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Eagles Stun Colts 26-24

Assante Samuel picked Peyton Manning twice

When the NFL is topsy-turvy with parity, rules changes, a sudden aversion to tackling, player injuries, attrition, fired coaches, reality TV shows, touchdown dances  and the 24-hour news cycle it is refreshing to know that sometimes a good old-fashioned football game breaks out. This game reminded me of the 1958 championship game and not just because of the throwback uniforms for the Colts. It was a throwback to an era that seems to be slipping away – a well-played game by two teams who want to play hard for 60 minutes and win. No real losers aside from record. Fight hard. Play hard. Give your best effort. One team wins. The other team lives to fight another day.

1958 NFL Championship was considered the birth of modern football and has been dubbed "The Greatest Game Ever"

Manning is the Maestro of Modern Comebacks - specially in the 2:00 drill... but fell short against Eagles

How often have we seen Peyton Manning making impossible throws against hapless defenders and moving the chains as the clock winds down. And Manning, facing impossible odds and an array of savage blitzers, driving the Colts down the field for a dramatic fourth-quarter comeback win?  He’s made a living out of it. That’s why he’s a first-ballot Hall of Famer.

Indianapolis Colts quarterback Peyton Manning (18) looks to pass as Philadelphia Eagles linebacker Ernie Sims (50) flies in during the second half

Sunday at the Linc, Manning found himself primed for another one of his historic comebacks. The Eagles blew a nine-point fourth-quarter lead vs. Tennessee, and now Manning was trying to make it happen again. A minute on the clock. Peyton Manning with the football, Colts trailing by a point or two. Adam Vinatieri  ominously taking warm-up kicks into a net on the sideline.  How often have we seen it?

“It’s moments like that you live for,” Eagles defensive end Darryl Tapp said. “I told the offense, ‘Good job, we’ll take it from here.’ That’s what we play the game for. You want to be on the field to end the game.” The Eagles led by nine late in the game when Manning drove the Colts 85 yards in just four minutes to cut the lead to two with 1:50 to go.

Michael Vick #7 of the Philadelphia Eagles is hit hard by Gary Brackett #58 of the Indianapolis Colts after throwing a pass

Michael Vick and the offense ground out a first down and forced the Colts to use up their timeouts, so when Manning ran back on the field, the Colts had the ball at their own 26-yard line, 40 seconds on the clock, and Vinatieri’s field goal range only 40 yards away. That’s one or two snaps for No. 18.

“Let me tell you something about Peyton Manning – every time he’s out on the field, you think he’s going to score a touchdown,” Vick said. Consider that the Eagles went into the weekend allowing an NFL-worst 63 fourth-quarter points, and half their secondary – rookie safety Kurt Coleman and first-time starting cornerback Dimitri Pattersonhas virtually no NFL experience, and the odds were on Manning’s side.

Philadelphia Eagles running back LeSean McCoy, center, is sent flying by Indianapolis Colts cornerback Jacob Lacey, bottom, and defensive tackle Eric Foster, left, in the second half vs. Colts

Indianapolis Colts TE Jacob Tamme (84) cannot come up with a pass as Philadelphia Eagles safety Kurt Coleman (42) defends in the second half of an NFL football game. Philadelphia won 26-24.

This time, Manning couldn’t pull out a miracle. This time, the magic belonged to the Eagles’ defense and not the guy selected last week as the eighth-greatest player in NFL history. One game after a catastrophic fourth quarter against the Titans, the Eagles turned in an inspiring final period that propelled them to a signature win and right back into the thick of the NFC playoff race. The Colts got no closer than their own 41-yard-line on that final drive, and Asante Samuel sealed a massive 26-24 win for the Eagles with 18 seconds left with his second interception of the game and fifth of the year.

“[Quintin Mikell] and I switched positions,” Samuel said. “I told him to go to the corner and let me go to safety and read Peyton a little bit. So I read his eyes … and caught the pick.” And this time, Manning walked off the field a loser.

The loss was only Manning’s 26th since 2003, and the Eagles forced him to do things he rarely does. He had thrown only two interceptions all year, but Samuel picked him twice. He had been sacked just five times in his last six games, but the Eagles sacked him three times. And the Eagles pressured Manning enough that although he threw 52 times, he completed only one pass longer than 22 yards – a 33-yarder to Blair White in the second quarter.

Last time we saw the Eagles’ defense, it was hemorrhaging 20 fourth-quarter points to Kerry Collins. On Sunday, the Eagles became only the seventh team since 2003 – the span of 120 games – to record at least two sacks and interceptions of Manning in the same game.

Asked for the key to the defensive performance, Eagles defensive coordinator Sean McDermott immediately singled out one word – POISE.

