3 - 16 Final
  for this game

Umenyiora, Giants defense ravage Eagles in dominating win

Oct 1, 2007 - 6:12 AM
By Joe Rizzo PA SportsTicker Contributing Writer

EAST RUTHERFORD, New Jersey (Ticker) - With the original LT looking on, Michael Strahan, Osi Umenyiora, Mathias Kiwanuka and the inspired New York Giants defense sacked the Philadelphia Eagles. And then they sacked them some more.

Strahan broke Lawrence Taylor's team record for sacks as the Giants tied an NFL record with 12 sacks - including six by Umenyiora and three by Kiwanuka - to lead New York to a 16-3 victory over the Philadelphia Eagles on Sunday night.

The 12 sacks in a single game tied the record held by four other teams, last accomplished by the Dallas Cowboys on September 29, 1985, against the Houston Oilers. Likewise, Kiwanuka finished just one sack short of the individual single-game mark, set by the late Derrick Thomas for the Kansas City Chiefs against the Seattle Seahawks on November 11, 1990.

Strahan took down Donovan McNabb for a three-yard loss with 7:08 left in the second quarter and the Giants protecting a 7-0 lead. The sack broke a tie with Taylor, who had 132 1/2 in his Hall-of-Fame career, for the prestigious team record.

"I want to congratulate Michael on setting the new official career sack record for the Giants," Taylor said. "And I want to remind him that I had 9 1/2 sacks before they even started counting them, so he has more work to do."

"Oh, of course, he told me that before the game," Strahan said. "I loved watching his as a fan, I loved playing with him as a player. I could have 500 sacks, but there just will never be another Lawrence Taylor."

It was the first sack of the season for Strahan, who contemplated retirement, missed the Giants' entire training camp and reported the Monday prior to the season opener. His 22.5 sacks in 2001 are the best for a single season in NFL history.

"I told Michael after the (Washington) game that I thought he was close to where he wanted to be and his timing was back," Giants coach Tom Coughlin said.

It was just the start of a rough night for McNabb and left tackle Winston Justice, a rookie who was making his first start replacing the injured William Thomas for Philadelphia (1-3). The Eagles also played without injured starters Brian Westbrook, Brian Dawkins, Lito Sheppard and L.J. Smith.

"In Philadelphia, (if) the poor kid (Justice) goes out and orders some food, they might do something to him," Strahan said. "I feel bad for the kid. I really do."

"I was flabbergasted," said Umenyiora of the Eagles letting Justice continue to go one-on-one with no help. "I thought they should have done something about it."

Umenyiora gave the Eagles fits. He had three of the Giants' five first-half sacks and ended up breaking Pepper Johnson's single-game team record of 4.5 sacks set back on November 24, 1991, against Tampa Bay.

All of the first-half sacks - with the exception of Strahan's - came on third down, and Umenyiora's takedown of McNabb set up the first score of the game. Before Sunday, Umenyiora had only recorded one sack in his last eight games.

Save for a drive by the Giants that led to a missed 34-yard field-goal attempt by Lawrence Tynes, the defenses dominated. Umenyiora's sack of McNabb at the Philadelphia 18-yard line helped the Giants get the ball on the Philadelphia 49 after a punt.

Eli Manning capped a four-play drive by hitting Plaxico Burress for a nine-yard scoring pass to make it 7-0 just under two minutes into the second quarter.

The Eagles, a week removed from their offensive explosion against Detroit, were limited to 14 passing yards - and 69 total yards - in the first half.

The trend continued in the second half, with Kiwanuka sacking McNabb on 3rd-and-8 on Philadelphia's first drive, and Umenyiora notching his fourth of the game on the ensuing series, knocking McNabb back to his own 1. Kiwanuka struck again on the Eagles' third possession of the second half.

The Giants finally cashed in on the field position, as Tynes notched a 29-yard field goal to make it 10-0 with 2:03 left in the third.

On their fourth possession of the half, the Eagles finally avoided getting sacked but somehow managed a worse result. After an illegal procedure penalty, McNabb fumbled the snap and linebacker Kawika Mitchell picked it up at the Philadelphia 17 and ran it into the end zone.

The play withstood a booth review that cost Eagles coach Andy Reid a timeout, and Tynes drilled the extra-point attempt off the left upright to leave the Giants with a 16-0 advantage.

"I wasn't quite sure if I was touching somebody," said Mitchell, who later dropped what would have been an easy interception touchdown. "I just picked it up and ran with it."

"I was about to hand off and the ball brushed against (fullback) Thomas Tapeh," said McNabb, whose left hand was wrapped due to a sprain he said he suffered trying to protect himself from a fall.

McNabb said the wrist injury would not keep him from missing action in the Eagles' next game - on the road against the New York Jets in Week Six - which means Philadelphia will return to the scene of this abysmal performance in two weeks after a bye next weekend.

Justin Tuck continued the Giants' streak of sacking the Eagles on every possession of the second half, when he notched their ninth of the game, matching the team single-game record. The last time the Giants had nine sacks in a game was August 31, 1997 against the Eagles, one of three times New York had roughed up Philadelphia to that degree.

Despite the nine-yard loss, David Akers got the Eagles on the board with a 53-yard field goal, cutting the deficit to 16-3 with 12:51 left.

The next time Philadelphia had the ball, Kiwanuka's sack broke the team mark, and Umenyiora added to it on the next play.

Umenyiora recorded the final sack on Philadelphia's last offensive play, on fourth down with 2:19 left.

"Everyone was just saying, 'It's looks like a video game for you out there,'" Umenyiora said.

"My sacks were cleaning up the ones he missed," Kiwanuka said. "I'll take it."

When New York's defense was not pressuring McNabb, the Eagles were making life difficult for themselves, committing 15 penalties for 132 yards. In fact, the Eagles converted only one more first down (16) than penalties.

The Eagles became just the second team in NFL history to score eight touchdowns in one week and none in the next game - matching the 1973 Atlanta Falcons - who were the only other team to have held that honor.

"In this league, it's, 'What have you done for me lately?'" McNabb said. "It's definitely frustrating, there's no way around it. It's embarrassing."