Six days after an historic performance against Washington, Michael Vick fought and clawed his way through a tough game against the league's top-ranked defense and came out on the other side with a victory. It wasn't easy - far from it actually. But the Vick-led Eagles offense made plays when it mattered most, and pulled out a win that nearly got away.
"This game was important," Vick said. "And we knew this game wasn't going to be like last game. We knew there was going to be adversity that we would have to deal with. We knew that things weren't going to go according to plan at all times. But it's all about fighting, winning the tough ones, and pulling it out when you need to."
Vick finished the night with 258 yards while completing 24-of-38 passes. It was the first time this season that Vick failed to throw a touchdown pass in a game he started and finished, though he did run for a score in the first quarter. No, it wasn't a 59-point outburst like Monday night. But Vick said the offense did enough to beat a great Giants defense – an outcome that's just fine by him.
"It wasn't rough tonight, it was a football game. And not every football game is going to be like last weekend, I knew that. That's the reason why I put that game behind me when it was over," Vick said. "I knew expectations were going to be through the roof and I knew people would expect us to come out and score 50 points a game. But it's not going to work that way, especially against a good defense like the Giants have."
With a win Sunday night, the Eagles took hold of first place in the NFC East. At 7-3, they are one game clear of New York and, for the time being, hold the tiebreaker of head-to-head matches. Of course, the two teams will meet again at the New Meadowlands Stadium one month from now.
The Eagles also now sit in a tie for second in the NFC; only trailing the Atlanta Falcons at 8-2 (a team the Eagles beat 31-17 in Week 6). But perhaps most importantly, the Eagles won a close game for the first time this year, and proved to themselves that they have the mental toughness to come from behind in the fourth quarter.
"When you lose the lead, it's frustrating, but at the same time it has to bring something out of you," Vick said. "Something has to click and you realize that your back is against the wall and it's all about how you respond. I just challenged the guys in the huddle."
Head coach Andy Reid said it was important to win a game in comeback fashion, and was happy to see all 53 guys stay positive even after the Giants took the lead.
"It was an important game," Reid said. "They're all important, but this part of it (coming from behind), we needed to do. The guys buckled down and they all trusted each other. You saw the offense cheering for the defense, and the defense cheering for the offense. They weren't hanging their heads. They kept battling, and I'm proud of them for that."
It wasn't easy, and it certainly wasn't pretty. But when the wins are counted at the end of the year, no one asks how, they ask how many. And Sunday night in Philadelphia, the Eagles added a big one to the win column.
--Posted by Josh Goldman, 1:57 a.m., November 22