“Poise. Incredible poise,” he said. “That was my biggest concern – could we stay poised for four quarters. Because you see teams like Monday night, [the Texans] stop him first drive, second drive, and then he gets on the sideline and looks at that book and figures them out eventually and then it’s bang, bang, bang, back to the old Peyton. We just tried to keep him off-balance, and the players executed.”

The Eagles improved to 5-3 this season, 5-2 in their last seven games and 3-0 when Michael Vick plays the entire game.  They’re now 12-0 under Reid in their first game after a bye. The Colts had won four straight games over the Eagles by a combined 100 points dating back to a 20-10 win by Bubby Brister over Jeff George at the RCA Dome in 1993. And in Manning’s three starts against the Andy Reid Eagles, the Colts had won by an average of 41-17. Indy fell to 5-3 and saw its November winning streak end at 13, third-longest in NFL history.

“I thought Philly just out-executed us,” Manning said. “Philly has got an excellent team, and I thought they really executed their defense well. … Everything was kind of contested. We just had a tough time finding any kind of rhythm in the second half, and you have to give Philadelphia a lot of credit.” Manning passed for 294 yards and a TD, but he needed 52 pass attempts– eighth-most ever against the Eagles and fifth-most of his career.

Once again, the Eagles stuffed the run – the Colts netted 62 yards on 19 carries – and that gave the Eagles the freedom to go after Manning with their front four. The Eagles won despite failing to get in the end zone on three first-half drives inside the 10-yard line, and they won despite allowing 17 second-quarter points – the most they’ve given up in a second quarter since the 2006 Colts loss in Indianapolis.

Vick was brilliant in his return to action after missing a month with a rib injury. He threw for 218 yards and a TD, ran for 74 yards and a TD and once again played turnover-free football. DeSean Jackson also returned to action recording his 10th career 100-yard game (7-for-109), caught a nine-yard TD pass to give the Eagles a 7-0 lead, and ran for a critical fourth-quarter first down as the Eagles tried to eat clock.
LeSean McCoy ran 16 times for 95 yards, including a dazzling 62-yarder on the first play of the game.

Indianapolis Colts wide receiver Austin Collie lies on the field after being injured in the first half of an NFL football game against the Philadelphia Eagles in Philadelphia. He left the game with a concussion

The Eagles were penalized an astounding 14 times, including a couple disputed personal fouls on defenseless Colts. Most glaring was an incident in which Indianapolis receiver Austin Collie got crunched between two Eagles defenders and left the game with a concussion.

“What matters is the ‘W,’” Coleman said. “This is huge. I really think we can build on this, and this game can propel us to bigger things in the second half of the season.”


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With 2:20 remaining and the Eagles trailing 17-14 on their own 20, Donovan McNabb engineered a dramatic drive -- including a miraculous first down completion to Freddie Mitchell on 4th-and-26 -- to set up a game-tying field goal. After David Akers won it in OT, Mitchell's emphatic press conference induced chills throughout title-starved Philadelphia: "We don't need fate. We have FIVE"

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Contributing writer Comcast Sports, NY Times contributing stringer 1996-2000, Contributing writer Yahoo Sports (2001 World Series). Contributing writer Newsday Long Island (1992-1994, Jets Training Camp) and Newak Star Ledger. Freelance Copywriter, Editor/Founder Atlantic Times Weekly (1993-2003) fantasy football magazine, produced screenwriter and general humorist. Hofstra University grad, Marist College honorary alum, Salesian; Purveyor of the Value and Valor of Philadelphia Eagles 1960 NFL Championship; Adrent believer that Eagles could have won Super Bowl XV...and Super Bowl modern decade of Eagles 5 NFC Championships... Believer in the Broad Street Bullies and the 1983 Sixers... Witness to Philadelphia Phillies World Series championships 1980 & 2008, Suffered Phillies first pro sports team to reach 10,000 losses,witnessed "1980 Cardiac Kids," 1983 "Wheeze Kids," 1993 "Macho Row" and many, many, many not-so-memorable seasons in-between... until the Philadelphia Baseball Renaissance of 21st Century, Five NL East division titles 2007-2011, 3 NLCS appearances 2008-2010, 2 consecutive World Series berths 2008 & 2009. 2008 World Champions of baseball [miss ya Harry and Richie]; "collector" of MLB ballparks (42 stadiums including 15 which are gone); Fantasy Football & Baseball player since 1992. Always a sports fan... Tenui Nec Dimittam Contact me

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In response to “Eagles Stun Colts 26-24”

  1. James Centifonti Nov 9 201010:56 am


    You beat me too it, I was getting to this tonight, lol……I’ve been asking people this quesiton so I’ll ask it here as well…… can only pick 1 of these scenarios.

