By the time the third quarter ended, the Eagles held a healthy 24-7 lead and it looked like the Giants were going to start the season 0-2 and fall off the pace being set by the Eagles. In quick fashion though, the Giants came back to score 17 unanswered points and send the game into overtime.
With the Eagles' defense shutting down Tiki Barber (21 carries/51 yards) and Jeremy Shockey (2 catches/17 yards), Eli Manning had to find another way to put points on the board. The young quarterback started spreading passes to Amani Toomer and Plaxico Burress who combined to catch 18 passes for 251 yards, including the game winning strike to Burress.
The Eagles' secondary missed Lito Sheppard, who is out with an ankle sprain, and when Rod Hood went down with a heel injury, young cornerback Joselio Hanson was pressed into action. It didn't take long for Manning to recognize Hanson as the weak link and he went to work throwing to wherever Hanson was on the field. For the game winner though, Manning found Burress open against Sheldon Brown and lofted a 31 yard touchdown pass to Burress for the 30-24 win.
There are three main plays that the Eagles can look to for the loss. Sheldon Brown's inability to pick up a Giants' fumble that was recovered in the end zone by Tim Carter gave the Giants their first points of the fourth quarter. Later in the quarter, Brian Westbrook fumbled, turning the ball over to New York and setting up a 22 yard touchdown pass from Manning to Toomer. The extra point brought the Giants to within three with 43 seconds left in the game.
The final blow was a penalty on Trent Cole for a personal foul after a completion to Shockey. The penalty put the Giants on the Eagles 17 yard line and allowed Jay Feeley to kick a 35 yard field goal to tie the game.
The Donovan McNabb to Donte Stallworth connection was working well through the first three quarters with Stallworth catching five passes for 81 yards. McNabb's favorite target though was L.J. Smith, who pulled in 7 catches for 111 yards.
The running game was adequate with Brian Westbrook gaining 68 yards on 19 carries. Correll Buckhalter was held to just 6 carries for 6 yards.
Defensively, the Eagles were strong early on and sacked Manning eight times. They were also stunting the Giants' ground game and controlling things well until Hood went down, opening a door for Manning. Jevon Kearse also wound up leaving the game after suffering a knee injury. He left the game temporarily at first, only to have his day ended in the fourth quarter when he aggravated the injury. Both Hood and Kearse will be evaluated Monday to determine the extent of their injuries.
The loss drops the Eagles to 1-1 and improves the Giants to the same mark. The Cowboys and Redskins are both 1-0 and play Sunday night in Dallas.