There may be a lot of Kevin Gilbride haters out there, but give the guy credit. The offensive coordinator called one of the best games of his career as he came into Philadelphia shorthanded on receivers in a 29-16 Giants win.
Gilbride called a bunch of plays that neutralized the Eagles' aggressiveness on defense, especially through the air. With Victor Cruz catching two TD passes, and Brandon Jacobs and Ahmad Bradshaw one each, the Giants were able to overcome a 16-14 second-quarter deficit and the Eagles' momentum. And in the process, they knocked out comebacking quarterback Michael Vick with a broken hand in the fourth quarter.
Here's the good and bad to a very, very good day in the City of Not-So-Brotherly Love.
Eli Manning: He went 16-of-23 for 254 yards and four touchdowns while also taking three sacks and a flagrant, but uncalled, facemask from Jason Babin. He hung in the pocket well and put most of his passes within easy reach of his receivers. His final scoring screen to Ahmad Bradshaw was a picture of patience and execution as he let the Eagles' pass rush seep in before threading it through the front line for a key completion and score.
VICTOR CRUZ: If Manning didn't have a lot of confidence in this kid before, he should have now. Especially after Cruz reeled in a touchdown pass in double coverage as he battled Nnamdi Asomugha and Jarrad Page to catch a ball inches from the goal line and then roll in. He had two scoring catches on the day, and finished with three catches for 110 yards.
AARON ROSS: Whatever he said to Tom Coughlin on Wednesday, or whatever Coughlin said to him, apparently had some effect. After getting benched in the third quarter of the Rams game, he came back strong and made two interceptions, the last of which set up the final touchdown.
CHRIS CANTY: The defensive tackle applied good pressure throughout, but especially on the hit after Vick's release that caused the quarterback to fall backward and break his hand. Kudos also to Jason Pierre-Paul, who was all over the backfield and came away with two sacks and nine tackles.
BRANDON JACOBS: He ran a nicely designed play to perfection in the first quarter, slipping out on a play action to find himself open behind the defense for a 40-yard touchdown catch and a 7-0 lead. Also, nice piece of running on the two-point conversion. Ahmad Bradshaw added 86 rushing yards to his touchdown catch.
SHORT YARDAGE: Again, short yardage situations continue to be a problem. The Giants missed a fourth-and-1 thanks to Travis Beckum not knowing where the first-down marker was on a short reception. A first down there would have allowed the Giants to hit halftime up 14-3, but instead allowed the Eagles to position themselves for a touchdown and, because they still had just enough time at the end of the half, for a field goal and a 14-13 deficit at intermission. If they don't get this short-yardage thing fixed, it's liable to come back and bite the Giants for real.
Antrel Rolle: He picked up a ridiculous roughing penalty at a very inopportune time because he lost his head. When is this guy going to settle down?
RUN DEFENSE: LeSean McCoy rushed for 128 yards and a touchdown on 24 carries. He may be the fastest running back in the league right now, and probably the nimblest. But the Giants are going to have to find a way to contain him the next time they meet.