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(Sunday, September 25th)
Final Score: NY Giants 29, Philadelphia 16
Philadelphia, PA (Sports Network) - A maligned Giants defense peppered Michael Vick with hits, knocking him out with a broken hand, and Eli Manning threw four touchdown passes Sunday to lead New York to a 29-16 victory over the Philadelphia Eagles.
After what happened last time these teams played, you might say the Giants owed their NFC East rivals one.
Manning passed for 254 yards, including two touchdown throws to Victor Cruz and one each to running backs Brandon Jacobs and Ahmad Bradshaw. Cruz and Bradshaw reached the end zone in the fourth quarter as the Giants (2-1) scored 15 unanswered points to end the game.
The Eagles (1-2) scored 16 straight points to take the lead after trailing 14-0 in the first quarter, but Vick was knocked out of a game for the second week in a row with a fractured right non-throwing hand.
The quarterback left last Sunday's game against the Falcons because of a concussion, but passed his tests during the week and was cleared to start against New York.
Although he suffered several hits in a bruising first half against the Giants, Vick broke his hand on a hard hit by Chris Canty in the third quarter.
The quarterback held his hands against both sides of his helmet as he was falling backwards to the ground, protecting his head, but needed to put at least one hand down to break his fall.
"I felt like I got hit late. There was no flag. Broke my hand. That's it," said Vick.
Eagles head coach Andy Reid said Vick would undergo a CT scan on Monday to further evaluate the hand.
"It doesn't look like it's displaced," Reid said, which would be a good sign for Vick.
Still, the quarterback voiced his frustration over what seemed like his belief that officials have been unwilling to protect him while he's in the pocket, although he wouldn't blame referees directly after Sunday's game.
"That's pretty much been the story for the last three weeks. Obviously at some point, something catastrophic is going to happen. ... Not to blame the refs or say it's their fault. It's just one of those situations," said Vick.
"I just think more precaution should be taken when I'm inside the pocket. You look at all the replays, I'm on the ground every time. It's unfortunate for myself, it's unfortunate for my team, and I'd be lying if I sat here and said I wasn't frustrated right now because of that.
"I don't know if I'm going to be able to play next week. I don't know anything right now except my hand is broken. We have to figure out what's the next move."
Vick came out of the tunnel and went back into the game after getting x-rays, but was taken out a short time later and replaced by Mike Kafka for the second week in a row.
Kafka entered the game with 8:07 remaining and threw an interception on his first pass, a deep throw down the right sideline. The Eagles trailed 22-16 at the time after Manning had hooked up with Cruz for a second time on a 28-yard touchdown.
The Giants were lined up for a field goal after Aaron Ross' interception, but an encroachment penalty on the Eagles gave them a first down and Bradshaw eventually scored on an 18-yard catch and run on the left side to make it 29-16.
"I was proud of the way we hung in there," said Manning.
Kafka threw another interception before the game was over and went 4-of-7 for 35 yards in his relief appearance. Vick was 16-of-23 for 176 yards and an interception before leaving. He also fumbled three times, but the Eagles recovered each one.
LeSean McCoy carried much of the offensive load, rushing 24 times for 128 yards and a touchdown for the Eagles.
It was the first meeting between the NFC East rivals since DeSean Jackson's game-winning 65-yard punt return for the Eagles last December 19 in East Rutherford, which all but knocked the Giants out of playoff contention.
Vick sustained a hard hit by lineman Rocky Bernard in the first half that knocked him backwards and slammed his helmet on the turf. He was also knocked down after throwing an interception, and Jason Pierre-Paul delivered another hard hit.
At the end of the half, Vick's teammates had to push him toward the sideline when he seemed not to know that the field goal team was coming on the field.
Earlier, Vick drove the Eagles inside the red zone on their first possession of the game, but was intercepted by Ross on third down. Ross took it back 19 yards, and Vick took a hit near the end of the play.
The Giants converted the pick into a touchdown when rookie Eagles linebacker Casey Matthews bit badly on a play fake near the line of scrimmage, leaving Jacobs all alone on the left side for a 40-yard touchdown catch. Matthews recovered, but couldn't catch up to the running back.
Cruz, who sparkled in last year's preseason but didn't catch a pass until this season, broke through an initial hit by safety Kurt Coleman, then escaped Nnamdi Asomugha and Coleman again on a 74-yard reception down the left sideline to make it 14-0.
The Eagles ran the ball on eight straight plays during a 15-play, 77-yard drive that ended in Alex Henery's 21-yard field goal for their first points.
Philadelphia stopped the Giants on 4th-and-3, and McCoy went around the left side of the line on a slashing 11-yard run to end a seven-play drive and get the Eagles within 14-10.
The Eagles scrambled to get Henery and the field goal team on the field as time wound down in the first half, but the rookie kicker was good on a 38-yard try to make it 14-13 at the break.
"They came rushing back, as they usually do," said Giants head coach Tom Coughlin. "But we fought our way back."
Philadelphia was stopped three times on 1st-and-goal and settled for Henery's 21-yard field goal for a 16-14 lead in the third quarter. Later, Manning found Cruz working against Asomugha and safety Jarrad Page for a 28-yard touchdown.
The Giants converted the two-point conversion after a pass interference penalty negated the first failed try.
"We didn't have enough big plays," said Reid, "and they had too many."
Bradshaw rushed 15 times for 86 yards...Manning was 16-of-23...Cruz scored his first two touchdowns...Eagles wide receiver Jeremy Maclin caught five passes for 69 yards but suffered a hamstring injury...In the December 19 game, the Eagles rallied from a 31-10 deficit in the final 8:17.
09/25 18:59:24 ET
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