PHILADELPHIA —This wasn’t the way things were supposed to go for the Philadelphia Eagles. This wasn’t part of the ambitious plan that was put into motion back when they were busy assembling an enviable collection of talent in a frenzied post-lockout shopping spree and were dubbed a dream team by their own freshly signed backup quarterback, Vince Young.
Only three games into their would-be magical season, things have gone at-least-temporarily awry for the Eagles. They lost a second straight game Sunday, this time by 29-16 to the New York Giants here at Lincoln Financial Field, and they might have suffered a far more significant setback when quarterback Michael Vick exited with a fractured right hand.
“It’s tough, you know,” Vick said. “Everything is not going to be fine and dandy and we understand that. . . . Things are not going our way right now. But it’s up to us to get it turned around and I think it will happen.”
It’s not clear how long the injury to his non-throwing hand might sideline the left-handed Vick. The quarterback is scheduled to undergo further medical testing on Monday, Eagles Coach Andy Reid said. Vick didn’t rule out playing with the injury but said it was too soon to know.
“I don’t know if I’m going to be able to play next week,” Vick said. “I don’t know anything right now except my hand is broken and we have to figure out what is the next move.”
The Eagles’ record dropped to 1-2. They opened the season with a crisply played triumph at St. Louis. But they followed that by losing a fourth-quarter lead in a defeat eight days ago in Atlanta in which Vick suffered a concussion and failed to finish the game. So three games into the season, the Eagles have two losses and have squandered two fourth-quarter leads, and Vick has been unable to finish two games. They’ve been outscored, 29-0, in the fourth quarters of their past two games.
“Obviously we didn’t have enough big plays offensively and they hit too many on us defensively,” Reid said.
Quarterback Eli Manning threw four touchdown passes for the Giants, who improved their record to 2-1. They have followed a season-opening loss to the Washington Redskins at FedEx Field with victories over the Rams and Eagles.
The Giants ended a six-game losing streak to the Eagles that included a defeat at the Meadowlands last Dec. 19 in which they wasted a 21-point lead with a little more than eight minutes to play and permitted a game-winning touchdown by the Eagles’ DeSean Jackson on a punt return as time expired. The Giants have had a lengthy list of injuries of their own this season, and they had defensive end Osi Umenyiora and wide receiver Mario Manningham on their inactive list Sunday.
“You’ve got to aim high,” Giants Coach Tom Coughlin said, “and you’ve got to be able to work your way through all of these things.”
Wide receiver Victor Cruz had two touchdown catches for the Giants. He made two Eagles defenders miss tackles on a 74-yard touchdown in the first quarter and outmaneuvered two defenders to grab a 28-yard touchdown in the fourth quarter.
Cruz’s first touchdown gave the Giants a 14-0 lead in the first quarter after Manning had connected with running back Brandon Jacobs for an earlier 40-yard touchdown. The Eagles scored the game’s next 16 points, getting an 11-yard touchdown run by tailback LeSean McCoy and three field goals by kicker Alex Henery. They led 16-14 in the fourth quarter before Manning finished with two touchdown passes, first to Cruz and then an 18-yarder to running back Ahmad Bradshaw. Jacobs ran for a two-point conversion after Cruz’s second touchdown of the day.
The Eagles had to settle for Henery’s third field goal of the game in the third quarter after getting a first down at the New York 2-yard line. They also failed on a fourth-and-one gamble from the New York 43-yard line in the fourth quarter, with McCoy being tackled for a three-yard loss.
Vick absorbed several jarring hits throughout the game but said he felt no lingering effects from his concussion. He hurt his hand on a third-quarter play on which he was hit by Giants defensive tackle Chris Canty after delivering a pass to wide receiver Jeremy Maclin. That was one of several hits by Giants defenders on Vick during the game that the Eagles thought should have been penalized but weren’t.
“I’m not blaming the referees by any stretch, so let’s not get it twisted here,” Vick said. “I’m just saying I think everybody on the field should do their job.”
Vick said he doesn’t think he gets the same degree of protection by officials on hits that other quarterbacks do.
Vick remained in the game temporarily before being taken to the locker room for X-rays. Backup quarterback Mike Kafka was in the huddle to open the fourth quarter but Vick returned to the field and re-entered the game before Kafka took a snap. Vick played one series in the fourth quarter before giving way to Kafka, who threw a pair of interceptions. Reid went with Kafka over Young, who had been plagued by a hamstring injury but was on the active roster Sunday.
“It’s unfortunate,” Vick said. “You can’t predict what’s going to go on. You don’t know. Things happen and you just have to deal with them, and that’s life.”