    Resign Vick, keep Kolb
    Resign Vick, trade Kolb
    Let Vick go, keep Kolb

  2. Adrian Fedkiw Nov 9 20108:43 pm


    I’d like to keep both, but I think we know that’s not going to happen.

    I was pissed when Reid annointed Vick the starter over Kolb earlier on in the year because I thought it was important to get Kolb experience within the offense.

    But what Vick has done has been incredible. He’s a legitimate MVP candidate right now. There’s two questions, can he stay healthy? and how long will he keep playing like this until he breaks down?

    Is his age not that big of a deal because he hasn’t had to take any hits in a few years. I really don’t know. Maybe it’s me but I’ve never seen him this accurate before. In Atlanta it was run, run, run. Now he’s not running until he has to.

    It’s a very tough decision, and one I’m glad I don’t have to make, but I would keep Vick, trade Kolb and draft Ryan Mallet or Andrew Luck. Just don’t draft Jake Locker. You could even wait a year or two to draft a qb.

    1. James Centifonti Nov 9 20108:49 pm


      Luck should be picked #1 overall, Mallett had a cannon for an arm but he is not fleet of foot and at 6’7″ what you see is what he has for foot speed and that’s one speed SLOW (if you fix the o-line, he’ a good choice) and he could be gone by the top 10, Locker should also be gone but you have to keep in mind he is already signed to a pro MLB deal with the Angels so if he is offered a deal he don’t like or sits longer then he feels he should you’ll have wasted a pick and got nothing out of it.

      I like Kafka but if they want another 2nd round project go with Christian Ponder (Florida St).

      1. Adrian Fedkiw Nov 9 201011:01 pm


        I guess my point is if a guy like Luck or Mallet falls do you take them in the first round?

        I agree Luck is the best, but the way quarterbacks are drafted Luck could go 1st or fall like a Rodgers or Clausen. I would be a bit reluctant to take a qb in the 1st round, but if we’re picking mid 20′s and Luck is there I’m taking him.

        I like Kafka too, but is he a starter in this league?

        Another guy that I’ve always liked has been Russell Wilson. Maybe I just have a mancrush on him. Do you know where he’s projected to go?

        Not big on Ponder or Locker. I’m in between on Mallet.

        1. James Centifonti Nov 10 20107:53 am


          I’d be very happy with Luck and if not Mallett wouldn’t be a bad choice either but right now I can’t see any scenario of them sliding into the 20′s.

          Kafka has the tools needed to run a more Walsh style west coast offense but he very well may have the tools to play in this league provided he gets the chance.

          Russell Wilson is not a bad QB (in the end he may just be a good college QB and nothing more) but I wouldn’t expect him to be selected before the 5th round for maybe he can sneak into the 4th but that may be a stretch.

    2. Christopher Rowe Nov 9 201010:16 pm


      Agreed Vick is playing his best football – better than 2005 and 2006. He is in shape, accurate, he is learning how to stay in the pocket and when to run – rather than simply take off at the first sign of trouble. All of that is true. BUT… how long does he last? Does he take a pounding and miss 5-6 games per year? Does he become league MVP and then get bored or lose interest? That’s why I’d be reluctant to place my franchise in his hands without some kind of backup plan. Look what happened to Atlanta when he left? Keep Kolb AND Vick. See what Vick can do for you, sign him for 2011 and see what happens with the 2012 CBA. If you play football in 2011 you can always trade Vick. Either way you keep Kolb and Kafka as stability and you play the Incredible Vick until he burns himself out!

      1. Adrian Fedkiw Nov 9 201010:55 pm


        I completely agree, but is Kolb going to want to stay. I’d love to keep both.

        1. James Centifonti Nov 10 20107:34 am


          I’d wonder if he wants to after be called “the man” and after getting hurt not getting a chance to go back and play until Vick was hurt. I wouldn’t be so trusting if I were him.

          1. Christopher Rowe Nov 10 201012:05 pm

            Well, we will find out… I think Kolb’s best chance is in Phladelphia rather than on the open market. Vick has a higher short term market value. So, if you sign and trade Vick, you have Kolb #1, Kafka #2 and you can draft someone else in the 5th round as James suggests. If you draft a premiere QB at the top of the draft, you are more obligated to start them because you have to pay them. Bettr to find another Kafka to come in and be #3 rather than Luck or Mallet.

  3. Adrian Fedkiw Nov 10 201010:02 pm


    James, how about Ryan Lindley QB San Diego State. This was another guy that caught my eye.

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