Skip to content

Vince Young’s ‘The Drive’

Nov 21, 2011, 2:42 AM EDT

The Eagles found themselves in third down on six separate occasions on their game-winning TD drive, and Vince Young converted five of them.

VY’s eight-yard touchdown pass to Riley Cooper for the Eagles to retake the lead with 2:50 remaining in Sunday night’s 17-10 win over the Giants wasn’t just any game-winning touchdown pass. In order to get the ball across the goal line, the offense needed nearly nine full minutes and 18 plays to travel 80 yards.

And it could not have happened without Young’s poise. The Eagles found themselves in third down on six separate occasions after starting with six first downs, and the quarterback converted five of them — four pass, one rush.

1. 3rd and 10 at PHI 33, he finds Riley Cooper dragging across the middle, the coverage trailing woefully behind. Young waits before calmly dumping the ball into the space vacated by the defense.

2. 3rd and 3 at NYG 42, it’s Clay Harbor running a quick route to the sideline, catching the Giants a little off guard. Maybe Clay’s biggest reception of the season.

3. 3rd and 1 at NYG 27, Vince Young sneaks, and is initially denied. He leans away from the pile before plowing forward a second time, pushing through the tangled mass of bodies for the yard before the blue jerseys are able to get their hands on him.

4. 3rd and 4 @ NYG 20, DeSean Jackson wants in on this action. Jackson, playing through injury in a gutsy performance one week after getting deactivated for disciplinary reasons, gets open near the sidelines and adds some yards after the catch to give the Birds goal to go.

5. 3rd and goal at NYG 8, Young patiently stands in the pocket and scans the field as he has done most of the night, until fellow second-teamer Cooper uncovers at the back of the end zone. Earlier, Young was intercepted looking for Coop in the paint, but this time they connect for the unlikely victory.

Young made some mistakes, but I thought as the game wore on, and he got more comfortable making his first start in over a year — plus first for a new team, first in a new system — he was playing at a high level. There really is no arguing that wasn’t the case in the fourth course.