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NFL Classic Rewind: Giants Overcome 4th Quarter Deficit to Knock Off Eagles

Posted on September 22, 2011 by A.J. Foss

When it comes to the rivalry between the New York Giants and the Philadelphia Eagles, the “miracle” wins seem to always go to the Eagles such as their 27 unanswered points in the fourth quarter to knock off the Giants in 2010.

But in the second week of the 2006 season, the Giants had their own “miracle” win against the Eagles as they overcame a 17-point 4th quarter deficit to defeat the Eagles.

New York was coming off an 11-5 season in which they won the NFC East Division only to be eliminated by the Carolina Panthers 23-0 in their NFC Wild Card Game at the Meadowlands.

In that game, Giants quarterback Eli Manning was intercepted three times and threw for only 113 yards.

Coming off that poor performance, Manning needed to come back strong in the 2006 season, which was his third in the NFL.

Thankfully for Manning, he had running back Tiki Barber and wide receiver Plaxico Burress at his disposal as well as head coach Tom Coughlin, who was also heading into his third season in New York.

The Giants’ 2005 NFC East title snapped the Eagles’ four-year reign as NFC East Champions as Philadelphia seemed too affected by a Super Bowl hangover in 2005 as they went 6-10 during the season and missed the playoffs for the first time since 1999.

The Eagles and quarterback Donovan McNabb were hoping for a bounce-back season in 2006.

Philadelphia got off to a good start as they won their season opener 24-10 over the Houston Texans while the Giants dropped their opener, a 26-21 home loss to the Indianapolis Colts.

After their playoff debacle and Opening Day loss, Manning and the Giants were dire straits of a victory in Philadelphia.

The Giants got the ball to start to the game and were able to get in the end zone on the seventh play of the drive when Manning found Amani Toomer for a 37-yard touchdown to put New York ahead 7-0 just 3:25 into the game.

The Eagles answered the Giants’ touchdown with a touchdown of their own as Brian Westbrook scored on a 12-yard run to end an 11-play, 92-yard drive that tied the game at 7 midway through the first quarter.

Both teams traded punts for the rest of the first quarter until the Eagles put together their second touchdown drive early in the second quarter.

On the drive, McNabb hit three straight passes for 73 yards, the last completion being a 20-yard touchdown to Donte Stallworth that gave the Eagles their first lead of the game at 14-7 with 12:47 to play in the first half.

The rest of the second quarter belonged to the Eagles’ defense as they did not permit a first down and held the Giants to negative yardage for the rest of the first half.

However, the Eagles were only able to get three more points on the board, a 37-yard field goal by David Akers, as they squandered two other drives into Giants territory to have a 17-7 halftime lead.

Things did not get much better for the Giants when the second half began as the Eagles went 69 yards on seven plays on their opening drive of the second half, which ended with McNabb’s 23-yard touchdown pass to Reggie Brown to increase the Philadelphia lead to 24-7 with 10:49 left in the third quarter.

Late in the third quarter, the Giants offense finally got on track as they started a drive from their own 12-yard-line and advanced to the Eagles’ 39-yard-line.

Then on the third play of the fourth quarter (on the same drive), Manning found Burress for a 23-yard completion only to have Eagles safety Brian Dawkins knock the ball loose for a fumble.

The ball rolled toward the goal line where Giants tight end Visanthe Shincoe and Eagles safety Michael Lewis both dove for the loose ball, but ended up knocking the ball into the end zone where Giants receiver Tim Carter finally landed on the ball to give New York a bizarre touchdown to make it 27-17 with 13:40 left in regulation.

Eli Manning completed 21 of his last 26 passes to lead the Giants to 23 unanswered points in the 4th quarter and Overtime.

The Giants defense then forced a three-and-out to give their offense the ball back at the Eagles’ 49-yard-line.

After three plays gained eight yards, the Giants were faced with a 4th-and-2.

Needing at least 10 points to tie the game, Coughlin decided to go for the first down but the decision backfired as Manning was picked off by Jeremiah Trotter to squash the drive and perhaps the Giants’ chances to come back.

It appeared that all hope was lost for the Giants as they punted on their next possession, giving the ball back to the Eagles with 6:08 to play and a chance for Philadelphia to milk the clock as much as possible.

But on a 2nd-and-6 at the Eagles’ 32-yard-line, the Giants got a turnover when Carlos Eammons knocked the ball loose from Westbrook that led to a fumble recovered by Will Demps with 4:11 left in the fourth quarter.

Three plays later, Manning found Toomer for a 22-yard touchdown and with the extra point, the Giants trailed 27-24 with 3:28 left in regulation.

Having all three timeouts in his pocket, Coughlin decided to kick the ball back to Philadelphia, who took over at their own 22-yard-line.

The Eagles were able to get one first down and forced the Giants to burn all three timeouts before punting the ball back to New York, who took over at their own 20-yard-line with 56 seconds to go.

Manning started the drive with two straight completions to Toomer for 20 yards, then connected with Carter for a 22-yard completion that put the Giants at the Eagles’ 40-yard-line.

After spiking the ball, Manning found tight end Jeremy Shockley for eight yards, but got 15 more when Eagles defensive lineman Trent Cole was called for a personal foul out that put New York at the Eagles’ 17-yard-line with 10 seconds left.

At this point, Coughlin decided to go for the field goal and Jay Feely come onto to the field to attempt a 34-yard field goal that would tie the game.

Despite the fact that it is was a relative chip shot, most Giants fans and players had to be nervous because this was the same Jay Feely who missed three potential game-winning field goals the year before in an overtime loss to the Seattle Seahawks.

But this time, Feely came through and sailed the kick through the uprights to tie the game at 24 and send the game into overtime.

The Giants won the overtime coin toss and got the ball first but had to punt the ball after Manning was sacked twice on the drive.

However, the Eagles went three-and-out when they got the ball so they had to punt it back to New York, who took over at their own 15-yard-line with 9:55 to go in the overtime period.

Plaxico Burress hauls in the game-winning touchdown pass in overtime of the Giants' comeback win over the Eagles.

Using a mixture of passes and Barber runs, the Giants took 12 plays to get to the Eagles’ 26-yard-line where they faced a 3rd-and-6.

Coughlin decided to run one more play before bringing Feely in, but a false start took the Giants back five yards and made the play 3rd-and-11.

Now facing a potential 48-yard field goal, Manning decided to get aggressive and go for the end zone.

Manning took the snap and dropped back only to have a blitzing Dawkins in his face.

Standing tall, Manning fired a pass toward the end zone intended for Burress, who out jumped cornerback Sheldon Brown and fell into the end zone for a 31-yard touchdown to give New York an improbable 30-24 overtime win.

The comeback seemed to inspire the Giants as they jumped out to a 6-2 start, but things fell apart for New York as they dropped six of their last eight games to finish the season with a 8-8 record.

Despite their collapse, the Giants still made the playoffs as a Wild Card where they meet the Eagles, who won the NFC East with thanks to a five-game winning streak at the end of the season when backup quarterback Jeff Garcia took over the starting job when McNabb was lost for the season due to a knee injury.

The Eagles would avenge their September loss to the Giants with a 23-20 win over New York when David Akers made a 38-yard field goal as time expired.

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