One week after Osi Umenyiora wished LeSean McCoy a Happy Mother's Day via Twitter, the NFL's 2011 leader in rushing touchdowns looked as though he might as well have been auditioning for the Lingerie Football League throughout most of this game.
McCoy finished the afternoon with 29 carries for 63 yards - a mere 2.1 YPA and a bad omen considering the five-year contract extension the Pro Bowl running back just recently signed. With 1:27 remaining in the fourth quarter, although, he ended up capitalizing a comeback more than mothers could love.
The Philadelphia Eagles stunned the reigning champion New York Giants by a final score of 31-21 this Sunday in a Madden NFL 12
edition of spring football. The social media-driven feud between Umenyiora and McCoy has dated back to last summer, when "Lady Gaga" accused the defensive end of being "overrated" and "soft" during the league's stoppage negotiations. Umenyiora had hoped McCoy would "address these types of things" on the field, but his aspirations were granted to no avail.
Jerry Jones lip-lickingly offered Cowboy Stadium for the special occasion, relishing the opportunity to watch two NFC East foes potentially injure one another before distant training camps. While the Eagles came out more physically bruised, it was the Giants who left Dallas emotionally scarred, and no amount of Chunky Soup could heal them soon enough.
Umenyiora hardly lit up the box score with two solo tackles, but one of them resulted in Michael Vick's departure from the game with 2:47 left in the first half, as he was carted off the field with broken ribs. The other pinned McCoy behind the line of scrimmage on his first rushing attempt of the second half. After that, Umenyiora was content to leave the rest of the work to his surrounding front seven.
The game appeared well in hand after Tyler Sash's 65-yard interception return for a touchdown with 14:12 to go, putting the Giants up 21-10. The Eagles, however, never gave up, and New York didn't score since.
Backup quarterback Mike Kafka followed up the turnover with two consecutive possessions ending in red zone interceptions for linebackers Keith Rivers and Michael Boley, respectively. On the ensuing play, consensus Player of the Game Nate Allen picked off Eli Manning for a 37-yard score of his own at the 9:59 mark. Jeremy Maclin converted the two-point attempt and Philadelphia closed the gap, 21-18.
Manning's SNL drag queen performance carried over to the football field, uncharacteristically hurling four interceptions and surrendering nine sacks to the Eagles' defense. After conceding two Alex Henery field goals and the lead, vintage Elite was anti-clutch in the team's comeback drive during the final two minutes, as he was sacked on back-to-back plays before Allen's second interception of the contest. McCoy recorded the final blow with a three-yard scamper into the end zone, his frustration ultimately avenged.
Manning's 48.5 passer rating was his worst since the Giants' Week 15 loss to Washington, their last defeat en route to claiming the Lombardi Trophy. He passed for 204 yards on 25-38, his lone touchdown arriving early in the first quarter to Hakeem Nicks. After opening the game with seven straight completions, he threw his first incompletion - to linebacker Casey Matthews, the sophomore's first of two interceptions.
Matthews' second INT led to a quick 42-yard touchdown strike to DeSean Jackson (his only reception), which cut the Giants' lead in half, 14-7 with 7:25 remaining in the half. This freed more running lanes for Vick (5 attempts for 34 yards), but Philadelphia's offense stalled once he was knocked out of the game, and the Eagles deferred to a barely-converted 52-yard field goal at 2:29.
Alex Henery turned out to be clutch down the stretch, going 3-3 on field goals, including a 49-yarder within the final two minutes that awarded Philadelphia their first lead of the contest, 24-21.
New York never took advantage of their early 14-0 jump or Vick's absence. Victor Cruz tallied three key drops in the first half, while Nicks was held to 46 receiving yards. Jerrel Jernigan nearly muffed a punt and allowed another to sail over his head, pinning the offense inside their own five-yard-line.
Even Ahmad Bradshaw's hot start was for naught. The Giants' running back more accurately resembled LeSean McCoy in the first half, with 10 carries for 72 yards and a touchdown, and a career-high nine receptions for 57 yards. After halftime, however, screens were defused and lanes were clogged, as Bradshaw was stuffed for -4 yards on 11 carries in the second half.
After failing to convert on their first nine third downs, the Eagles atypically refused to stop giving McCoy his chances in the running game. Consequently, 63 yards and a win still equals a win, and Umenyiora's smile was swiftly swiped from his face.
When hypothetically asked if he would accept an apology from Umenyiora whether online or in person, McCoy virtually responded: "I'd rather him wait until Father's Day."
This is why Tom Coughlin doesn't trash talk.