EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. - Amid the euphoria of the Eagles' post-win locker room, Nate Allen quietly zipped up his suitcase, his rookie season almost certainly over. Allen ruptured a patella tendon in the second quarter, thrusting fellow rookie Kurt Coleman, a seventh-round pick, into the spotlight.
Defensive coordinator Sean McDermott said Coleman would likely start in Allen's place.
"It's unfortunate to see one of our starters go down like that," Coleman said after the game, "but I've been able to get enough reps throughout the season to feel comfortable when I was out there."
Allen had started all but one game this season. He didn't appear to be hit on the play and went to the ground after the action ended.
Coleman has played in spots throughout the season, often in running situations, and started Nov. 15 against the Redskins when Allen had a neck injury. The only other safeties on the roster are starter Quintin Mikell and Colt Anderson. Anderson plays primarily on special teams but took his first-ever in-game snaps on defense Sunday when the Eagles used a set with seven defensive backs.
The Eagles have now lost their top two draft picks in the last two weeks. First-rounder Brandon Graham tore an anterior cruciate ligament last week. Allen was taken in the second round.
Graham watched the game from a suite but joined his teammates in the raucous locker room afterward, setting off a wave of earsplitting cheers from his fellow defensive linemen.
Watching the game from a wheelchair, with many Giants fans around him, Graham heard plenty of trash talk early, he said, but gave credit to his team.
"Everybody came out there to play," Graham said. "I just wanted to support."
He said he had jumped at the end - on one leg.
After missing the previous three games, Asante Samuel wasn't coming back from injury to lose to the Giants.
And not after the way the Eagles played in the first half, when they trailed, 24-3.
So the Eagles cornerback, not normally one of the rah-rah leaders on the team, stood up in the middle of the locker room at halftime and addressed the team.
"I said, 'Everybody, come show your heart in this second half. I don't want nobody coming in here unless they left it all on the line,' " Samuel recalled.
Several of his teammates said after the amazing victory that Samuel had struck the right note. So why did he feel compelled to speak?
"We were getting our ass kicked - what do you mean? It was 24-3!" Samuel said. "Everybody was on vacation, so somebody had to do something to get everybody fired up."
Samuel sat out the three games with a knee sprain, and his status Sunday was questionable until pregame warm-ups. But he felt decent enough to go, and, while the Eagles' pass defense was again blitzed and allowed four touchdowns, his presence made a difference.
Samuel often came off the field on run downs and was replaced by another defensive back. He did not pad his NFL-leading seven interceptions but was credited with two tackles.
Linebacker Keenan Clayton (hamstring) was also out.
Running back LeSean McCoy became the 16th 1,000-yard rusher in team history. He rushed 10 times for 64 yards and now has 1,036 yards on the season. . . . Kicker David Akers became the first player in NFL history to score 130 points or more in four seasons.