Winning by slim margins, Eagles don't make it easy
These Philadelphia Eagles are the NFL's latest version of the Cardiac Kids.
Michael Vick led the Eagles (3-1) to their third comeback win Sunday night, a 19-17 victory over the New York Giants that wasn't sealed until Lawrence Tynes missed a 54-yard field goal try in the waning seconds.
That made Philadelphia the first team in league history to have its first three wins in a season decided by two points or less. The Eagles hadn't won three games in an entire season by two points or fewer since 1990, and they'd never done it more than once under Andy Reid.
After a nightmarish start last season in which they blew three straight fourth-quarter leads to fall to 1-3, the Eagles will take any win no matter how slim the margin.
''I'd like to keep winning. I'd like to keep winning by more than one or two points. I'd like that, but I like winning,'' coach Andy Reid said Monday. ''I honestly don't feel like we've come close to playing our best football yet. I don't think our players do or coaches.''
The Eagles have been outscored by 17 points and have trailed each game at the two-minute warning. But they're finding ways to pull out victories at the end, a contrast to last season when they blew several late leads and needed to win their last four games just to finish 8-8.
Vick tossed a 4-yard touchdown pass to Clay Harbor with 1:18 left to lift the Eagles to a 17-16 win at Cleveland in Week 1. Vick scored on a 1-yard TD run with 1:55 remaining in a 24-23 win over Baltimore the following week.
After a 26-7 loss at Arizona last week, the Eagles moved atop the NFC East standings by defeating the defending Super Bowl-champion Giants for the eighth time in their last nine meetings.
Alex Henery kicked a 26-yard field goal with 1:49 left, and then Tynes missed his second-chance for a game-winner after Reid called timeout to ice him on his first attempt.
''For about one minute there, I wasn't a fan of it myself either,'' Reid said about calling the timeout. ''That was not a good thing.''
Vick became the fourth quarterback to lead his team to three fourth-quarter comeback wins in the first four games, joining Terry Bradshaw (1979), Brett Favre (1999) and Vinny Testaverde (2000).
For the first time this season, Vick protected the ball. He didn't commit any turnovers after throwing six interceptions and losing three fumbles in the first three games.
''I just played smarter,'' Vick said. ''The thing is in this game you can't force opportunities against the defense, you have to let it come. I'll be honest, missing the preseason did affect me to a certain extent, but now I'm getting into my groove and seeing the field a little better. The guys around me are helping me and that's important.''
Vick threw four interceptions against the Browns after taking just 12 snaps in the preseason. He had two more picks against the Ravens, but now has gone consecutive games without throwing an interception for the first time since 2010.
''We're talking about a great player here,'' Reid said. ''He got caught in a few turnovers early here. He got caught in a few at the beginning of last year, but then he kind of settled it down and played very good football down the stretch. This is what I expect of him.''
Next up for the Eagles are the Pittsburgh Steelers (1-2). They're coming off a bye and should be well rested for the game at Heinz Field.
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