By Andrew Porter

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — The Giants could not be stopped.

After opening the game with a flawless eight-play, 80-yard touchdown drive—amazingly, sans a third down—they were at it again. Holding a 7-0 lead early in the game, the G-Men moved the ball back inside the Eagles’ 25-yard line, poised to take a devastating two-score lead.

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And following an abysmal three-play, three-yard opening drive for the 2-3 Eagles, in a must-win divisional battle at home, the boo-birds were about to come pouring down inside of a blacked-out Lincoln Financial Field.

Except, something unforeseen happened.

While many Eagles fans watched between the cracks in their fingers covering their faces, the unstoppable Big Blue force faced a 1st-and-10 from the Eagles’ 22-yard-line with 5:47 remaining the first quarter. Eli Manning seemingly connected with tight end Larry Donnell for his 10th straight completion, a relatively harmless three-yard gain.

But instead, Eagles linebacker and defensive captain DeMeco Ryans shockingly ripped the ball out of Donnell’s hands for the game-changing, possibly season-saving interception.

The Giants never scored again, as the Eagles’ defense would allow just 172 yards on the final 12 drives that resulted in eight punts, two interceptions, a fumble and a turnover on downs en route to a 27-7 win.

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“I knew I had to stand up and make a play for the team,” DeMeco Ryans told Angelo Cataldi and the 94WIP Morning Show on Tuesday morning. “It was a huge play man, being able to get my hands on the ball, pulling down the interception was huge to see the reaction on our sideline. It was crazy over there. So, it was a great player and I think it really lifted the energy of the team.”

Listen: DeMeco Ryans on the 94WIP Morning Show

 

While many have counted out the 31-year-old linebacker as an impact NFL player anymore, no one appreciates and understands the magnitude of Ryans—or should I say Mufasa—than his head coach.

“I thought that was a huge play by DeMeco,” Chip Kelly told Angelo Cataldi and the 94WIP Morning Show on Tuesday of Ryans’ interception. “A situation presents itself, you could be down 14-0. So, I thought it was a huge play in the game. Maybe the most critical play in the game.

“DeMeco does it in every fashion for us whether it’s on the field or off the field,” Kelly continued. “He’s just a consummate professional in terms of his preparation, his ability to make plays in clutch situations, how he approaches everything, his demeanor.”

It was Ryans’ seventh career interception, but more remarkably, he became the only NFL linebacker with at least one interception in each of the last four seasons. Ryans also recovered a fumble, before leaving the game with a minor hamstring injury.

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“I don’t think it’s too big,” Ryans said. “I’ll be fine.”