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Mikefan - Gamegirl Reviews
Game 4
  1st 2nd 3rd 4th Final
Eagles 9 0 3 3 15
Giants 7 3 3 3 16
Preview E-Giants Recap ESPN Recap ESPN Stats

Got anything to say about your favorite player Jason Sehorn?
"Oh boy, I know what you mean, they'll be talking about that play for a long time. You should have seen everyone in the stands. First everyone was thrilled because Jason stops the Eagles drive with his first interception, and next he's tossing the ball around. It looked like the Eagles were going to get it back in the endzone, but luckily that didn't happen. I don't know what Jason was thinking. It cost us a safety and 2 points, and put the Eagles offense back on the field for another try at us. Luckily we won the game so everyone will kind of laugh it off, but it could have been a different story by the time all was said and done."

Do you think Fassel should have pulled Graham when he did?
"Oh yes, he was struggling out there. Normally Kent's real good with the ball, but he had three interceptions, and a lot of his passes were going high. He was losing control and needed to be yanked. All the drives were ending up with turnovers.
Collins wasn't amazing out there, but he had a lot of rust to shake off. The Eagles seemed excited to have sent Graham to the bench, and they put a lot of pressure on Collins right away. He fumbled the ball once when he got sacked, but then got used to the pressure. There was a nice screen pass to Charles Way that went for a lot, and Hilliard caught one that I know was more than 25 yards.
I guess there's going to be a lot of talk about swapping quarterbacks the way things worked out. The bad part is that no matter who we're playing, or if the running game is working and passes are being completed, points just don't seem to make it onto the scoreboard. Coach Fassel is supposed to be an expert in this area, but it's just never working.
The Giants started the game with an exciting drive, and then they couldn't score after that. You wonder if Fassel is too much of a nice guy, and can't keep the team motivated for very long. I don't know what the problem is. How did Dallas and Arizona end up?"

Dallas won that game 35-7.
"OK - I was curious, because both of the teams I was watching today, the Giants and the Eagles, end up playing those two teams next week. It sounds like we got the easier one, though nothing ever seems easy for the Giants these days. Anyway, at least we ended up with a win, and it was real lively in the stadium with all the turnovers and quarterback switching and all. The Giants always make it exciting, though not always for the right reasons."

Some game right Mikefan?
"You can say that again, but that's why we're Giants fans. The Eagles were kind of lost after the first three games, and another team would have just blown them away.
It would be a boring Sunday afternoon, but the Giants want to give you your money's worth. It was one of those typical rollercoaster Giants games that had all kinds of things going on."

What do you mean?
"Well, they started with an opening drive that mostly featured passes to Toomer, supplemented by runs from our returning running back, Gary Brown.
Graham had a 17-yard pass to Toomer to Philadelphia's 46 when they were facing a 2nd and 16. Then Brown gained 3 and then 4 yards, and on the 3rd and 3 things looked bad as Graham dropped back from the collapsing pocket, but he hit Toomer again with a 13 yard pass for a 1st down at the Eagles 27.
Graham throws incomplete to Mitchell and they blitz him on the next play, but he finds Toomer again for 8 yards, and on the 3rd and 2, everybody knows the ball is going to Gary Brown and still he comes up with the 2 yards and even more. Brown runs for 11 to the Philadelphia 8 where he fumbles the ball just to give you one of those roller coaster feelings, but it rolls out of bounds.
Now Gary Brown gets strung out on the next play for no gain, and on 2nd and 10, Graham holds onto the ball for what seems like way too much time, as the Eagles probably have 5 guys shadowing Toomer at this point, and even though Toomer deserves to get the TD, Graham finds Hilliard instead.
The extra point makes it 7- 0 off the opening drive, Kent Graham is 4 for 6 for 47 yards and a TD. The running game is working, the passing game is working, and after a few small bumps, you're almost to the top of the first hill on your rollercoaster ride!"

We're starting to get what you mean.
"Right, because the next thing that happens is things slow down just a bit as you hit towards the peak. Daluiso kicks it way out of the endzone, there's not even a return and the Eagles are 3 and out. After a nice 19 yard return by Tiki, the Giants go 3 and out, and we've just nudged up to the top of the hill.
Now the Eagles have the ball, take it to 3rd and 10, and they hit Torrance Small and make the 1st down. OK, so no big deal, but Staley breaks one for 6 yards. The Giants put lots of pressure on QB Doug Pederson, but he breaks free and they face a 3rd and 4 and the Giants let Staley pick up the first down."

