The Eagles made a pair of roster moves this week involving former Vikings, and one of them became a primary backup in the defensive backfield. Plus, more about the Eagles' big comeback against the Giants.
The Eagles made a pair of roster moves Tuesday, placing safety Nate Allen
on injured reserve and releasing former Vikings tight end Garrett Mills.
They filled those two spots on their 53-man roster by signing safety Jamar Wall
and defensive tackle Jeff Owens
from their practice squad.
Allen, the team's starting free safety, suffered a ruptured patella tendon in his right knee in Sunday's 38-31 win over the Giants. The rookie second-rounder will be replaced by another rookie, seventh-rounder Kurt Coleman
Colt Anderson, who was signed last month off of the Vikings' practice squad and has been a standout special teams performer for the Eagles the past five games, will be the team's No. 3 safety behind Coleman and Quintin Mikell
Wall was a sixth-round pick by the Cowboys in the April draft. He was released by Dallas before the season and signed with Houston. The Texans released him in late September, and the Eagles immediately signed him to their practice squad.
Owens was a seventh-round pick of the Eagles in this year's draft and has spent the entire year on their practice squad. He will be the team's fifth tackle. He was added to provide depth to a line that lost rookie defensive end Brandon Graham
to a season-ending ACL team two weeks ago.
The Eagles need just one more win in their final two games or one loss by the Giants to clinch the NFC East title. If the playoffs started today, the Eagles would be the No. 2 seed, earn a first-round bye and host their divisional-round game.
But coach Andy Reid knows that if his young team is going to make any noise in the postseason, it's going to have to play a more complete game than it did Sunday when it erased a 21-point deficit in the last 7 1/2 minutes to beat the Giants 38-31.
"For three-plus quarters, it wasn't very pretty," Reid said. "That bothers me as a head football coach. We'll go back and learn and get the things that we need to do better, we'll get those better.
"But the determination and poise, that part is hard to coach. And this group's got that. They showed that Sunday. Both coaches and players. They all worked together to figure it out and get it right."
The two things the Eagles need to get right, or at least get better at are protecting quarterback Michael Vick, who was sacked three times and was under duress almost every time he dropped back, and pass defense.
Giants quarterback Eli Manning threw four touchdown passes against the Eagles. Philadelphia has already allowed 30 this season, which is a franchise record.
"We've got to do better there," Reid said. "We've got some young guys playing in there."
Right cornerback Dimitri Patterson, who gave up three of those four touchdowns Sunday, has just six NFL starts. Rookie Kurt Coleman, who replaced injured free safety Nate Allen on Sunday after Allen ruptured the patellar tendon in his right knee, will make just his second NFL start this week against the Vikings.
The Eagles outscored the Giants 28-7 in the fourth quarter Sunday and have outscored their last four opponents 68-14 in the fourth quarter. They have scored 125 of their 412 points this season in the fourth quarter. "We're making good adjustments as players and coaches," coach Andy Reid said. "I'd like to do that sooner than later. But we're getting some unique looks (from defenses). Everybody's got a certain way of playing Michael (Vick). It's not your normal. ... It's hard to put on another tape and see teams do what they're doing."
Andy Reid on Eagles fans' reaction to Sunday's comeback win: "I can imagine it was a heckuva game to watch if you made it to the fourth quarter. I'm sure a lot of them said, 'You know what? They're stinking the place up. Let's go have a ham sandwich or something.' But it was a heckuva game."
QB Michael Vick is coming off a 130-yard rushing performance against the Giants. He recorded his eighth rushing touchdown of the year in the game, matching his career high.
RB LeSean McCoy has had eight runs of 10 yards or more in the past two games. He's had a lot of success recently running out of one-back, two-tight end sets.
WR DeSean Jackson played last week with a sore foot, but it didn't hamper him on a game-winning, 65-yard walk-off punt return for a touchdown. Jackson was targeted eight times by QB Michael Vick but caught just three passes.
WR Jeremy Maclin was targeted 11 times last week and caught seven passes, two for touchdowns. He's been targeted a team-high 106 times in 14 games.
TE Brent Celek, who had a team-high 76 catches last season, has just 33 receptions this year. He's got just two TD catches in the past nine games. The second came Sunday, when he had a 65-yard TD catch-and-run in the fourth quarter of the Eagles' comeback over the Giants.
DE Trent Cole had a strong game against the run Sunday, but has been held without a sack five times in the past six games. He still has a team-high nine sacks.
CB Asante Samuel still leads the league in interceptions with seven even though he's missed three of the past four games and hasn't had an interception since before Thanksgiving.