The View From The Press Box — Eagles vs. Jets

By Michael-Louis Ingram
Updated: October 19, 2007
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. — When you pick up your morning paper or turn on your favorite station to find out what happens to your team on Sunday, game accounts are a given.
But what you don’t get are the observations of the collective body that sit and watch the action from above.
So, now that you know what happened, here’s how the action unfolded from where we in the press box sat:
Giants Stadium has a tri-level press box and sits nine levels above the playing field. There are monitors strategically scattered all over the area, and one thing that has always been a positive about the stadium is the excellent sight lines; you may have a great seat or a good seat — but you never have a bad view.
Our seats are in the second row, near the open end of the stadium.
The Game
The New York Jets go old school as they trot out in their original identities as the 1960 New York Titans of the American Football League.

The blue-and-gold of the cause some in press row to remark a similarity to the San Diego Chargers (circa 1978), but I’m thinking more St. Louis Rams (circa 2007) because of the gold tone.

Jets get the ball and wake up the box as a nice block from LG (and ex-Eagle) Adrien Clarke springs RB Thomas Jones for 36 yards to the Eagle 31.
Because there is no cheering in the press box, the roar of crowd is even more pronounced as Jones makes his way downfield, spurred by scattered fist pumps and nods in the box. Another 11 yard rip from the right side by Jones puts the Jets in the red zone at the Iggle 20.
Jets now go no-huddle, and Philly really looks out of sync. A voice down in the first press row says, “Okay, guys — let’s not get too clever out there.”
Jets’ drive stalls and PK Mike Nugent makes good from 30 yards out.
The wind is really swirling as the flags above the stadium are wildly flapping; those attached to the goal posts, however, are intermittently flapping and drooping.
On Philly’s first play from the Jet 23, QB Donovan McNabb is sacked by Kenyon Coleman, who beats Jon Runyan clean. After an eight yard gain, McNabb audibles at the line and throws a pass out in the left flat to WR Kevin Curtis.
Andre Dyson, manning left corner, misses the tackle on Curtis, and he’s off to the wild green yonder for a 75 yard touchdown. (Curtis on catching the touchdown: “We saw a lot of film on the last Jet game, and took note of Dyson’s effort in particular. We knew the defensive set they were in would be advantageous, and were kinda surprised that match up came so early as Donovan and I spotted it right away.”)
The exchange of field goals in the second quarter, belie the strength of the crosswinds, as both were from very close range. (Jets reserve Wallace Wright: “The winds were really kicking up — even the chip shot we kicked {a Nugent 21 yard job} was being taken to the right after it was kicked”)
By halftime, Jones has 96 yards rushing on just 13 carries. Eagles have eaten a slight majority of clock, but an 18 play drive they ran in the second quarter ends up with PK David Akers missing wide right on a 41 yard FG attempt. (Akers: this {Giants Stadium} has always one of toughest stadiums to kick in because of those crosswinds — but you usually get them later in the season. Those were November/December winds out there today.”)
A scout observing the last Eagle drive acknowledges the work of fourth year guard Shawn Andrews. (“Number 73 out there is looking more and more like Larry Allen every day.”)
Eagles eat up the majority of the third quarter, but end up two field goals.

My colleague Chris Murray (Philadelphia Tribune) speaks prophetically: “They (Iggles) should’ve put these guys away when they had the chance — this game’s may end up going into overtime –I can feel it.”

Akers misses again, and is now 3 for 5 on attempts.
Eagles, who haven’t punted all game coming into the fourth quarter on their previous six drives, make a glaring error, as an interception leads to a Jet field goal. Jet QB Chad Pennington’s inability to throw deep has really handcuffed the hard-working Jet receivers, Jerricho Cotchery and Laveranues Coles.
A Nugent FG makes 16-9, and the Jets are driving late. A rested Eagle defense is on its heels as it looks as if New York will score a tying touchdown.
But deep in the Eagle red zone, after a short carry by Jones, Jets are third and short. Pennington, after a lot of motion goes for a sneak which leads to no gain.
It’s now fourth-and-one, and whatever is left of the announced attendance of 77,189 is expecting a carry by their money man, Thomas Jones, who has 130 yards on the day.
What was expected to be hat-on-hat turns into a collective moan in the box and groan in the stadium as Pennington throws a fade route to Coles in the left cornerof the end zone. Again the winds hold up the pass as Eagle corner Sheldon Brown gets a piece of the ball and knocks it down.
Eagles kill the clock and say thanks for a gift win on the road. (DE Jevon Kearse, who had a sack in the game: “We were rested out there; the offense gave us some good blows holding onto the ball.)
“Even though we didn’t put up as many points as we should have, we were in a good position because were refreshed down the stretch.”
In the Jet press area, head coach Eric Mangini is contrite as he expresses his frustration over the teams’ 1-5 record at the post-game press conference.