EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- Sunday night showed exactly why the Eagles signed Vince Young this past offseason.
The final stat sheet wasn't prolific. In his first start as an Eagle for the injured Michael Vick, Young completed 23-of-36 passes for 258 yards with two touchdowns against three interceptions for a 69.0 QB Rating.
But after the Giants tied the game at 10-10 with 11:36 remaining in the game on a Victor Cruz touchdown reception, the fate of the Eagles' season essentially rested in the hands of Young. And Young led the Eagles on a clutch, methodical drive that tortured the Giants in every way possible.
"Just wanted to take it one play at a time, that's pretty much what we were saying on the sideline," Young said. "And take our time and make plays."
Young was 7-of-9 for 67 yards with the game-winning touchdown pass coming with just 2:45 remaining, an 8-yard strike in the back of the end zone to Riley Cooper. The Eagles marched 80 yards in 18 plays. The drive last 8:51 seconds. The Giants had six - count them, six - opportunities to either get off the field on third down or at least keep the Eagles out of the end zone.
"Definitely happy and excited about being back out there, but like I said all week, it's not about me. I just wanted to go out, the biggest challenge for me today was calling the plays, getting the guys in the huddle, not getting a delay of game or things like that," Young said. "Overall, I felt like I did a good job with that and overall it was a team effort. We played a good game."
On third-and-10 from the Eagles' 33, Young hit Cooper over the middle for a gain of 18 yards. On third-and-3 from the Giants' 42, Young hit Clay Harbor on the right side for a gain of 6 yards. Young kept the ball himself on a third-and-1. On third-and-4 from the Giants' 20, Young hit DeSean Jackson on a short pass and Jackson spun past the grasp of cornerback Corey Webster for the first down.
And, finally, on the go-ahead play, Cooper was the first read on a play that had been executed all week in practice. Cooper ran a slant from the inside and the cushion from the off-coverage from the Giants opened a window that Young was able to thread.
The Eagles, who had lost five games after leading in the fourth quarter this season, showed a gallant effort coming away with a 17-10 win. Vick is day-to-day, according to head coach Andy Reid, as he recovers from the rib injury. If Vick can't play next Sunday against New England, Young proved that he could get the job done. He is now 31-17 in his career as a starting quarterback, which includes a sterling 3-0 mark against the Giants.
Young didn't have the services of wide receiver Jeremy Maclin, who did not make the trip with a shoulder and a hamstring injury. LeSean McCoy was bottled up by the Giants who were effective at taking away the cutback lanes, keeping him from getting to the second level for most of the game.
Reid and offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg tailored a game plan to take advantage of Young's strengths. The offensive line provided excellent protection for the entire game. But when the game was in Young's hands, at the most crucial times, the two-time Pro Bowl quarterback helped deliver a win. And with that win, the Eagles' hopes to climb back into the postseason picture are alive for another week.
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