The play of the game in the New York Giants’ 29-16 victory over the Philadelphia Eagles was not one of the touchdown catches by Victor Cruz, the interceptions by Aaron Ross or the broken hand suffered by Eagles quarterback Michael Vick.
It was a fourth-down stop made by New York linebacker Michael Boley with just over 11 minutes to go.
Facing fourth-and-one at the New York 43-yard line with a 16-14 lead, Philadelphia coach Andy Reid chose to go for the first down rather than punt and pin a Giants offense that did nothing in the second and third quarters deep in its own territory.
LeSean McCoy, who was brilliant all day and wound up with 128 yards rushing, slipped one tackle and tried to bounce to the outside. Boley was the only defender with any shot at making the play, and he nailed McCoy for a three-yard loss, giving the ball to the Giants.
“He tried to get out the back door, but I was right there,” Boley said.
The Giants scored to take the lead a few plays later, and Philadelphia never scored again. Great play by Boley, but I have yet to see an explanation by Reid as to why he made the risky decision to go for it there, one that backfired and helped cost his team a game.