Led by McNabb's 111 yards, Philadelphia piles up 299 yards on ground

Beating Giants a rush for Eagles

Posted: Tuesday, October 29, 2002

PHILADELPHIA -- Donovan McNabb dropped back to pass, quickly noticed his receivers were covered, took off and ran 38 yards.

It was just the fourth play of the game, but it set the tone for the Philadelphia Eagles.

McNabb ran for 111 yards and one touchdown, Duce Staley had 126 yards on 24 carries and Philadelphia had a remarkable 299 yards rushing as the Eagles beat the New York Giants 17-3 in the final Monday night game at Veterans Stadium.

''Whatever it takes to win,'' McNabb said. ''You don't have to pass for 300, 400 yards to get a win. If it takes me running, that's what I'll do.''

It was Philadelphia's third straight victory over the Giants after losing nine in a row to them, and it gave the Eagles (5-2) a two-game lead over New York (3-4) and Washington (3-4) in the NFC East.

McNabb had just 137 yards passing, but the Eagles dominated the Giants on the ground. David Akers kicked three field goals in the first half in which the Eagles had the ball for 20:31.

Philadelphia hadn't had two 100-yard rushers since Oct. 8, 1995, when Ricky Watters and Charlie Garner did it against Washington. The Eagles had nine runs of 10 yards or more. The Giants had allowed just 11 such runs entering the game.

''The offensive line came out and dominated the line of scrimmage and we got a lot of yards,'' said Staley, who ran for 152 yards in a 20-10 victory over Tampa Bay last week.

McNabb put the game away with a 40-yard TD run 4:30 into the fourth quarter that gave the Eagles a 15-3 lead and he connected with Chad Lewis on a 2-point conversion. McNabb's run capped a nine-play, 99-yard drive that took 3:33.

On third-and-11, McNabb went back to pass, stepped up in the pocket, avoided a tackle at his feet by Cornelius Griffin, started to scramble, cut to his left, streaked down the sideline, jumped over a blocker at the 5 and went into the end zone.

''He's a playmaker, he runs the offense like he's a point guard, he makes things happen,'' Giants linebacker Michael Barrow said.

It was McNabb's second 100-yard performance in three games. He had 100 yards on 12 carries in a 28-25 loss to Jacksonville on Oct. 6.

''We didn't stay in our lanes. We didn't do a good job with our run recognition with McNabb,'' Giants coach Jim Fassel said.

The Eagles took advantage of the absence of defensive tackle Keith Hamilton, who went down with a season-ending Achilles' tendon injury two weeks ago, by running at his replacement, Lance Legree, and right defensive end Kenny Holmes. They had 195 yards rushing in the first half, but couldn't get into the end zone.

Trailing 9-3, the Giants missed an opportunity to take the lead on their first possession of the third quarter when rookie fullback Charles Stackhouse fumbled the ball out of the end zone after getting to Philadelphia's 1 following a 12-yard catch. Safety Blaine Bishop's tackle forced the fumble.

Akers, who saw his perfect season end when he missed a 50-yarder on the opening series, hit from 27, 36 and 35 yards in a first half dominated by the Eagles and their offensive line.

The All-Pro kicker put Philadelphia ahead 6-3 with his 36-yard field goal with 5:23 left in the second quarter. It capped a 16-play, 70-yard drive that lasted 7:23 and featured McNabb's scrambles of 13 and 14 yards and a 24-yard run by Dorsey Levens.

A 29-yard pass from McNabb to Staley on third-and-10 set up Akers' 35-yarder that made it 9-3.

Akers gave Philadelphia a 3-0 lead with 2:08 left in the first quarter on a 27-yarder. The kick capped an 11-play, 53-yard drive that featured a 23-yard run by Staley and a 15-yard run by rookie Brian Westbrook.

Matt Bryant kicked a 26-yard field goal for the Giants on their only scoring threat in the first half. A 21-yard pass from Kerry Collins to Jeremy Shockey and a 31-yard run by Tiki Barber after Shockey was called for a taunting penalty set up Bryant's field goal.

It was the first Monday night game at the Vet since 1998. The Eagles are moving to the new Lincoln Financial Field next season.

Notes: Giants WR Ike Hilliard left the game after dislocating his shoulder on a late hit by All-Pro safety Brian Dawkins in the third quarter. ... Eagles kick returner Brian Mitchell went over 21,000 combined yards with a 23-yard return on the opening kickoff. He joins Jerry Rice and Walter Payton as the only players in NFL history to reach that mark. ... The Giants are 3-11 following a bye since 1990. They are 1-6 on Monday nights under Fassel. ... The Eagles are 6-1 against the Giants on Monday nights since 1970, and are 7-0 in prime time games under coach Andy Reid. ... Philadelphia had lost three straight Monday night games at the Vet since beating the Houston Oilers 21-6 on Oct. 24, 1994. ... The Eagles are 4-0 at home this season and have won seven in a row at home overall. ... Akers' miss on the 50-yarder ended a streak of 18 consecutive field goals, including 12 in a row this season.

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