It's been a long day leading up to tonight's Eagles/Giants game, and we've got a couple more hours to go until kickoff so I thought I'd get this post up with some last-minute notes on the game.
The Cowboys and Redskins both have byes this week, so it's a golden opportunity for the birds to gain some ground and solidify themselves as a legit playoff contender. A win tonight will bring the Eagles to within 1 game of the Giants for the division lead, tied with Washington at 6-3.
It took them nearly the full week, but the Vegas oddsmakers and the betting public have finally corrected the betting line. The Giants are favored by 1.5 points as we speak, the line opened with the Eagles as 3-point favorites, which didn't make a whole lot of sense.
I'll be watching and posting game notes throughout the night, so if you're watching, leave your thoughts in the comments, as usual. Let's go birds!
Live game notes after the jump.
- The Eagles are almost back at full strength, Shawn Andrews is the only guy out. No excuses tonight. This game will tell us if the birds are for real.
- Huge pick by Mike Patterson on the opening drive! He batted the ball in the air, then snagged it and ran it back about 20 yards. Eagles ball, first and goal.
- Direct snap to DeSean for a 9-yard TD run. 7-0, Eagles.
- Giants driving, all on the ground and a couple of passes to the TE (shocking). They're inside the 20.
- TD, Manning to Burress on 3rd and 9 from. 7-7, Tie.
- Demps fumbles the kickoff, Giants ball on about the 15. Great. It wasn't a big hit or anything, just a hand in next to the ball.
- Good stand to hold them to a field goal. 10-7, NYG.
- LJ Smith with alligator arms, glad he's starting over Celek.
- Apparently, Andy is determined to show what LJ Smith can do. Unfortunately, he dropped one and the other bounced to him. 3 and out. Sav boots one into the end zone.
- Another methodical Giants drive, they'll have first and goal from the 1 foot line when the second quarter gets started. I'll eat my hat if the Giants don't punch this in for 7.
- TD, Manning to Boss. 17-7, NYG.
- McNabb's slow start needs to end on this drive or this game is a lost cause.
- Big return for Demps, Eagles take over near midfield.
- McNabb is now 0/5. He threw one that should've been picked, then threw one about 4 yards behind DeSean on what would've been a first down. Three and out.
- The D finally holds, barely, on a third and 15. Let's see if DeSean can do something with the punt.
- Nope, Feagles punts the ball out of bounds.
- DeSean on an end-around for a first down. Sweet. Still no completions for McNabb.
- Drop by Curtis. Still 0-fer.
- Yay, Reggie Brown for 6 yards. 1/7.
- Good coverage on the punt, not that it matters.
- Eagles ball on a fumble, but I bet it gets overturned.
- Nope, that ball was out. Big hit by Samuel and Gocong. Need points here, preferably 7.
- DeSean around the end again, and a late hit. Huge call right there. Half the distance to the goal.
- 1st and goal, blown screen on first down.
- TD, McNabb to Avant on second down!!!! 17-14, NYG.
- That's a huge drive right there.
- Alright, big stop by the D. 3:00 left in the quarter, how about putting together a scoring drive here?
- Bubble screen to DeSean for -5 yards. Great start to the drive.
- Finally, Westbrook gets the ball, 4 yards up the middle. 3rd and about 12, need a miracle conversion.
- McNabb throws a pick on an unbelievably poorly thrown ball. It was about 8 yards short, right to Sam Madison. The worst-case has happened. The Giants are about to tack on headed into the half. 1st and 10 on the 14.
- Big hold by the D. Mikkel all over Boss on 3rd and 4. FG for the Giants. 20-14, NYG. Could've been worse. Still 1:49 left in the half. Is a scoring drive too much to ask for?
- Screen to Westbrook for 9, 1:15 left. 2 timeouts left.
- LJ Smith over the middle for a big gainer. :57 seconds left, timeout, Eagles. Ball at the 44.
- LJ over the middle again, short of the first down. They spike the ball, so it's 3rd and 3.
- Westbrook runs for the first down, final timeout for the Eagles.
- They refuse use the sidelines. Curtis over the middle, then Westbrook over the middle, but he gets out of bounds.
- 11 seconds on the clock, no timeouts. They're going for one play in the end zone.
- Incomplete to Curtis in the end zone. Akers on for the 29-yard FG. 20-17, NYG.
- The clock management wasn't completely pitiful, and they came away with points. All told, a good end to the half. Now all we need is for Westbrook to play a much bigger role and McNabb to get hot in the second half
- To be honest, about 20 minutes ago I thought the Eagles had no shot at this game, now, it's a toss up.
