The turning point of Sunday’s Miracle at the New Meadowlands arguably came immediately after a 65-yard catch-and-run by Eagles tight end Brent Celek cut the New York lead from 31-10 to 31-17 with more than seven minutes to play.
The Eagles opted to try an onside kick. The Giants opted not to use their hands team.
“We talked about the onside kick as a possibility,” coach Tom Coughin said after the game. “We didn’t put our hands team in there, no. There were still seven and a half minutes to go and they were down two scores, so we didn’t think it was necessary to do that at that time. There was no reason for us not to make a better play on the ball. We didn’t have anybody even around the ball.”
They didn’t make a better play on the ball because, as the replays showed, the men on the front line were dropping into position to set up the return as the Eagles were executing the onside kick.
“The upside is to try to get field position for your offensive team,” Coughlin said. “Seven and a half minutes to go, let’s have a return and position — we had been doing a good job returning. . . . However, all people up front, again, were told to watch out for the onside kick.”
Again, they didn’t. And when the Eagles recovered the ball, it set the stage for a comeback win for the ages.
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