Eagles Soar Past Giants Into NFC Championship

The New York Giants went into their NFC Divisional matchup against their rival from the NFC East, the Philadelphia Eagles, as the number one seed in the NFC playoffs. When the game clock read 0:00 though, they were the defeated team sent to watch the rest of the playoffs from the comfort of their own home rather than moving on for the chance to play in the Super Bowl. The Eagles looked and played like the team that wanted to win the game, in the second half at least.

To start the game the Eagles kicker, David Akers, kicked off to dangerous return man, Ahmad Bradshaw, who took the ball from his own endzone all the way down to the Philadelphia 35 where he was pushed out of bounds by Akers himself. The Giants then went on a 9 play, 31 yard drive but had to settle for a 22 yard field goal by kicker John Carney.

The Eagles could not get anything going on their opening drive and had to punt. Eli Manning’s first pass attempt on the Giants next drive was intercepted by Asante Samuel and returned to the New York 2 yard line. Three plays later Eagles quarterback, Donovan McNabb, plunged forward for a one yard touchdown run and a 7-3 Eagles lead.

No more scoring took place until the beginning of the second quarter when the Eagles were backed up inside their own 5. McNabb dropped back to pass in the endzone and when he felt the pressure from the Giants defense he tried to throw the ball away but was called for intentional grounding which resulted in a safety for the Giants and made the score 7-5. The Giants and Eagles exchanged field goals going into the half giving the Eagles a 10-8 halftime lead.

The only scoring in the third quarter were field goals by both teams resulting in a 2 point Philadelphia lead going into the last quarter of play. The first play of the fourth quarter was a 1 yard strike to Eagles wide receiver Brent Celek from McNabb to push the Philly lead to nine points at 20-11. That proved all the Eagles needed as they added one more field goal and won the game 23-11 to move on to Arizona and take on the Cardinals in the NFC Championship Game.

McNabb finished the game 22/40 for 217 yards, 2 touchdowns (1 rushing), and 2 interceptions. Eagles dangerous running back, Brian Westbrook, gained only 36 yards on 18 carries. Manning played terribly completing only 15 passes on 29 attempts for 169 yards and 2 interceptions. Giants running backs Brandon Jacobs and Derrick Ward combined for 138 yards on 31 carries.

A Game Fun Fact: This was the first game in NFL history to end with a final score of 23-11.


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