EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- The Philadelphia Eagles couldn't do much against New York's defense. So they took advantage of the Giants' stodgy offense instead.
Donovan McNabb threw an 18-yard touchdown pass to James Thrash with 1:52 left in the game to give Philadelphia a 10-9 victory over the Giants on Monday night. It was a game New York controlled for three quarters but couldn't put away because it settled for field goals.
''It came to the point where we weren't getting it done, we weren't getting it done, we weren't getting it done,'' Eagles offensive tackle Jon Runyan said. ''So we did it.''
It was Philadelphia's first win over the Giants in 10 games and gave the Eagles (3-2) a one-half game lead over New York (3-3) in an NFC East where no other team seems likely to challenge.
''We knew we had to continue to keep them out of the end zone,'' Philadelphia linebacker Ike Reese. ''Everyone was yelling in the locker room at halftime that we had taken their best punch and we were only down by nine. We just continued to stick together and keep fighting and made plays.''
The game's only touchdown followed a 27-yard punt by Rodney Williams after his first punt to the Philadelphia 38 was negated by a holding penalty on New York's Thabiti Davis. So Philadelphia had a first down at the New York 40 with 5:52 left. Six plays later, McNabb rolled to his right, bought time and found Thrash in the left corner of the end zone with Will Peterson chasing in futility
''I saw Donovan scrambling. As a receiver, you have to stay alive, especially with him running around,'' Thrash said. ''I was in the right place at the right time.''
Much of the credit goes to the Philadelphia defense, which held New York to four straight series of three downs and out and just three first downs in the second half. After the TD, it forced a fumble by Giants quarterback Kerry Collins when Jeremiah Trotter stripped the ball and Brandon Whiting managed to recover before it went out of bounds.
''They kept fighting and we played stupid and they grabbed the game,'' said New York coach Jim Fassel, whose team took a 9-0 lead on three long first-half drives none of which found the Giants in the end zone.
New York controlled the ball for 24:35 of the first 30 minutes. But it settled for field goals of 24, 21, and 24 yards by Morten Andersen.
The defense, meanwhile, sacked McNabb six times, two by Michael Strahan, who now has 10 1/2 in his last four games. It was the second one-point loss for the Giants, who lost 15-14 in St. Louis last week in a game in which the Rams forced a fumble as New York was driving for the winning field goal.
It was the first time since 1930 the Giants lost consecutive one-point games.
''It was a little disconcerting. We should have won both games,'' Collins said. ''We could have put the game away in the first half but we didn't.''
New York had 13 first downs in the first half to two for the Eagles.
The Giants took a 3-0 lead on Andersen's 24-yard field goal at the end of a 64 yard, 15-play drive that consumed 8:17 on the clock. It was helped by three offside penalties on the Eagles.
New York made it 6-0 on Andersen's 21-yarder 2:04 into the second period. It was set up by Shaun Williams' interception and 20-yard return.
Then it was 9-0 on Andersen's second 24-yarder that followed another plodding drive. That march covered 61 yards on 13 plays and ate up another 8:28.
Late in the third quarter, the Eagles reached the New York 7 with the help of two penalties against the Giants. But McNabb's third-down pass was out of the end zone and David Akers' 25-yard field goal cut it to 9-3.
But the defense held and the Eagles finally beat the Giants after losing to them nine straight times, including the game that knocked them from the playoffs last season.
''People talked about the streak so much,'' McNabb said. ''We didn't think about it. We just wanted to win the game.''
Notes: Strahan, who leads the NFL in sacks, now has one more than he had in 16 games last season. ... Philadelphia defensive tackle Corey Simon left the game in third quarter with a head injury. ... In two games against the Giants last season with the Redskins Thrash had five receptions for 119 yards, including catches of 46 and 45 yards. That was one reason why Philadelphia signed him. ... This is the first time Fassel has lost a game when his team led going to the fourth quarter. He had been 31-0 in the regular season although his team lost to Minnesota in the 1997 playoffs after leading by nine points with two minutes left.
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