Eight carries for 13 yards. That was LeSean McCoy's night until less than five minutes remaining in the fourth quarter. Then, with his team trailing 17-16 and facing a 4th-and-1 from midfield, McCoy ran away.
With the game very much on the line, the Eagles turned to a play called "39 crunch" that had been in the playbook for a few weeks. Offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg patiently waited for the perfect time to pull the trigger on the play designed to bait the defense into expecting a quarterback sneak. Because the Eagles had twice run quarterback sneaks in short-yardage situations earlier in the game Sunday night, Mornhinweg figured the time was right.
The Giants "had been zero blitzing, meaning no safety in the middle," said head coach Andy Reid. "They had been doing that throughout the game. We had that toss in, and we thought we could hit it if they came with a zero blitz."
So, following a brief bobble of the Mike McGlynn snap, Michael Vick pitched the ball left to McCoy, just beyond the outstretched arms of Osi Umenyiora. The Giants were caught in that zero blitz and had only two defenders anywhere near McCoy in the backfield. A pulling Jason Peters picked up the first defender, allowing McCoy to pick up the first down, and left guard Todd Herremans blocked the second, springing McCoy to the end zone in the process.
"It was a scary situation right there," McCoy said. "Our (offensive line) did a great job of sealing (the Giants defenders). Once they sealed, any back could have run that for a touchdown."
"I knew the way that (the Giants) played it that it could definitely open up, especially because we were in short yardage earlier and just kept sneaking it," said Herremans. "They were definitely just expecting something on the inside. You could see how the linebackers just jumped over the top too. As soon as I pulled around there, Brent (Celek) did a great job sealing the edge and then it was just me and (Antrel) Rolle.
"While I was going up to (Rolle), I heard the crowd cheering. It wasn't a loud, loud cheer like it was us, so I didn't know if (McCoy) got tackled back there or not. Then, once I hit (Rolle), I just saw Shady running and I knew he was gone from there."
McCoy's 50-yard touchdown jaunt gave the Eagles a 22-17 lead, stretched to 24-17 following a Jason Avant two-point conversion catch. A few minutes later, following an Eli Manning lost fumble, McCoy broke through the line of scrimmage unmolested again for a 40-yard gain. On the night, he would finish with 14 carries for 111 yards (7.9 yards per carry) and five catches for 29 yards. For McCoy, the night was a perfect example of how the running game works.
"That happens a lot in tough games like this," McCoy said. "The run's not working. It's not working. And then it finally works; boom, a big one. I can think of so many games that happen like that. I think you just have to be patient and keep plugging at it."
Through it all, McCoy, and his teammates, showed that they can battle through in-game adversity. The Eagles squandered plenty of chances en route to surrendering a 16-3 lead. But with a 27-17 victory now in the books, the Eagles find themselves at 7-3, atop the NFC East.
"It was kind of surprising to see how the game went," McCoy said. "Once I saw the turnovers those guys were having, fumbles and all that, I was like, 'Aw, man. It's over.' Because usually we capitalize on those type of mistakes.
"But you have to fight back ... I think all championship teams go through games like that."
-- Posted by Bo Wulf, 1:43 a.m., November 22