PHILADELPHIA - Eagles coach Andy Reid didn't have to worry about bad semantics when discussing quarterback Michael Vick's status Monday.
Reid was not asked a single question about Vick's future as the starter during his day-after news conference, mostly because the quarterback played so well in a 19-17 victory over the New York Giants on Sunday night.
Vick delivered a flawless performance, committing no turnovers and leading yet another fourth-quarter comeback that produced a big win against the defending Super Bowl champions.
A week ago, Reid had to defend sticking with Vick in the wake of a sloppy effort during a 27-6 loss at Arizona. Disgruntled fans were calling for rookie Nick Foles to take over.
"You can't listen to what everybody says and what is being said about you," Vick said Sunday. "Everybody doesn't agree with how you play or how you win. What's most important is what happens internally within the organization and what we know. We just try to stay positive.
"You have to. If I listen to all (of the criticism), I'd be a wreck. I just had to try to stay positive. My family helped me through that. Deep down with that, you know I've been through a lot and it's kind of easy to persevere in the game that you love."
The Eagles provided a glimpse of what they are capable of achieving when they take care of the football.
After committing a league-high 12 turnovers in their first three games, the offense was devoid of interceptions and fumbles against the Giants. Vick was especially careful. He turned in a mistake-free performance after throwing six interceptions and coughing up three fumbles in the previous games against Cleveland, Baltimore and Arizona.
Vick said after the game that he had been having trouble getting into a rhythm this year after missing most of the preseason with a bruised thumb and sore ribs.
"Now I'm getting into my groove and seeing the field a little better," he said. "The guys around me are helping me and that's important."
Bouncing back from their ugly loss at Arizona did wonders for the Eagles' confidence.
They did almost nothing right during that 21-point loss that had national experts questioning if they were capable of challenging for the NFC East title and making a run in the playoffs.
They answered with an impressive effort against the Giants, despite enduring their share of adversity. Cornerback Nnamdi Asomugha suffered an eye injury that sidelined him for most of the game, the offense had to settle for two Alex Henery field goals - he was 4 for 4 Sunday night - after twice reaching the 1-yard line, the kickoff coverage was horrendous, and Reid mistakenly iced Giants place-kicker Lawrence Tynes.
"I like the personality of the team and I like the grit. ... It wasn't real pretty," Reid said, "but they came back and battled right to the end and ended up coming up as winners."
Reid almost prevented a win.
With time running out, Tynes lined up to attempt a 54-yard field goal. He pushed it wide left, touching off a raucous celebration in the stands behind the goal posts, but he got another chance because Reid had called timeout just before the failed attempt. Tynes' second effort landed about 2 yards short of the crossbar.
"When you're surrounded by 66,000 people that want to probably rip your throat out at that time, I wish I could have taken back that timeout," Reid said after the game. "That's about 20-fold what Custer felt."
A series of big plays and solid efforts from a number of players carried them through.
Reid and offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg doggedly stuck to the running game, even after running back LeSean McCoy was held to just 2 yards on six first-half carries. McCoy finished with 123 yards on 23 attempts. The Eagles ran 36 times while Vick threw 30 passes. Fullback Stanley Havili had a fantastic all-around game, supplying key blocks for McCoy and rushing for 15 yards on two carries and catching a 7-yard pass.
"We like to have a balanced offense," Reid said Monday. "The best way to keep a defense guessing is to use all of your groupings on offense. As long as the score is relatively close, we're able to do that."
Defensively, the Eagles limited Giants running backs Ahmad Bradshaw and Andre Brown to 53 rushing yards on 18 carries. Giants quarterback Eli Manning threw for 309 yards and two touchdowns but also had a key turnover when cornerback Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie intercepted his pass toward tight end Martellus Bennett in the end zone.
"We're known to be a hard-fighting team," Eagles defensive end Trent Cole said. "I have to give it to Eli, he's a great quarterback. We fight to the end and that's Eagles football. It's always been that way. There's just something about us that we fight to the end."
That attitude has carried them to three fourth-quarter comebacks this season. That's a major turnaround from a year ago, when the Eagles blew five fourth-quarter leads.
Extra points: After Sunday's game, Vick was asked about Reid's decision to ice Tynes by calling a timeout just before he attempted his first 54-yarder."I don't believe in icing the kicker," Vick said. "You let them kick it and if it's good, it's going to be good. If not, you can't play games. I don't know who started that, but we have to end that tradition." ... Reid said Asomugha had some eye drops put in Monday and should be fine to practice this week. ... Vick suffered a knee contusion on the last drive but is also OK to practice. ... Tackle King Dunlap will practice Wednesday after missing the last two games. ... Safety Colt Anderson should also be back, which would help the special teams.
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