We're starting down that first hill now right?
"Yeah, and picking up speed real fast, because, Pederson hits a wide open receiver for a big gain while Sparks pulls a holding call. We're like 'Rolling Thunder' on our ride now, because the Eagles throw towards the endzone, but Sehorn leaps up and intercepts it!
He tries to run forward but there's nothing there, and instead of going down with the ball, he flips it towards Percy Ellsworth. Sehorn must have thought he was on some kind of offseason athletic ESPN wacky world of sports competition to have done that, because now the ball is loose!
Fassel is on the sidelines, also stuck on this rollercoaster ride, first seeing the Eagles drive stopped by the interception, and then seeing everyone on the field playing rugby with the football on his 2 yard line.
Phillippi Sparks recovered it in the endzone, and the Eagles nail the Giants for a safety and 2 points.
Oddly, now the last two scores for the Eagles came to them from safties, spanning the last two games. Anyway, because of the safety, the Eagles get to have the ball again. Another odd thing, is that I don't recall hearing Sehorn's name mentioned after that. Maybe he was so afraid to face Fassel, he ran off to the other sidelines and hid for the rest of the game.

On the next series, the Eagles try a few stunts on the Giants defense, but Strahan doesn't bite because as we all know now, this is going to be his big day, and the Eagles are forced to punt. Tiki unwisely decides to let the ball go by him on the return, and you watch as the eager Eagles surround the ball and down it on the 9.
Not much happens for the Giants on the first two tries, and on a 3rd and 6 Kent Graham throws a slant pass to David Patten that's intercepted by cornerback Bobby Taylor and returned 18 yards for a touchdown. Suddenly, the Eagles end up leading the Giants 9-7 at the end of the 1st quarter."

This rollercoaster ride is not going to stop.
"You got that. Patten gives the crowd a scare as he fumbles the return. The Eagles pick it up, but the ball is ruled down.
On this series you get lifted up by a big 28 yard run by Brown, a nice 3rd down catch by Toomer for a first down, and then you're slammed by Graham's interception off Joe Jurevicius' fingertips.
The Eagles have it on their own 24 yard line and the Giants let them slowly get to the NY 38, and Percy Ellsworth can't stand them chipping away like this, so he intercepts QB Pederson's next pass.
Everyone, including Jim Fassel, holds his breath hoping that Jason Sehorn didn't give Percy any special instructions as he runs it from the NY15 to the NY30 for a 15 yard return.

The Giants struggle on this series as suddenly the Gary Brown thing becomes inconsistent. It's all up to Graham, and the pocket's breaking down a lot as he passes to Pete Mitchell for 8, is incomplete to Hilliard. Brown reels off 9 yards. They surprise the Eagles by giving the ball to Way, and he gets 7.
The confused Eagles pull an offsides penalty but then stop Brown for a 5 yard loss. Graham passes to Joe Jurevicius at the Eagles 21 for a big 26 yards, and you're on top of another rollercoaster hill that comes down fast, because Jurevicius lets Mamula swat the ball, and he fumbles it back to the Eagles at their 17.
The Eagles don't get far and the Giants get it back to start their drive at the NY 26 with 2:17 left, and Graham hits Mitchell for 12 right before the 2 minute warning. Working from the shotgun, Graham mixes it up with short passes to Barber and longer ones to Hilliard ( 21 yards), and Toomer (10 yards). The refs don't like one of Tiki's catches and slow the Giants drive down as the play was reviewed, but the decision stands as called.
Graham can't find anyone open, so he rushes for 14 and the Eagles get an illegal contact penalty. The Giants are on the Eagle 5 with 41 seconds left. For some strange reason, they don't use Gary Brown or Charles Way here and two passes go incomplete to Jurevicius and Hilliard. You're zooming down a rollercoaster hill again, as the Giants burn their last timeout and Graham gets sacked at the Eagles 12 and fumbles but recovers it at the Eagle 18.

It's 4th down now and the clock is running down and confused players, including Graham, are running all over the place, and it looks like for all the world, the Giants are not going to get the kicking team on the field in time enough for a 4th down FG attempt. Your heart is in your mouth from this first half ride that looks about to end with the Eagles up 9-7.
Unfortunately for the Eagles, Mike Mamula was injured and they were forced to take an injury timeout with 10 seconds left.
The Giants had time to set up for Daluiso's go-ahead field goal just before halftime, and left the field winning 10-9 amidst lots of booing from the fans who expected more at this point."

