"You're surrounded by 66,000 people that probably want to rip your throat out," Reid said when asked if he regretted calling a timeout to ice Lawrence Tynes on his first attempt. "About twentyfold what Custer felt."
So Giants kicker Tynes lined up again for a 54-yard field goal seconds after missing one wide left. This time he was short, sealing the Eagles' win.
Tynes' miss came minutes after Alex Henery's 26-yard field goal sailed through the uprights with 1 minute, 49 seconds remaining to complete a 12-play, 75-yard drive. The Giants had no timeouts, but they had Eli Manning, whose record of fourth-quarter success includes two winning drives in the Super Bowl.
They also had the benefit of two penalty flags for pass interference to bring the Giants into field-goal range. But the Eagles benefited from an offensive pass-interference call on Ramses Barden that pushed the Giants and Tynes back. The three calls would have been more controversial one week ago with the replacement officials.
So to recap: Facing the quarterback who has earned the distinction as the NFL's most clutch, Michael Vick led the Eagles on his third fourth-quarter, game-winning drive of the season. And in each of those games, the defense was able to preserve Vick's lead.
"We've just got a lot of character," safety Nate Allen said. "When the game's on the line, are you going to step up and make the play, or are you going to fold? We had a good game plan throughout the week. We knew the offense was going to score points, and we knew it was our job to seal the win."
The week leading up to this game was filled with discussion about Vick's proclivity for turnovers, and offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg's preference for passing plays. It's not as if the Eagles set up a suggestion box for the fans, but they knew what talk-radio callers and Internet commentators around the city wanted to see.
Vick did not commit a turnover, the running game was involved, and the Eagles improved to 3-1. The Giants slipped to 2-2.
"You can't listen to what everyone said or what's being said about you," Vick said. "Not everyone agrees with how you play, how you win. What's most important is what happens internally within the organization, and what we know. You just got to stay positive. If I listen to [the media], I'll be a wreck."
The Eagles' newfound approach was best exemplified at the start of the third quarter. They opened the second half with a 78-yard drive on which eight of the nine players were rushing plays.
The highlights were successive LeSean McCoy rushes of 34 yards and 22 yards, the second of which went all the way to the 1-yard line. Yet once the Eagles reached the goal line, McCoy could not punch the ball into the end zone. He was thrice stymied, and the Eagles needed to settle for the a 20-yard Henery field goal.
Throughout the game, the Eagles too often settled for field goals. The Giants were able to find the end zone. Their first trip there was Victor Cruz's 14-yard grab that started as a third-and-3 on the Eagles 14-yard line and concluded with Cruz salsa dancing in front of Philadelphia fans. That tied the score at 10.
The Eagles added two Henery field goals to extend their lead to 16-10, but as the Eagles showed in their first two games this season, a six-point margin is not enough.
And it proved not to be, especially when the Eagles defense played perhaps its worst possession of the season on a drive that finished with a Giants touchdown with just 6:45 remaining.
That was enough time for McCoy and Vick. And the Eagles sealed their biggest win of the year.
"It means a lot to be 3-1, means a lot to be at the top of your division," Vick said. "We've still got a lot of tough games ahead of us, but that's what it's all about."
Vick Vs. Manning
19 Comp. 24
30 Att. 42
241 Yards 309
1 TD 2
0 Int. 1
99.4 Rating 86.3
0 Fumbles 1
2-10 Sacked 0-0
6-49 Rushing 0-0
Contact Zach Berman at email@example.com or follow on Twitter @ZBerm.