Updating with the third quarter:
None of that first-half dsiparity meant much when the Eagles drove a snappy 60 yards, after a 37-yard Demps return of the second-half kickoff, scoring on a very nice 7-yard pass to Hank Baskett in the back of the end zone. Somehow, the Eagles were winning, 24-20.
The Giants resumed their battering-ram attack and drove to the Birds’ 20, where Eli Manning was ruled to have stepped over the line, completing a third-down pass to Kevin Boss. Apparently, part of Manning’s back heel was not over the line, a Giants challenge ascertained, and the Giants got a first down at the 3. They took the lead back two plays later.
On replays, it seemed far from certain that Manning didn't cross the line, maybe not certain enough to overturn the ruling on the field, most nights. But the replay ruling was what it was.
The Giants were driving again when the third quarter ended; they settled for a 28-yard field goal and a 30-24 lead.
Updating with the Eagles down 17-7:
Just as the second quarter seemed destined to turn into an ugly beating, Brandon Jacobs hurdled Quintin Mikell and was met with Chris Gocong on the way down. A 10-yard gain ended in a huge hit, and a fumble that Mike Patterson, ever the ballhawk, recovered at the New York 44.
Six plays and an unnecessary roughing penalty later, it was 17-14.Donovan McNabb hit Jason Avant from 10 yards for the touchdown, after Sam Madison’s late hit on a Jackson reverse set the table.
But just when the Eagles seemed poised to assert themselves, McNabb badly underthrew a third-and-12 pass to DeSean Jackson and was intercepted by Madison, who ran the pick back to the Birds’ 14. The Eagles’ defense did a solid job in making the Giants settle for another John Carney field goal, and a 20-14 lead.
The Eagles then uncorked their longest drive of the half, 61 yards on nine plays, setting up a 29-yard David Akers field goal and a 20-17 halftime deficit, which seemed fortunate, given the numbers.
Here are some of the uglier ones: Twenty minutes and 38 seconds time of possession for the Giants, to 9:22. New York rushed for 104 yards, to 41 (and Jackson had 24 of the 41). Jacobs had 68 yards on 9 carries, Derrick Ward 36 on 9. McNabb, even after the stat-boosting final series, was 9-for-20 for 85 yards and a 53.1 passer rating. Eli Manning, under much less pressure but also much more accurate, was 14-for-22 for 149 and a 94.7 passer rating.