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Philadelphia at New York

McNabb, Westbrook lift Eagles to big win; Giants clinch division anyway

CBSSports.com wire reports
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EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- Donovan McNabb, Brian Westbrook and the desperate Philadelphia Eagles proved more of a headache for the New York Giants than all the chaos surrounding Plaxico Burress.

Westbrook ran 30 yards for a touchdown, caught another 40-yarder from McNabb, and the Eagles defense limited the Giants to 211 total yards in a 20-14 victory Sunday that ended the Super Bowl champions' seven-game winning streak and prevented them from clinching the NFC East -- at least for a few hours.

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The Giants (11-2) still won the division title when Pittsburgh beat Dallas 20-13 later Sunday.

"I just think we kind of beat them," said Eagles tight end L.J. Smith, who has six catches for 44 yards. "It's tough to say. That's one of those: 'How many licks does it take to get to the center of a Tootsie Roll?' Who knows if the distractions hurt them and helped us? I don't know."

The statistics were all Philadelphia (7-5-1).

McNabb finished 19-of-30 for 191 yards on a windy day that the Eagles controlled the ball for almost 35 minutes. Westbrook was the workhorse, gaining 131 yards on a season-high 33 carries and catching six passes for 72 yards. The defense limited New York's league-leading rushing game to 88 yards.

"This was a big win," Westbrook said after the Eagles won their second straight game. "But we're in a position now where we have to win them all."

The Giants (11-2) could still win the division title Sunday if Pittsburgh beat Dallas later Sunday.

However, this is going to remembered as the game the Super Bowl champions came up empty on offense and defense after a week of scrutiny and media hype following the suspension of Burress for the rest of the season in a wake of nightclub shooting.

It also didn't help that there is an ongoing investigation into the role of middle linebacker Antonio Pierce in the aftermath of the incident in which Burress shot himself.

"It's a great story," defensive end Mathias Kiwanuka said. "I'm glad you can use it, but it's a dead issue with us."

Giants coach Tom Coughlin also downplayed the distraction theory.

"We didn't play well," he said. 'We didn't play the way we had been playing. We're a better football team than that. As far as all those other things go, that's all speculation."

Pierce, who talked to investigators in the office of the Manhattan district attorney Friday, was nowhere to be found on Westbrook's 30-yard run. He also was three steps behind on a crossing pattern on the clinching TD in the fourth quarter.

"It was just a bad game," said Pierce, who had a game-high 15 tackles.

It didn't help that Eli Manning didn't have Burress as a target.

In his place, Domenik Hixon dropped a 50-yard pass right in his hands with New York trailing 3-0 in the first half.

"I should have caught the ball," said Hixon, who had three catches for 30 yards.

New York scored late in each half. Kevin Dockery returned a blocked field goal 71 yards for a touchdown on the final play of the first half, and Manning (13-of-27 for 123) found Darcy Johnson for a 1-yard TD pass with 15 seconds to go.

The loss opened up the NFC race again. Until Sunday, the Giants were the dominant team. The Eagles gave everyone hope, beating the Giants at their own game: defense and ball control.

"It was one of those days where their defense didn't play as well as they had in the past and we played very well," Westbrook said.

The Giants, who had overcome the retirement of Michael Strahan, a season-ending preseason knee injury to Osi Umenyiora and a suspension and hamstring injuries to Burress earlier this season in going 11-1, did almost nothing right in the first half.

The one play they got right was the blocked field goal at the end of the first half with Philadelphia looking to extend a 10-0 lead.

With David Akers kicking into a swirling stiff wind, defensive end Justin Tuck got a hand on the ball, knocking it toward midfield. Dockery picked the ball up, stumbled forward in breaking a tackle attempt by Eagles guard Todd Herremans, regained his balance and scooted into the end zone for a score that prevented the Giants from being shut out in the first half for the first time since 2004 against Washington.

The officials held a conference in the end zone and let the score stand.

Until then, the first 30 minutes were marked by Giants' mistakes, particularly by the offense, which never got anything going after an ill-advised end around by rookie Mario Manningham lost 12 yards on their opening drive.

