It was a game of two drastically different quarterbacks. Peyton Manning is the ultimate pocket passer, with a great knowledge of his offense and pin-point accuracy. In fact, his completion percentage of 64.8 is the fifth-best in NFL history.
Michael Vick returned from his rib cartilage injury on Sunday to quarterback the Eagles, and his electrifying play was truly a sight to be seen. He extended drives with his legs, bought time to find receivers down field and his arm strength was second-to-none.
On Sunday afternoon at Lincoln Financial Field, the two faced each other for the first time since 2003. That day in Indianapolis, Vick completed 6 of 19 passes for 47 yards passing and a quarterback rating of 19.0. Suffice it to say that Vick seized his second opportunity. He completed 59 percent of his passes Sunday, for 218 yards and a touchdown while running for 74 yards and a touchdown.
And at the end of the day, it was Vick who led his team to victory.
"This game was more emotional because we knew how big it was going to be, how tough it was going to be to win this game," Vick said. "Two weeks of hard work and preparation, guys dedicating themselves every day watching extra film and doing whatever it takes to give us an advantage, it was very gratifying. I think for us to be able to pull it out, and to put it together on both sides of the ball was fantastic."
The Vick-to-DeSean Jackson connection has quickly become one of the most dangerous quarterback-receiver tandems in all of football. In each game that Vick has started and completed, Jackson has gained at least 100 yards receiving. On Sunday, the dynamic receiver was targeted by Vick eight times, and only once did the two not hook up for a completion. After Jackson's 109 yards receiving and his fourth touchdown of the season, Vick explained that the two have built quite the bond on the field.
"Me and DeSean have chemistry," Vick said. "I know where he's going to be, and it's funny because 90 percent of the time when I throw the ball to him deep I think I overthrow him and he just goes and gets it. He's a very dynamic player and I'm just glad to have him on my team."
At 5-3, the Eagles finished the first half of their season two games above .500 and find themselves in the thick of what will be an intense run towards the playoffs. And while every game is important, it's fair to say that beating Manning and the Colts was something Vick desperately wanted to do.
"We're trying to make a statement week in and week out," Vick said. "Not only do we have to beat the Indianapolis Colts, but we have to strive to beat every team that we line up against. This is a tough league, and we played against one of the best today, one of the best teams in this league and one of the best quarterbacks hands down. We were able to pull it out and it gives us a great deal of confidence moving forward."
The Eagles will move forward to the nation's capital next Monday night, as they look to exact revenge on Donovan McNabb and the Washington Redskins. And not to look ahead, but two weeks from tonight looms a pivotal matchup with the NFC East-leading New York Giants in Philadelphia. Of the next eight games, five will come against divisional opponents.
Hang on to your hats, folks.
--Posted by Josh Goldman, 9:30 p.m., November 7