Philadelphia Eagles News

Samuel Bonds With The Other Manning Brother

If Asante Samuel hasn't made plans for Thanksgiving yet, his counterpart Dimitri Patterson offered a suggestion as to where Samuel should spend the holiday - with the Manning family.

"This guy's picked off the Manning brothers, twice (each), in the same year," Patterson said. "They might as well invite him over for Thanksgiving because he's part of the family, obviously."

After Sunday night's 27-17 win over the Giants, Samuel addressed the media at the podium with the two footballs that he intercepted during the game. Just two weeks earlier, Samuel was on the podium with the two footballs that he picked off of Eli's brother, Peyton, in the Eagles' 26-24 win over the Colts.

Thanks to his dominance over the Mannings, Samuel has a league-high seven interceptions in a year where teams have more often than not shied away from throwing in his direction.

"Defense stepped up tonight. We have to continue to do that," Samuel said. "We just have to keep chopping at the wood, not get complacent, go to practice and work hard."

In fact, Samuel was responsible for a third turnover as he recovered a fumble by Giants running back Ahmad Bradshaw. Actually, Samuel had a crucial role in another turnover late in the game.

Samuel's second interception came on the Giants' first play after the Eagles regained the lead on LeSean McCoy's 50-yard run with 4:25 remaining in the game. On the return, however, Samuel fumbled the ball away when he was, ironically, hit by Bradshaw.

"That was the worst feeling ever. It was the first time I ever did that," Samuel said. "Whenever defense gets the ball, we have to keep it. That could have been deadly for the game."

It didn't matter. Four plays later, Manning fumbled the ball when he dove to the ground and it was recovered by defensive end Darryl Tapp.

"That was big. That was right after I fumbled the pick," Samuel said. "What can I say? It was going our way, so it went our way."

Samuel was also called for unnecessary roughness in the second quarter when he leveled wide receiver Derek Hagan on a hit that was somewhat reminiscent of Sheldon Brown's hit on Reggie Bush in the 2006 Divisional Round of the playoffs. Samuel believed that he led with his shoulder and not his helmet.

"They'd rather go low and break the guy's legs," Samuel said. "I feel like if I try to hit him any other way than what I did then I'll probably hurt myself. My main thing is to protect myself when I'm going to hit."

Even with the penalty and the fumble, Samuel played a crucial role in Sunday's win. The Eagles are now first in the league with 16 interceptions and tied for second in the league with 21 total takeaways. More importantly, the Eagles are first in the NFC East.

-- Posted by Chris McPherson, 2:05 a.m., November 22

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