completed a pass down the right sideline to Barden for 31 yards with Asomugha in coverage.

"Earlier, we weren't in man coverage and so (Barden) was able to get behind me because I was in a trail position and I don't think they knew that," said Asomugha. "I felt like they thought, 'Oh, he can get behind them.' And then in the end, we were in man, so it wasn't going to happen. I expected them to come back to it because they probably didn't know what coverage we were in and then they went back to it but I was in better shape."

The pass interference ping-pong capped a crazy night for Asomugha, who, at one point, was said to be going to Wills Eye Hospital to get his eye examined. Moments after that announcement was made to the press, Asomugha returned to the sideline, consulted with head athletic trainer Rick Burkholder, then began catching passes from backup quarterback Nick Foles. What changed about Asomugha's status?

"I just wanted to play," he said. "I was in the training room and they were getting ready to take me to the hospital and I looked up and I think it was Brandon Hughes that was out there, and I hate putting guys in that position to have come off the bench. Obviously, you should be able to play, but there was just some thinking that if we let (my eye) wear down a little bit, if I could get some vision back, then I would go back out there. So I went back out there, I put a visor on. It was still tough to see in the right eye and I just had to get my bearings because I was out for a while."

"We were just doing vision tests and I passed a couple vision tests. We'll just say I passed."

Throughout the week of practice, Asomugha had been preparing to shadow Hakeem Nicks across the field. When Nicks was surprisingly ruled out, Asomugha's assignment switched to whomever lined up outside opposite Victor Cruz, who was covered by Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie and Brandon Boykin. Though Cruz and Hixon both topped the 100-yard receiving mark, the Eagles secondary got it done when it mattered most.

"We fought," Asomughs said. "They got their plays, we got ours but we came out with a victory."

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