Eagles ‘D’ Answers Call In Fourth

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EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. – Mychal Kendricks dropped back into coverage and kept his eyes on Eli Manning.

“I knew he wanted to pass to [Brandon] Jacobs,” Kendricks said. “Someone stopped him from passing the first time, and then the second time they came through, someone tipped the ball, and by that time I had already broken and it fell into my hands.”


The "someones" he was referring to were Brandon Boykin and Trent Cole. Boykin came on a blitz from the right edge, and Cole rushed from the same side. Both got pressure on Manning as the ball popped up in the air before it landed into Kendricks' hands.

The interception came with 10:49 left in the fourth quarter and the Eagles clinging to a 22-21 lead. It also was the first of three straight takeaways that proved to be the difference in the Eagles' 36-21 win.

"I came off the edge," Boykin said. "Eli didn’t even see that I was gonna blitz. We did a good job of holding our disguise. Then he stepped up in the pocket, and I actually slipped. But just tried to wrap my arm around and hit his elbow and disrupt the timing. And I think me and Trent Cole were actually right there hitting his elbow, hitting his arm, which allowed him to hesitate."

Replays showed that Cole actually made contact with Manning's helmet, but the flags stayed in the officials' pockets.

"I don’t know what happened," Cole said, offering a look that confirmed he knew exactly what happened. "I just know it was an off-play. It was time to head to the bench. That was it.

"You’ll never get that out of me. We’ll take what we can get around here."

After Kendricks made the pick, his 4.47 speed didn't exactly show up as Jacobs brought him down at the Giants' 25 after an 18-yard return.

"Yes, I did," Kendricks said when asked if he thought he could score on the play. "I'm very disappointed in myself. And I’m hearing enough crap about it from my teammates, coaches and probably my father and my mother too. So let’s not talk about it."

The Eagles needed just one play to capitalize on the takeaway as Nick Foles found Brent Celek for a 25-yard touchdown.

Boykin made his presence felt on the next series once again. After a couple Manning incompletions, he found himself matched up one-on-one with Victor Cruz. Manning dealt with pressure from Fletcher Cox and targeted Cruz over the middle, but Boykin wrestled the ball out of his hands for his second interception of the season.

"I just tried to get my hands up," Boykin said. "I knew I would probably be able to pick it up. I had a firm grip. My gloves stuck to the ball."

Added defensive coordinator Billy Davis: "It was a great play. There were a lot of different times that we were giving help to Victor Cruz cause he’s such a high target for them. But on that play, Brandon had him on his own and it was a phenomenal interception. I didn’t know who came up with it. First I thought Victor had it. But then Boykin just took it away. That was a great play."

For Boykin, the pick came on the heels of a pair of questionable penalties - one for fair catch interference and another on a 32-yard pass interference penalty against Cruz.

Overall, Cruz had five catches for 48 yards on 12 targets. One of the premiere slot receivers in the game, he entered Sunday averaging 106.3 yards per contest and a catch rate (receptions per targets) of 60.5 percent.

"I looked forward to it the entire week," Boykin said. "Everybody was asking me questions about how do you stop Victor Cruz. And I’m like, 'He’s just another receiver.' I guarded Wes Welker last week. And I said it’s not about what they do, it’s about what we do as a defense and holding on to our techniques."

The Eagles' final interception came courtesy of Cary Williams. It looked like Manning and Hakeem Nicks had a miscommunication, and Williams capitalized for his second INT of the year.

Overall, Manning went 24-for-52 (46.2 percent) for 334 yards (6.4 YPA). He threw two touchdowns and was picked three times for a passer rating of 56.1.

The Eagles' defense was far from perfect, but it capitalized on mistakes against an error-prone Giants team when it had to. New York had two punts and three turnovers on its final five possessions. After three straight losses, the defense was satisfied to have done its part in the Eagles' second victory of the season.

"At the end of the day, it wasn’t [scheme]," Davis said. "It was players stepped up in the fourth and made the plays to win the game. It wasn’t any calls."

Added Kendricks: "It’s big. It’s good for our confidence. It’s good for our record of course. And it’s good for the team. I feel like this was much needed, what better time to come through in the fourth and come through strong."

Follow Sheil Kapadia on Twitter and e-mail him at skapadia@phillymag.com.
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  • Chris

    Was anyone else yelling what I was yelling? CURRYYYYY so happy he got the playing time and made a positive impact. A lot of good to take away from this game. Go Eagles!

