EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- When quarterback Vince Young first joined the Eagles, he spent most of training camp and preseason throwing to and developing a rapport with wide receiver Riley Cooper.
Young's trust and faith in Cooper was evident on Sunday night. The second-year receiver converted two third downs including the game-winning 8-yard touchdown catch with just 2:45 left in the game to help give the Eagles a much-needed 17-10 win at MetLife Stadium.
"We just knew we had to dig deep. We knew we had to dig deep and put the ball in the end zone," said Cooper, who made his third-career start and first of the season for an injured Jeremy Maclin. "I'm so proud of all of these guys, everyone contributed, and it wasn't just one big play, it wasn't just a 50-yard bomb here. We pieced that drive together in the run game and pass game,"
On the winning play to cap off the 18-play, 80-yard drive, Cooper lined up to the right of the formation. Wide receiver Jason Avant went in motion from left to right. At the snap, Cooper ran a slant and safety Deon Grant gave him enough cushion to get inside. Brent Celek, who lined up to the right of the offensive line, ran a cross route underneath which drew in linebacker Mark Herzlich to give Young the window needed to thread the ball to Cooper.
"I feel like a huge monkey got lifted off my back," Cooper said. "I think he has a lot of confidence in me and I'm glad he does. He kept coming to me. He kept putting the ball up for me to make a play and go up and get it and that means a lot."
After the win, Cooper didn't know his own stats, but he was targeted a team-high 12 times and caught five of those balls for 75 yards and the touchdown. Cooper didn't have a catch on the season entering the contest. His big night nearly matched the production from his entire rookie season when he caught seven passes for 116 yards and a touchdown.
As important as his game-winning catch was, Cooper had a grab earlier that drive that kept the chains moving. On third-and-10 from the Eagles' 33, Cooper ran an in route and Young delivered the ball for an 18-yard gain and the first down.
Cooper was thankful that Young went to him on that game-winning touchdown after an earlier red zone trip didn't have the same result. In the middle of the third quarter, Young threw a deep fade for Cooper that he didn't make a play on in the end zone and Giants cornerback Aaron Ross came away with the interception.
"That was all me. Vince put it up for me to make a play, and I looked back, I didn't even see the ball because I guess it was caught in the light," Cooper said. "I didn't even know he threw it to me and if I would have known and if I would have saw it, then I would have gone up and got it. It's just one of those things and I was pissed about it but I was glad I could redeem myself."
Cooper, indeed, redeemed himself on a night where contributions from some different faces helped the Eagles' trip back from North Jersey a victorious one.
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