With 2:18 to go, Philly faced one of the best two-minute quarterbacks in the business, Phil Simms. The Giants' first play turned out the lights. They lined up three receivers to the right—Odessa Turner as the inside man next to Mark Ingram, and Lionel Manuel on the outside. "They like to run picks in that situation," said Philly free safety Wes Hopkins afterward. "They send one guy to pick you off and throw to the receiver coming in back of him. They expected us to be in man coverage on that side, but we called a zone."
Turner ran the pick, trying to screen the man opposite him, nickelback William Frizzell, and Ingram ran a slant behind Turner in what should have been an open area. But Frizzell held his position, locked on Ingram, wrestled the ball away from him, and the Eagles had their win. "We were unpredictable," Frizzell said. "We were going back and forth, from zone to man, all day. They thought we were going to keep blitzing and it would be easy pickings. We concentrated; we locked on our coverages. We took away the things that had killed us in the past."
If one Eagle was happier than Frizzell, who has heard his share of boos this year, it was Solt. He had cost Philadelphia those two high draft choices, played three series and then sat out the rest of '88 with two knee operations. This year he missed 30 days after testing positive for steroids at camp.
"The Colts know what they did," said Solt. "They traded me with an injury. Right now my knees are 85 percent. I think I can play better than most people can play right now, but it's not as good as Ron Solt can do. I was an All-Pro once , and I can reach that level again. When our offensive coordinator told me in practice this week that a big part of the game plan would center around me, around running the right side, well, it meant a lot to me. After two years it's a new start. It's been a hell of a long off-season."
Said Cunningham, "You've got Solt in there. The guy's got his problems, but finally he's back. Solt and Heller work so well together. Our offensive line was the reason for the win today."
"Solt is an All-Pro coming in," said offensive coordinator Ted Plumb, "and he hasn't reached his peak. It's a comfortable feeling. There's a presence about him, a respect he commands. We don't have to devise things to trick people every week now or come up with some special plan. We can run the football right at them, and the beauty of it is that once we do it, we can do nothing but get better at it."
Sometimes it pays to conform.