For at least 1 week, Davis' wish was his defense's command. It forced four turnovers against Eli Manning and the Giants, including three fourth-quarter interceptions as the Eagles defeated the Giants, 36-21, and grabbed a share of first place in the NFC East despite a 2-3 record.
"We took a nice, solid step forward today that we have to build on," Davis said after the victory. "There's still a lot of work left, but it was a good step.
"After a loss like we had against Denver, it was more about gaining confidence in the techniques that we're using and the defenses that we're playing. It wasn't about ripping and yelling and screaming.
"When you get a beatdown like we got in Denver, the only way to get back is to get back to the fundamentals and the smaller things. And that's what we did today."
For a while in the second half yesterday, Davis' unit looked like it might be headed for yet another beatdown. It couldn't get pressure on Manning and it couldn't cover his three receivers - Victor Cruz, Hakeem Nicks and Rueben Randle.
Attacking the Eagles with slants and deep balls, Manning engineered back-to-back touchdown drives that gave the Giants a brief 21-19 lead late in the third quarter.
"That's a tough route to defend because it's happening right now [fast]," safety Nate Allen said of the slant routes that the Giants used to make a second-half run. "The only way to defend it is to press every time. And you can't press guys like Victor Cruz and Hakeem Nicks all the time."
The last of Alex Henery's five field goals gave the Eagles the lead back. But early in the fourth quarter, Eli hit Randle with a 19-yard slant and the Giants had a first down at midfield and were driving.
Davis, who had been attacking Manning with a mixture of blitzes and four-man rushes most of the game, called another blitz, sending cornerback Brandon Boykin from the slot on Eli's blindside.
Boykin and linebacker Trent Cole both got to Manning, forcing a feeble throw to running back Brandon Jacobs that linebacker Mychal Kendricks picked off.
One play later, quarterback Nick Foles connected with tight end Brent Celek on a 25-yard touchdown pass to give the Eagles a 29-21 lead.
On the Giants' next possession, Boykin picked off a Manning pass for Cruz that Foles and the offense turned into another touchdown.
When it rains, it pours. On the Giants' next possession, Manning threw yet another interception, this one picked off by cornerback Cary Williams, who stepped in front of a pass for Nicks and locked up the win.
"We just went out and played one-on-one matchups," Williams said. "We played Cover 1 [one deep safety]. Coach challenged the corners on the outside to beat those guys in front of us and we did that."
It's hard to put too much credence into yesterday's defensive performance. This was a Giants team whose offensive line was missing its two best blockers. When running back David Wilson went out with a neck injury in the first half, the Giants essentially became a one-dimensional offense.
And even that looked like it might be enough in the third quarter as the Eagles seemed incapable of stopping Cruz, Nicks and Randle, who combined for 20 receptions for 286 yards and two touchdowns.
But the back-to-back-to-back interceptions changed all that.
"I came off the edge," Boykin said of the blitz that triggered Kendricks' interception. "Eli didn't even see I was going to blitz. We did a good job of holding our disguise.
"Then he stepped up in the pocket and I slipped. I just tried to wrap my arm around him and his elbow and disrupt his timing. I think both me and Trent were there hitting his elbow, hitting his arm, forcing him to hesitate."
On Boykin's interception, he had man coverage on the dangerous Cruz. Manning was pressured by defensive end Fletcher Cox on the play. Boykin got his hands on the ball and took it away from the Giants' Pro Bowl wideout.
"I had a safety over the top on the play," Boykin said. "I just tried to get my hands up. I knew I would have a chance to break it up. But my glove stuck to the ball. I tried to jerk it and get it back in.
"I told you the turnovers were going to come. As long as we practiced hard and continued to do what we've been doing on an every day basis. We need to continue to become more consistent and practice hard and do what we're supposed to do."
The Eagles haven't been very effective blitzers this season. In the first four games, opposing quarterbacks had a 93.2 passer rating and .646 completion percentage when the Eagles blitzed.
But it was effective yesterday when it had to be.
"We were in and out," Davis said. "I was bringing pressure in and out. Sometimes those pressures ran into runs so they don't show as pressures. But we brought a lot of different pressures against Eli today.
"We mixed it up. We took turns blitzing different positions all over the place. And we tried to give the four-man rush a little chance to win. They threw a couple deep ones that he sidestepped [the rush] and avoided it and got a little time. But it's getting better. The rush is getting better."