- Demps with a nice return out past the 40. Here we go.
- Token run to Westbrook to start the drive. Then McNabb hits DeSean for a big-gainer over the middle.
- LJ over the middle. Looks like the Giants' D has a hole over the middle of the field.
- Buckhalter with a huge run, he was sprung by two blocks on the edge, one by LJ and one by Celek. Ball inside the 10 after a Westbrook 7-yard run.
- TD, McNabb to Hank Baskett. SWEET fade to Baskett, he went up and got it. 24-20, E-A-G-L-E-S, Eagles!!!
- Now that was a friggin' drive.
- Giants are driving and making it look easy. Asante is down on the field, looks like some kind of leg injury. I hope we don't see Lito on an island against Plaxico now.
- Asante is back in. Phew.
- For some reason, the Giants stopped running the ball and the drive stalled inside the 20. Eli was called for an illegal forward pass. The Giants are challenging the call, which seemed pretty clear to me. We'll see if they screw the Birds here.
- They got screwed. This could change the game. There's no way they should've overturned that play, there wasn't even close to definitive evidence to overturn it. Fucking B.S.
- TD, Jacobs on the ground. The Eagles got royally screwed on that challenge. Completely screwed. 27-24, NYG.
- Well, you can either rally after a call like that or you can turtle. Let's see what this team is made of.
- McNabb uses his legs for a first down.
- And, a punt. The D needs to come up with a stop here.
- Greg Lewis interferes with a fair catch. A free fifteen yards for the Giants on the start of their drive. Why is he on the team?
- Bradley called for a face mask on 3rd and 1 which wasn't a face mask. Stellar job by the refs.
- The third ends with a first and goal for the Giants. If they punch it in for a TD, this one is probably over. The D needs to take a breath and hold them to a FG here.
- Big stand there. Suprised the Giants didn't get a charity flag, but the Birds hold them to a field goal. This one isn't over yet. FG. 30-24, NYG.
- The Giants are dismantling this Eagles' D. If they don't get a turnover here it's over.
- Reid is wasting a challenge right now on a Jacobs fumble. He was down. Of course, Manning was over the LOS earlier and the challenge was successful, so who knows.
- And another challenge, this one for the game. Jacobs fumbled as he went in for the TD, the Eagles recovered. On the field, it was called a TD. It looks extremely close, the Eagles won't get the call.
- The TD stands. Going for 2 now to rub it in. Conversion is no good. 36-24, NYG.
- That play probably shouldn't have been turned over. It was a close call, too close to overturn. Exactly the same situation as the Manning play, which was overturned. Tough luck.
- And down by 12 with 9 minutes to go, what does Andy do? That's right, run Westbrook right into the line. Good work.
- Deep pass to DeSean on 3rd down. Glimmer.
- Andy looks like a deer in the headlights.
- 1st and goal after another nice DeSean catch & run.
- McNabb let's the play clock run out, didn't even realize it was close to happening. That's just awesome. 6:28 left in the game, 2nd and goal. Who needs those 5 yards?
- 4th and goal, TD to Curtis. 36-31, NYG.
- 5:30 left, 1 timeout. Can this defense get the ball back?
- It might sound crazy, but I'd try an onside kick here.
- 9 yards on first down and Ward stays in bounds. It's over. The Eagles won't get the ball back.
- Dawkins with an insane play on 3rd and 1. Causes a fumble, but the Giants get it back. Eagles will get the ball back with about 3:30 left on the clock. Huge play by Dawkins.
- Holy crap. The Eagles jumped offsides on the punt. It won't be enough for the first down, so they'll repunt. I hope. It's 4th and inches. Nevermind, they declined the penatly.
- 86 yards in 3:14. Can McNabb do it?
- McNabb throws a pick on 2nd down, but there was defensive holding call. Still Eagles ball, first down on the 36.
- For some reason, they let the clock run down to the 2 minute warning. Apparently, because McNabb was tired after scrambling for about 7 on the 2nd down play.
- 3rd and 3, 2:00 even left in the game. 1 timeout.
- Westbrook stopped short on 3rd & 3.
- 4th & 1 now. Clock was stopped.
- Game over. They tried to run again, probably lost yardage. They waited all game long to use Westbrook and it didn't work.
- Klecko got knocked on his ass on that play. You think having a real FB on the roster might be a good idea?
The Giants are clearly the better team. This was not a game the Eagles deserved to win. At least we don't have to spend the rest of the season kidding ourselves, though. This Eagles team is not a contender, not by any stretch of the imagination. I'm thoroughly disgusted.