    • Uncle Carm

      Over and over again.

    • morgan c

      Yup, and the sad part is that he will go back to irrelevancy next week, as he does every week until he gets his 12 snaps in the fourth quarter…
      I seriously hate Billy Davis. The man is an effing idiot.

    • Matt

      I love Curry too but you know he’s gone after this season right? He’s awesome but he doesn’t fit what they’re trying to do. Sad part is they probably won’t get crap for him.

      • Chris

        unfortunately I believe he will be gone too. It’s just good to see him make an impact on limited snaps. Reminds me of BG last year, coaches refused to put him in but as soon as they did he made an impact.

      • GEagle

        Lol Curry ain’t going anywhere…Chip today talked about how he is finally starting to get it during today’s press conference…expect Vinny to play more and more as Soap gets phased out and Thorton and Logan man the NT position

  • BlindChow

    Romo: 4th quarter choke. Eagles are 1st in the division!

    • Dubiy

      as soon as that happened im like, god damn thats gonna be the story everywhere instead of his amazing performance tbh

  • UKEagle99

    Headline should read….

    “Eagles ‘D’ Catches The Ball (Thanks, Eli!)”

    A win is a win but Eli helped, a lot. Romo may have choked (again) but he put up 48 points to our 20 amd ran the Broncos far closer than we did.

    I want to be positive but lets face it, we have issues and the Bucs are no pushover, despite their record.

    • Pennguino

      It was nice to see the offense take those turn overs and convert them (3-4) into points with two of them being TDs.

    • Basscase

      I want to enjoy a win without thinking the Birds are going to win the division; conversely, I’d like to be able to analyze a loss without having to fire everyone.

      Some good and some bad from that game (Cowboys still win the division running away), and watching the Giants go kablooie for 3 quarters was fun, but this team is far from seriously competing. Just want to be able to enjoy the higs as they come.

    • GEagle

      Eli helped? Defense TOOK that win!!!!

      I guess Boykin didn’t rip the balls out of the hands of a pro bowl WR

      I guess Eli threw the ball straight up in the air aiming for Kendricks lap..it’s no like we hit him while he was throwing it or anything lol

      Eli and the WR were off on hotelier timing route, but Cary sure knew what was going on to snag the INT

      How many sacks would we have had in the he second half if it weren’t for Eli forcing throws and taking intentional grounding penalties? 7? 8? More extra second half sacks?

      get pressure in any great QBs face and they become erratic…and under pressure, when a QB refuses to take sacks or throw the ball away, it looks like yesterday..

      It’s ridiculous to not give credit to this young, NEW. Defense….our “talentless” young defense stepped up on NTHEIR backs of Cox,Thorton,Mykal,Boykin!Curry..and it was beautiful to see…

      A SB QB and pro bowl WR tried to pick on Fletch all game, and he stepped up with 5 PBUs..

      two weeks from now we will all be thrilled that Cary and
      Fletch are defending Dez Bryant instead of DRC!!!

      like I promised! the defense the world perceived as talentless, will leave everyone feeling good about the direction it’s heading by the end of the season…once our kids really grow, everyone gels! and we add a playmaking batman or two (preferably opposite Barwin and Chung or Wolff) people will realize that we had a lot of the complimentary pieces of a good defense, here all along!!!

      It’s Not going to happen overnight, we will have plenty of ups and downs this year….but when you do see a Top eagles defense again you will see it made up of many of theHere already existing players…
      ….
      put Byrd back there after a season of Cary!Boykin,Fletch,Chung,Wolff gelling, and watch how much better they all look…stick Orakpo who the skins can’t possibly play across from Barwin! and watch what a good Robin he is, when batman is around!!!!

      FLY eagles fly!!!!

      • UKEagle99

        Well look what the cat dragged in. You know the Eagles play every week right? Where was your precious defence the previous few weeks, sunning themselves on a beach with your comments no doubt.

        Seems to me like your are a one trick pony, “the D is this”, “the D is that”, all off season and when the games start, where are you? Rename your account from GEagle to FreddieMitchell. I’m bored of your part time rants, and I didnt even read this one.

        I’ll give you some credit though and look out for your response in week 13 when your defence next shows up, until then… Get back in your box!