The Eagles entered the game with just 10 sacks and were ranked 23rd in the league in sacks per pass play. They sacked Manning only once yesterday. And that was a meaningless one on the Giants' final possession by rookie Bennie Logan when the game already was in the bag.
But the sack total doesn't always tell the whole story. It didn't yesterday.
With yesterday's four takeaways, the Eagles now have nine in five games. Last year, they had 13 the entire season. They have five interceptions. Last year, they had eight all year.
"It was a huge stride for us today to come out and play like a cohesive unit," Williams said. "We really focused on winning those individual matchups and focused on finishing each and every play. I think we showed that today.
"We still have room to improve. We're not at a point where we want to be right now. We feel there's still a lot of work to do. We're not finished. We just want to build on this and get better."
Said Eagles coach Chip Kelly: "I thought they did a great job of getting the ball back for us. We had those three big turnovers. When you play against those two receivers [Cruz and Nicks], and Eli, a Super Bowl-winning quarterback, that's the strength of their team right now. They're banged up front. David Wilson wasn't in there, so we knew they were going to throw. That was a matchup we had to concentrate on.
"Eventually we started to get to Eli a little bit. Generated a pass rush on those three turnovers. The difference in the ballgame was the turnover. We didn't turn it over and they did."
DID YOU NOTICE?
-- For the fourth time in the first five games, the Eagles failed to score any points on their first possession. For the fourth time in the first five games, they kicked a field goal on their
-- Mike Vick didn’t complete a pass in the first quarter. His first completion was a 12-yard screen to LeSean McCoy with 13:34 left in the second quarter.
-- Yet another special-teams blunder by Brandon Graham. After allowing a punt to be blocked in last week’s loss to the Broncos, he was called for a false start on a punt early in the fourth quarter.
-- LeSean McCoy had three straight carries for losses in the third quarter. That equaled his total number of runs for losses in his first 91 rushing attempts this season.
-- The Eagles again used a lot of 12 personnel (one back, two tight ends, two wide receivers) early in the game, but mainly 11 personnel (one back, one tight end, three wide receivers) in the second half.
-- DeSean Jackson was targeted 12 times. That’s the second most this season. He was targeted 15 times in the Eagles’ Week 2 loss to the Chargers.
-- Michael Vick had a pass batted by defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul on a third-down play late in the first quarter when Pierre-Paul came in unblocked. Either running back LeSean McCoy was supposed to chip Pierre-Paul on his way out of the backfield or Vick didn’t recognize that he was going to be unblocked.
-- Tight end Brent Celek had a one-on-one matchup against Giants safety Ryan Mundy on his 25-yard touchdown catch in the fourth quarterback. Nick Foles got Celek isolated on Mundy by running a bootleg to the left, which left Celek isolated with Mundy on the right side.
BY THE NUMBERS
-- With his seven-catch, 132-yard game, DeSean Jackson has three 100-yard performances in five games this season. In his previous 35 starts dating back to 2010, he had just five 100-yard games.
-- Jackson recorded his third game of the season with seven-plus catches. He has never had that many games with seven-plus catches in one season.
-- The Eagles have won nine of their last 11 meetings with the Giants, including six of their last seven in the Meadowlands.
-- The Eagles had three interceptions in the fourth quarter. The last time they did that was Oct. 15, 1989, against the Cardinals.
-- The Eagles are the first team in league history to throw for 1,200 yards and rush for 875 in the first five games of a season. Their 2,274 net yards are the most ever by the Eagles through five games, and the eighth most in league history. They are also the fourth team in history to gain 400-plus yards in each of their first five games.
-- Nick Foles’ 114.9 passer rating was a career high. His best rating in his seven appearances as a rookie last year was 98.6 against Tampa Bay.
-- The Eagles converted nine of 19 third-down opportunities against the Giants and have converted 45.1 percent of their third-down chances this season. The franchise record for a full season is 44.1 (1981).
-- The Eagles converted just two of five red-zone opportunities into touchdowns. They are 7-for-17 (41.2 percent) for the season. Just four teams have managed to make the playoffs the last 5 years with a red-zone rate lower than 45 percent.
-- Alex Henery’s five field goals tied for the second most in franchise history, behind only the six by Tom Dempsey against the Houston Oilers on Nov. 12, 1972. They were the most by an Eagles kicker since David Akers also booted five against Dallas in 2001.
-- Four of tight end Zach Ertz’ receptions this season have gained 20 or more yards, including a 24-yarder against the Giants.
-- Eli Manning is 13-15 in his career in games in which he has thrown for 300-plus yards.
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