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Giants manage win over Eagles

The SportsXchange

PHILADELPHIA -- It was not a great game for the New York Giants. Their offense stumbled in the red zone and their special teams committed another huge blunder.

But the Giants still won their second straight game after losing six straight with a 15-7 victory over the Philadelphia Eagles on Sunday at Lincoln Financial Field.

"This is a day to be positive," Giants coach Tom Coughlin. "This is definitely a huge boost for our confidence and it reinforces what we've been doing."

There is another reason for the Giants to feel good about this one. They have been in last place in the NFC East all season, but now they are just two games out of first place after their victory and the Dallas Cowboys' 31-30 loss to the Detroit Lions.

New York has a bye this week to rest, recuperate and prepare for the second half of the season.

The biggest positive for the Giants (2-6) on Sunday was kicker Josh Brown, who booted five field goals, only one off the team record of six set by Joe Danelo against the Seattle Seahawks in 1981.

The biggest negative for the Giants was a potentially disastrous mistake by long snapper Zak DeOssie that gave the Eagles (3-5) their only score of the game. DeOssie sailed the ball over the head of punter Steve Weatherford and the Eagles' Najee Goode recovered the ball in the end zone to make it 15-7 with 4:11 left in the game.

"I don't think I ever saw him do that before, even in practice," Coughlin said, shaking his head.

Quarterback Michael Vick started the game for the Eagles, but he did not finish it. Vick, who missed the last two games with a sore hamstring, aggravated the injury and was replaced by rookie Matt Barkley with about 2 minutes left in the first half. Barkley got the call because No. 2 quarterback Nick Foles was deactivated with a concussion.

Vick did not have much fun even before he reinjured his hamstring. His first possession ended with an interception, his second ended with a sack and his third with an intentional grounding penalty. Vick completed six of nine passes for 31 yards and the interception, which added up to a passer rating of 32.4.

Barkley, a fourth-round pick from Southern Cal, played better than he did last week when he took over for Foles against Dallas, when he was intercepted three times. Against New York, Barkley completed 17 of 26 passes for 158 yards and his only interception was a desperation heave on the final play of the game.

"I feel I did improve (from last week), but you've always got to look at the things you could have done better," Barkley said. "There are a lot of things we can improve across the board and it always starts with the quarterback."

The Eagles have gone eight consecutive quarters without scoring a touchdown. One reason the Eagles could not score is because they could not run the ball. Running back LeSean McCoy, who came into the game leading the NFL with 685 rushing yards, ran for 48 yards on 15 carries against the Giants, an average of only 3.2 yards per attempt, and his longest run was just nine yards.

"We knew the key to beating that team was shutting down the run game," Giants defensive Jason Pierre-Paul said. "They have one of the best in the game back there (McCoy) and he can hurt you if you let him. But if you can stop the run, it's going to be a long game for those guys."

It was the second straight long game for the Eagles in what promises to be a long season after their impressive opening-day victory over the Washington Redskins.

"We've taken a couple of steps back and that's disappointing," Eagles guard Evan Mathis said. "But we also have half the season left and that's encouraging. And that's what we have to keep reminding ourselves -- there's a lot of football left to play."

Notes: Barkley was the only other Eagles QB in uniform. TE James Casey was the emergency QB. ... For the Giants, RB Brandon Jacobs (hamstring) and DT Shaun Rogers (knee) were inactive. Rookie Michael Cox, a seventh-round pick from Massachusetts, started in place of Jacobs... Giants CB Corey Webster (groin) was active, but Trumaine McBride started in his place. ... Eagles LB Emmanuel Acho, signed off the Giants practice squad on Oct. 19, suited up against his former team. ... S Patrick Chung (shoulder) was deactivated for the fourth time in the last five games. Rookie Earl Wolff took his place in the starting lineup. ... This was the Eagles' 10th straight loss at home.
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