Hixon, who had been outstanding in filling in for Burress on three other occasions, dropped the long pass moments after Akers kicked a 51-yarder on the final play of the first quarter.

Rookie safety Kenny Phillips missed a third-down tackle early on a 77-yard drive that Westbrook ended with a 30-yard run on a play that first appeared to be stuffed at the line.

Even the sure-handed Steve Smith dropped a fourth-down pass on play from the Eagles 42.

Even when the Giants scored on the blocked field goal, there were mistakes. Pierce was called for two penalties that kept the drive moving.

Notes

  • Giants CB Aaron Ross injured an ankle in the first half and didn't return.
  • Giants HB Brandon Jacobs left in the third quarter with a knee injury that isn't believed to be serious.
  • On his 40-yard TD catch, Westbrook surpassed Harold Carmichael (9,042) as the Eagles career leader in yards.
  • Philadelphia WR Kevin Curtis left with a concussion.
  • Philadelphia stopped the Giants on all four fourth-down attempts.
Copyright 2014 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
 
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Brian Westbrook is the big distraction for New York, gaining 131 yards on the ground and 72 through the air.
 
Brian Westbrook is the big distraction for New York, gaining 131 yards on the ground and 72 through the air. (AP)
 

 

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Sun. Dec. 7Final
3701020
NY Giants
(11-2)
070714
PHI - Pass: D. McNabb (19-30, 191), Rush: B. Westbrook (33-131)
NYG - Pass: E. Manning (13-27, 123), Rush: B. Jacobs (10-52)
Scoring Summary
1ST QUARTER
FGDavid Akers 51 Yd, 0:00. Drive: 6 plays, 29 yards in 2:18.
2ND QUARTER
TDBrian Westbrook, 30 Yd run (David Akers kick is good), 1:52. Drive: 10 plays, 77 yards in 4:21.
TDKevin Dockery, 71 Yd blocked FG return (John Carney kick is good), 0:00.
3RD QUARTER
None
4TH QUARTER
TDBrian Westbrook, 40 Yd pass from Donovan McNabb (David Akers kick is good), 13:38. Drive: 11 plays, 86 yards in 6:01.
FGDavid Akers 34 Yd, 2:09. Drive: 14 plays, 46 yards in 7:17.
TDDarcy Johnson, 1 Yd pass from Eli Manning (John Carney kick is good), 0:15. Drive: 6 plays, 70 yards in 1:54.
Players of the Game
New York

E. Manning
Att 27
Comp 13
Yds 123
TD 1

B. Westbrook
Rush 33
Yds 131
Avg 4.0
TD 1
 
Philadelphia
PassingCP/ATYDSTDINT
D. McNabb19/3019110
RushingATTYDSTDLG
B. Westbrook33131130
D. McNabb520011
K. Eckel1202
D. Jackson2-90-2
ReceivingRECYDSTDLG
B. Westbrook672140
L. Smith644012
K. Curtis242032
H. Baskett21609
J. Avant1909
G. Lewis1707
L. Booker1101
New York
PassingCP/ATYDSTDINT
E. Manning13/2712310
RushingATTYDSTDLG
B. Jacobs1052023
D. Ward839015
A. Bradshaw5905
M. Manningham1-120-12
ReceivingRECYDSTDLG
S. Smith447019
D. Hixon330017
A. Toomer225016
S. Moss113013
K. Boss1505
D. Ward1202
D. Johnson1111
Complete Player Stats
Other Games
TB 23 Final
CAR 38
NE 24 Final
SEA 21
DAL 13 Final
PIT 20
STL 10 Final
ARI 34
NYJ 14 Final
SF 24
KC 17 Final
DEN 24
MIA 16 Final
BUF 3
CLE 9 Final
TEN 28
ATL 25 Final
NO 29
CIN 3 Final
IND 35
HOU 24 Final
GB 21
MIN 20 Final
DET 16
JAC 10 Final
CHI 23
WAS 10 Final
BAL 24
OAK 7 Final
SD 34