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Giants Win Ugly Over Philly


As hard as the New York Giants tried to give away the game Jessie Armstead dubbed "The Loser Bowl," the winless and punchless Philadelphia Eagles just wouldn't take it.

The Giants overcame five turnovers and an ill-advised lateral, getting a game-winning 23-yard field goal from Brad Daluiso with 7:43 to play in defeating the Eagles 16-15 on Sunday in one of the ugliest football games ever at Giants Stadium.

"I am not happy with our performance at all, especially the offense," said Giants coach Jim Fassel, whose team at least managed to take a knee at the end of the game without incident, unlike 21 years ago against Philadelphia in the infamous play known as "The Fumble."

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  • "We gave them all 15 points," Fassel added. "You can't expect to turn the ball over five times and win many games."

    It could have been much worse. Philadelphia (0-4) only recovered two of six fumbles by the Giants (2-2).

    "It was ugly out there, but it was beautiful at the end with the win," Giants safety Sam Garnes said. "That's all that counts, getting the win."

    However, winning ugly might have created a quarterback controversy for Fassel. He lifted Kent Graham (15-of-29 for 171 yards) after his third interception and Kerry Collins (6 of 12 for 86) was running the team when Daluiso kicked his third field goal.

    Graham accounted for the other score with a 9-yard touchdown pass to Ike Hilliard on the opening series.

    Fassel refused to say who will start next week at Arizona.

    "I am going to think about tht," he said. "I am not going to make a decision right now."

    Graham and Collins, the troubled quarterback who signed a nearly $17 million contract in the offseason, both were diplomatic.

    While saying he deserved to be yanked, Graham felt he should start next week. While Collins would like to start, he did not say he should, despite leading New York on a game-winning 67-yard, 11-play drive.

    No matter who plays, the Giants offense can't afford another game like Sunday.

    "Today we were only one point better," said Daluiso, who also converted from 25 and 35 yards. "It's our fault. We turned the ball over too much and did some things that hurt us. We were fortunate to win."

    Bobby Taylor scored on an 18-yard interception return and Norm Johnson kicked field two field goals for the Eagles, winless under rookie coach Andy Reid. The other two points came on a safety following a lateral by Giants cornerback Jason Sehorn after a first-quarter interception.

    "It's very frustrating," said Eagles linebacker Jeremiah Trotter, whose third-quarter interception at the Giants 13 led to Graham's benching. "But we have to be professional. We can't worry about what is happening on the other side of the ball."

    After trailing for the more than three quarters, Johnson gave the Eagles a 15-13 lead with a 32-yard field goal with 12:37 to play. The drive started after Collins was sacked by Bill Johnson and Mark Wheeler recovered at the Philadelphia 42. Donovan McNabb hit passes of 13, 14 and 11 yards to set up the score.

    Collins led the Giants right back on the next series, hitting passes of 28 yards to Hilliard and 16 to fullback Charles Way.

    The Eagles were offside on Daluiso's field goal attempt from 27 yards, giving New York a first-and-goal. However, it did not capitalize and Daluiso converted the winning kick.

    New York's defense limited the Eagles to 174 yards. It also had five sacks, picked off two of Doug Pederson's passes and recovered a fumble. Pro Bowl defensive end Michael Strahan has his first three sacks of the season and Armstead added two.

    Despite turning the ball over three times, making the ill-advised lateral and handing the Eagles nine points, the Giants still led 10-9 at halftime.

    Daluiso's 35-yad field goal with six seconds left in the half capped a 56-yard go-ahead drive. It featured a 21-yard pass to Hilliard and a crucial fumble recovery by guard Ron Stone after Graham was sacked.

    New York went 57 yards on its opening drive and Hilliard caught his TD pass on a play in which the offensive line gave Graham all day to throw.

    Sehorn gave Philadelphia its first two after his interception at the Giants 6. He attempted a lateral and the ball rolled into the end zone, where teammate Phillippi Sparks recovered for a safety.

    Cornerback Taylor capitalized on the next error, intercepting Graham's pass and returning it 18 yards for a touchdown on the final play of the third quarter.

    Notes

  • The Eagles' winless road streak is now 19, 0-18-1.
  • The touchdown by Taylor was the first for Philadelphia since the first quarter of the opener against Arizona.
  • The Eagles offense has now gone 47 consecutive series without a touchdown.
  • Giants receiver Amani Toomer had a career-high eight receptions for 123 yards....Philadelphia's three interceptions gave it nine for the year, matching last year's total
  • The return of Gary Brown woke up the Giants, who averaged a league-low 56 yards rushing. Brown gained 87 yards and the team had 128.

    ©1999 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed

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