Manning, Giants lead Eagles 20-17 at halftime
Eli Manning threw two TD passes and John Carney kicked two field goals to give the NFC East-leading New York Giants a 20-17 lead over the Philadelphia Eagles at halftime on Sunday night.
Trying to slice a game off New York’s lead, Philadelphia scored two touchdowns off Giants’ turnovers. Donovan McNabb threw a TD pass and lined up as a wideout on a trick play score that gave the Eagles their first touchdown. David Akers kicked a 29-yard field goal as the first half expired to make it 20-17.
The Giants and Eagles played in front of a special guest. Vice President-elect Joe Biden watched the game in a luxury suite with Eagles owner Jeffrey Lurie. Biden was booed when he was showed on the video screen.
Manning finished a 10-play, 80-yard drive with a 1-yard TD pass to Kevin Boss on the first play of the second quarter for a 17-7 lead.
Manning, who has a 3-0 career regular-season record in Philadelphia, helped drive the Giants to their 35 when Brandon Jacobs lost a fumble. Jacobs hurdled over Asante Samuel and was hit in the air by Eagles linebacker Chris Gocong. The ball popped loose and was recovered by linebacker Mike Patterson, who also had a first-quarter interception.
McNabb capitalized on the turnover, throwing a 10-yard touchdown pass to Jason Avant to make it 17-14 with 4:01 left in the half.
McNabb, though, badly underthrew wide receiver DeSean Jackson and his pass was intercepted by Sam Madison. Madison returned the ball to the 14, and Carney (20-for-21 on the season) kicked a 26-yarder for a 20-14 lead.
The defending Super Bowl champions have opened some daylight with a two-game lead in the division over the Eagles (5-3) and 1 1/2 games over the Redskins.
Manning threw an early interception that Philadelphia converted into a touchdown, but came right back to throw the tying TD to Plaxico Burress in the first quarter.
New York’s special teams came up with a huge turnover to set up the go-ahead score.
Philadelphia’s Quintin Demps had the ball stripped away by Ahmad Bradshaw on a kickoff return and New York’s Chase Blackburn recovered and returned the ball to the 13. That helped Carney kick a 27-yard field goal for a 10-7 lead.
Manning threw for more than 100 yards in the quarter and looked sharp after his early interception.
Manning was under pressure when he dropped back on the third play of the game and his pass was intercepted by Patterson. The ball went straight into the 292-pound Patterson’s hands, bounced off his helmet and back into his hands for his first career interception and a 21-yard return to the 9.
Then the Eagles, who had a guard catch a TD last week, went for some more trickery on second down. McNabb split to the far left side and the ball was snapped directly to Jackson in a shotgun formation. Jackson, Philadelphia’s leading receiver, ran to his right and reached across the goal line with his arms extended for a 7-0 lead.
Left guard Todd Herremans was surprisingly not in the starting lineup one week after he scored his first career TD. Nick Cole started in his place. The move was a “coaching decision,” said an Eagles spokesman.
Herremans returned in the second quarter.
Giants linebacker Jonathan Goff left the game in the second quarter with a head injury. Cornerback Corey Webster also left with a groin injury.
Phillies left fielder Pat Burrell and World Series MVP Cole Hamels served as the honorary captains and walked out with Philadelphia’s captains for the pregame coin toss. Burrell wore McNabb’s No. 5 jersey and Hamels wore backup QB A.J. Feeley’s No. 14.
The Eagles later congratulated the Phillies on the big screen for their World Series championship.
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