It really hurt that the Giants got so close but couldn't score a TD.
"Right, and they never did for the rest of the game. It was all field goals after that, and I'm taking us off this rollercoaster now, even though there are more 'thrills'.
The Giants chewed up almost 8 minutes on the next series.
Toomer caught a 25 and an 8 yarder. Brown ran for a 9 and a 7 yarder. On a 4th and 1 inch, Graham kept the ball and went over the top to make the first down, loosing the ball momentarily as he did so.
Later in the same drive he took off up the middle for 7 yards to the Eagles 15 and fumbled. The suddenly sure handed Tiki Barber picked up the ball and got the first down.
They give it to Brown twice and it's 3rd and 5 on the Eagles 8 yard line when
Kent Graham passes incomplete to Patten from the shotgun, but gets leveled on the play. He was on the ground for a while, probably wondering why he's getting QB backup pay for taking QB starter hits.
The Giants had to settle for a Brad Daluiso 25 yard field goal to lead 13-9.

The Eagles didn't do much with it, but Landeta punts it 47 yards while Tiki watches it get downed at the to NY 2. Now Graham, under a lot of pressure down by the goal line, feeds it to Charles Way for 2 yards, then Brown for 1 yard, then passes incomplete to Hilliard.
There was Defensive Pass Interference, but Luke Petitgout was also called for holding and the offsetting penalties resulted in a do over.
Graham's next pass was intended for Mitchell but was intercepted by Jeremiah Trotter at the NY13."

That was it for Graham.
"Yes, it was, and Strahan puts a 9 yard sack on McNabb to kill any thoughts they might have about getting a TD out of this.
Still, the feisty McNabb sees no one open on the next play, and takes it up the middle to get pushed out of bounds at NY8, after a 13 yard gain.
It's still 4th and 5, and the Eagles come away with a FG, and now it's Giants 13, Eagles 12, and Kerry Collins goes in with 3:11 left on the clock..

The Eagles are excited that they have knocked Graham out of the box, and realize that the way things are going, they could actually win their first game of the season.
Collins, without much playing time under his belt and with lousy pass protection, struggles just like Graham and goes three and out.

The next Eagle possession is stopped when Sam Garnes forces a fumble from Staley, which is recovered by Keith Hamilton at the Eagles 32, and Collins has another shot. Kerry feeds one to Brown, then gets sacked for minus 11 yards and fumbles it back to the Eagles at their 42.
Eagles QB McNabb starts his drive as the quarter ends, and continues it, into the 4th quarter. He moves the Eagles to the NY9, and on 3rd and 7, Strahan comes up big and nails McNabb from behind, so the Eagles settle for the FG, and a 15-13 lead."

The Giants are losing 15-13 with 12:37 left in the game.
"Yes, and Collins shows that he has the right stuff on this drive which included passes to Hilliard for 28, and Way for 16. They get down to the Eagle 18. Kerry passes to Howard Cross for 3, to Hilliard for 6 yards, and of course they can't get anywhere on the 3rd and 1 as a tiring Brown loses a yard. Daluiso's 23 yard field goal makes the score Giants 16, Eagles 15.
The Eagles can't move the ball on their series. Collins does better on his next series including a 32 yard pass to Toomer, but he pulls a questionable intentional grounding penalty which the refs called kind of late and that cost the Giants a chance for an insurance field goal.
The Eagles have 3:37 left to do something, but McNabb gets sacked first by Strahan, and then again by Jessie Armstead on the 3rd down.
That about did it as the Giants killed the last 1:51 to win the game.
Collins finished 6-for-12 for 86 yards."

Game Notes
On interceptions - Percy Ellsworth had his third of the season and Jason Sehorn got his first since 1997.

Amani Toomer had a career day with eight receptions for 123 yards.
He has 24 catches for 333 yards this season, on track to break his career highs set last year, at 27 catches and 360 yards.

Tackle Keith Hamilton knocked down two passes and recovered a fumble.

The Giants had 5 sacks, 3 by defensive end Michael Strahan, and 2 by linebacker Jessie Armstead.

Where did Sehorn go - The Eagles threw mostly to Phillippi Sparks side and did not challenge Sehorn much after that interception.

The Giants 5 turnovers were their most since they committed 5 in a 24-17 loss to, who else, but the Eagles on Dec. 3, 1989.

The Eagles offense has now gone three straight games, a total of 15 quarters overall, without scoring a touchdown.

The Eagle quarterbacks combined for 9 for 22 passing for 113 yards and 2 INTs.

Ex-Giants punter Sean Landeta averaged 49.6 yards on 7 punts for the Eagles.

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