Game Story: Giants 16, Eagles 3

Here is a look at some tidbits from the Giants big win over the Eagles last night.

Fast Facts

Stat worth noting: Donovan McNabb was only able to pass for 138 yards against Big Blue. However, Philly only netted 76 passing yards because the Birds lost 62 yards while being sacked 12 times.

Stat worth noting II: In keeping with the Giants' sack attack theme, the Eagles averaged only 1.8 yards per pass play. By contrast, the Giants, who hardly lit it up offensively, averaged 4.8 yards per pass play.

Turning point: With the game still in the balance late in the third quarter, New York took advantage of a big mistake by former Giants CB William James (formerly Will Peterson). A 32-yard pass interference penalty on James, who hauled down Amani Toomer with the ball in the air, led to a Lawrence Tynes field goal that extended Big Blue's lead to 10-0.

Play to remember: The game was almost 20 minutes old and no one had dented the scoreboard yet. Eli Manning and Plaxico Burress changed all that. Burress, who said there was never a doubt that he would play, got free between Sheldon Brown and Quintin Mikell. He went up and over both Philly defenders and reeled in a nine-yard touchdown. That gave New York a 7-0 lead, which turned out to be all they would need.

Play to forget: Late in the first half the Giants were leading 7-0 and driving for more. However, Manning made his only mistake of the game. With a first-and-10 from the Eagles 15-yard line, Manning was looking for Jeremy Shockey. However, Eagles LB Omar Gaither jumped the route, picked off the errant pass and took off on a 49-yard return. That was Manning's first red-zone interception since the 2005 season.

By the Numbers

6 – Number of sacks by Osi Umenyiora, which set a Giants all-time record and came one short of the all-time NFL record. Chiefs great Derrick Thomas once posted seven sacks in a single game.

6 – Consecutive quarters the Giants defense has held its opponents without a touchdown.

15 – Number of Eagles penalties for 132 yards, which certainly didn't help Philly in either the offensive or defensive department.


"To get the (all-time sack) record and lose, trust me it doesn't feel good, so to get it and win and the defense plays the way that we played today, that is the best thing." – Giants DE Michael Strahan

"After starting the season 0-2, we definitely would have liked to come out here with the win and got things headed in the right direction. It's definitely a very disappointing game for us. I have to give them credit. Their defense played well." – Eagles WR Kevin Curtis

What went right

After struggling mightily to get to the quarterback for most of the first three games, the Giants defensive line was all over Donovan McNabb from the get-go. The formerly elusive McNabb didn't stand a chance as the Giants bagged him 12 times. The aggressive front four set the pace for quite an impressive defensive display.

Among the dozen sacks was one by Michael Strahan, which allowed him to finally break his tie with Lawrence Taylor for the franchise's all-time sack record. Strahan recorded sack number 133.5 of his Hall-of-Fame career midway though the second quarter when he burst through the line and wrapped up McNabb just behind the line.

Mathias Kiwanuka and Justin Tuck also got in on the sack party. Kiwi, who continued to play much better near the line of scrimmage, posted three sacks one week after he had a pair. Tuck continued his exceptional play with two sacks.

Once again New York kept its penalties to a minimum. The Giants were only flagged four times for 27 yards against the Eagles.

While how much he would have helped was in question, the Eagles were forced to play without super RB Brian Westbrook. The Birds were also without key defenders Brian Dawkins and Lito Sheppard and important offensive players William Thomas and L.J. Smith

What went wrong

The Giants offense didn't help the defense too much. Big Blue was only able to convert three of its 11 third-down chances against Philadelphia. The Giants were also only 1-4 in red-zone efficiency and failed to punch it in during their only goal-to-go situation.

The running game was decent, but not much more, averaging only 3.1 yards per carry. But that did include three late-game Manning kneel-downs for minus-5 yards.

A holding call on Rich Seubert sabotaged New York's first drive. Seubert's infraction pushed New York back to its own 10-yard line on Big Blue's first drive. Three plays after starting first-and-20, not surprisingly, the Giants were forced to punt.

While it obviously didn't come back to hurt them, Giants kicker Lawrence Tynes missed a chance to break the scoring ice when he missed a 34-yard field goal wide right in the first quarter.

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