Challenges changed Eagles-Giants game

The Eagles lost two challenges and the Giants won a big one in their NFC East battle last night at the Linc.

In the third quarter, with the Eagles leading by 24-20, a critical challenge by Giants coach Tom Coughlin helped change the momentum of the game on a key third-and-10 play from the Eagles' 20-yard line.

Giants quarterback Eli Manning scrambled as he escaped the pocket and looked to make a play downfield. It appeared that his body and one leg crossed the line of scrimmage as he completed a 17-yard pass to tight end Kevin Boss.

The referee called an illegal forward pass, which meant a 5-yard penalty and loss of down, and a possible 42-yard field-goal attempt by John Carney.

But the rules state that the quarterback's entire body must be beyond the line of scrimmage.

"I knew it would be close," Manning said. "It was the big play of the game. I figured we'd give it a shot."

It was close, but after looking at the replay, referee Terry McAulay determined that Manning's trail foot had not crossed the line, giving the Giants the ball at the Eagles' 3 and reversing the original call.

That play set up a go-ahead touchdown by Brandon Jacobs with 5 minutes, 56 seconds left in the third quarter for a 27-24 lead.

In the fourth quarter, Eagles coach Andy Reid challenged that Jacobs had lost the ball after making a first down at the Eagles' 3. The ruling on the field was upheld, and Reid lost a time-out with 9:30 left.

On the next play, Reid made another challenge when Jacobs appeared to score but the ball popped loose as he crossed the goal line. The call was close but was ruled a touchdown on the field. Upon further review, it was not reversed, giving the Giants a 36-24 lead.

- Bob Brookover