        • GEagle

          Were have I been? On the site where you actually have to know what you are talking about to post and know how to have a real respectful football discussion, where you actually leant something from posters instead of the silly inferiority complexes, or worthless dribble of the dUtch’s…lol…you can catch me anytime, I’m front and center every day..but no autographs til after the season..you may be familiar with my oppinion but I’m clueless as to yours, and you are a “regular” lol…infamy is better then being invisible…

          See you in week 9 mate lol

  • Guest

    Not to take anything from the eagles but it looked like we got the benefit of all the calls/noncalls which helped us a lot

    • BlindChow

      There were 2 calls on Boykin that were questionable.

    • therevxxx

      don’t forget about the safety that should have been called too…that was a favorable call for the giants..

    • defroe81

      if you say so like that boykin pass interference were he kinda just slapped his hand or that safety that never was but was… sure.

  • morgan c

    Actually, Billy Davis, it was exactly scheme; Sheil, no mention of the fact that our defense turned it around in the fourth once Barwin went down and we switched to a 4 MAN DEFENSIVE FRONT! Curry, Cole, Cox, Graham. Again, we go away from the square peg in round hole philosophy of Billy Davis’ asinine 3-4 that has our best pure pass-rushing lineman basically not playing, and our best defensive player totally neutered, and what do you know…
    a competent defense!?

    • Maggie

      I noticed 4 down linemen here and there myself. Might have seen more but couldn’t watch entire game.

    • Soybot

      Barwin was back in the game shortly after halftime.

  • Max Lightfoot

    If I recall correctly, someone on here a few weeks ago posted that Billy Davis was a complete maroon for using Boykin as a rusher, and that he should be fired on the spot. How about now?

    • Daniel Vining

      Boykin is a baller. Dude just makes plays.

    • Cyrus Robinson

      The problem wasn’t rushing Boykin, it was rushing Boykin 10+ times and having Brandon Graham covering Wes Welker instead.

    • Guest

      So this play has actually done something once in the last 20-25 times it’s been used over the course of the last three games and you think people who knocked it for the other 19-24 failures should get called out? Hold that for when the success rate improves a little more, please.

    • aub32

      So one play makes up for all the plays given up? Wasn’t Cole the guy who actually hit Manning? Come on guy. Don’t just go saying silly things just to get an I told you so. Boykin blitzing is one thing. He was rushing from the O line spot over 10 times a game. That’s insane. Yet you justify it because of one play where he didn’t even have the greatest impact (more on Cole than Boykin).

      • defroe81

        dont we justify vick playing off a few plays? whats the diff?

    • Max Lightfoot

      Just pointing out how folks want to apparently tar and feather Davis for trying to get to the other team’s QB, and for the substandard quality of the D, which he had no control of before he came here. I didn’t say those things about Billy Davis – you did. It’s pretty early to hit the panic button, don’tcha think? This is a several-year process of getting a good defense, IMO, but YMMV.

  • 1972

    4-3 the rest of the way please. Graham,Cox,Curry,and cole have to be on the field for the majority of the snaps

  • Stuart Philp

    Biggest problems as I see it:

    Once again we kicked 5 field goals, and were 2-5 in the redzone. We got lucky with a three consecutive late picks to help pull away, but that could’ve easily went the other way if Eli was on his game.

    Only 3 hits and 1 sack on Manning. Pressure up front HAS to improve to take the load off the secondary.

    • GEagle

      Are you nuts? Pressure forced 3 second half INTs, and 3 Intentional grounding penalties in the second half because Eli didn’t want to take sacks…that’s Lke an extra 6 sacks in the seconds half…Giants line held up nicely in first half, but we settled in, and our pressure took over the came in ether seconds half, after Fletch n Boykins PBUs kept us in the first half until the pressure started to break through…
      ….
      be didn’t beat a good team, but the defense deserves serious praise if you are rational and understand that a young and new group in a new scheme need to walk before they crawl..

      We have lost 15 out of the past 21 games,,,I don’t give a damn who we beat! it’s HUGE because the NFL is a weekly dog fight, and it’s just so darn important for a team to learn how to claw, scratch and find a way to win close battles…and we blew the roof off a close battle yesterday and the backs of a young inexperienced QB and a young defense, with the possibility of the sky falling to 1-4 over our heads, oh and by the way we ended the season of a hated rival who relished our misery last season……in the natural progression of a Young team and young players, yesterday’s win was BIG and something we should enjoy…till The Tampa Slayer aka ST NICK, aka THE jolly one! aka Napolean Dynamite unleashed his Moxy magic on the bucaneers once again!
      ..
      Sucks losing again to a young QB that you tried to aquire, but we said, HELL to the nah!!!!!

      Fly Birdies F ly!!!!