Lost In the aftermath of the Eagles' historic comeback at the New Meadowlands Stadium was the effort of the defense in second half.
It's no easy task to come back from a 21-point deficit at halftime, but one that's all the more difficult if your defense allows much of anything from that point forth. It was only after the Giants took over in Eagles territory following a DeSean Jackson fumble that New York found any success on offense in the second half.
Defensive coordinator Sean McDermott praised his defense for their hard work and determination, even while in the face of all-but-certain defeat.
"You know, I would just say this, we came out and we played aggressive," McDermott said Thursday. "We played aggressive and you know, when you're down by as much as we were, what was impressive to me was that we came back that first series of the third quarter and stopped them on third-and-one at midfield.
"A lot of guys could have packed it in right there, especially the way professional sports is, it seems anymore. But I was proud of our guys for the way they stepped up right there."
The Eagles defense would hope that come Sunday night, their main objective will be to preserve the lead – not help fuel an improbable comeback. But first, they'll have to contend with Vikings rookie quarterback Joe Webb (assuming that Brett Favre doesn't have another comeback of his own in store). McDermott said that while Webb doesn't have much experience, he's still a player that can hurt you with his athleticism.
"(He's) absolutely dangerous," McDermott said. "And we faced quarterbacks like that in the past. And whenever you face, or could face, a quarterback like that with the run-pass ability, like Michael Vick has, that's a dangerous combination. So we have to make sure that we stay disciplined, yet aggressive in our approach, there."
It's a unique challenge to face a starting quarterback who has so little game experience – you never know exactly what to expect. But with so much at stake Sunday night, you can expect the Eagles defense to come out firing as they try to take the young quarterback out of his game.
-- Posted by Josh Goldman, 5:10 p.m., December 23