EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. – Even without Donovan McNabb and Terrell Owens, the Philadelphia Eagles gave the New York Giants all they could handle.

Eli Manning threw three touchdown passes, including a 61-yarder to Plaxico Burress late in the fourth quarter, to help New York hold off a feisty Eagles team 27-17.

In place of McNabb, who is sidelined with a groin injury, third-string quarterback Mike McMahon ran for one touchdown and threw for another, but it wasn’t enough to stop the Giants (7-3) from surpassing their 2004 win total and beating Philadelphia for the first time since 2002, a span that included four games.

The Eagles (4-6), who have finished first in the NFC East division for the last four years, fell three games behind the Giants and Dallas, which defeated Detroit on Sunday.

Philadelphia had crept to within a field goal at 20-17 on McMahon’s 1-yard touchdown run with 7:33 left in the game when the Giants took over on their own 20. Three plays later, Manning froze cornerback Sheldown Brown with a pump fake and lofted the ball to Burress on the right sideline.

Burress made a stutter-step and then outran Brown to the end zone to give the Giants a 10-point lead with 5:24 left.

Manning finished 17-of-26 for 218 yards and threw touchdown passes of 1 yard each to Amani Toomer and Jeremy Shockey. Tiki Barber rushed 21 times for 112 yards for New York.

McMahon was 18-of-39 for 298 yards and threw a 22-yard touchdown pass to Reggie Brown in the third quarter. In the fourth quarter, he displayed McNabb-like agility when he scrambled 12 yards on a third-and-8 play that led to his 1-yard touchdown run.

When McMahon had time to throw, he was able to take advantage of the Giants’ inexperienced cornerbacks. On the third-quarter drive that led to Brown’s 22-yard touchdown catch, Brian Westbrook beat Curtis Deloatch for a 32-yard completion two plays after the second-year cornerback was whistled for interference.

Later in the third quarter, rookie Corey Webster went for a pump fake and was beaten by Brown for a 44-yard completion and Deloatch was called for interference on Billy McMullen at the goal line.

The Giants avoided more trouble when cornerback Will Allen knocked the ball out of tight end L.J. Smith’s hands in the end zone on third down, forcing the Eagles to settle for David Akers’ 20-yard field goal that made the score 13-10.

New York’s offense had struggled in its last two games, and the woes continued in the first half Sunday as they managed 83 total yards in the first 30 minutes. Manning was sacked four times and fumbled twice but was saved both times when teammates recovered the loose balls.

The Giants’ most effective play of the half came when they gained 47 yards on a pass interference penalty against Eagles safety Michael Lewis. That led to Jay Feely’s 26-yard field goal.

New York’s lone first-half touchdown was the direct result of David Tyree’s punt block, which set up the Giants at the Eagles’ 1-yard line. After three consecutive runs by rookie Brandon Jacobs went nowhere, Manning faked a handoff to Barber and found Toomer in the back of the end zone with 2:55 left in the half for a 10-0 lead.

AP-ES-11-20-05 1627EST


Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or to participate in the conversation. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.