7 minutes and 12 seconds later, the score was tied 31-31 and Giants’ punter Matt Dodge was told to punt the ball out of bounds and force the game into overtime.
16 seconds later, Eagles punt returner Desean Jackson was spiking the ball in the endzone. The scoreboard read Eagles 38, Giants 31.
How could this happen? How did one of the best defenses in the NFL give up 28 points in under nine minutes? Did the Giants collapse or did the Eagles just turn on the jets? Maybe a combination of both. Whichever it was, the fact is that with 7:28 left, Michael Vick took the game into his own hands: the next play was a 65 yard touchdown pass to tight end Brent Celek. The Eagles then caught the Giants off-guard and recovered an onside kick. After two plays, Vick rolled ouot and ran the ball 40 yards to the four yardline and on the next play, ran it in for the touchdown:31-24.
The Giants got the ball back, and punted, giving the Eagles the ball back at the 12 yardline. Eight plays later, Vick threw a 12 yard pas to Jeremy Maclin and tied the game at 31. The Giants got the kickoff and a chance to run out the clock and score, but an illegal procedure penalty stopped the clock and forced the Giants to punt.
The snap to Dodge was high, and clearly he clearly felt like he couldn’t kick the ball out of bounds. Jackson muffed the punt, picked it up and ran right up the middle for the game-winning 65 yard return. Final Score: Eagles 38, Giants 31.
At 10-4 the Eagles contreol their own destiny in the NFC East, which means that the Giants look like they are going to have to settle for the sixth seed in the playoffs, and a possible matchup in either Chicago or Philadelphia in the wildcard round off the playoffs.
The Giants will need to bounce back against Green Bay next week in order to keep their spot in the playoffs.