New York Giants: Larry Csonka

Herm EdwardsAP Photo/Burnett
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This is one of three nominations for the most memorable play in New York Giants history. On Monday we looked at David Tyree's "helmet catch" from the Super Bowl XLII victory over the New England Patriots, and on Tuesday we looked at the Lawrence Taylor sack that broke Joe Theismann's leg in 1985. Please vote for your choice as the Giants' most memorable play.

Score: Eagles 19, Giants 17
Date: Nov. 19, 1978 Site: Giants Stadium

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Which is the most memorable play in Giants' history?

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The fourth-place Giants had taken a 14-0 first-quarter lead on the third-place Eagles. And in spite of a comeback, the game appeared won when the Giants intercepted the ball inside the two-minute warning. Fans headed for the exits as Giants quarterback Joe Pisarcick knelt to the ground on first down in an attempt to run out the clock. But instead of giving up the game, the Eagles banged away at the middle of the Giants' offensive line in an attempt to force Pisarcick to fumble. Because of that, the Giants decided not to run the kneel-down play on second down, and instead had Pisarcik hand the ball off to running back Larry Csonka, who picked up 11 yards and set up a third-and-2. One more kneel-down would have won the game for the Giants.

Instead, on third down, offensive coordinator Bob Gibson called another handoff to Csonka. But the exchange between Pisarcick and Csonka wasn't clean, and the ball came loose. Eagles defensive back Herman Edwards, who was blitzing on the play, picked it up and ran it back 26 yards for a stunning touchdown and an Eagles victory.

It was the fourth straight loss in what would be a six-game losing streak in the second half of a 6-10 Giants season. Gibson was fired the next day. The Eagles would go on to finish 9-7 and reach the playoffs, and since the winners write the history books, "Miracle at the Meadowlands" became the name by which the play would forever be called by everyone but Giants fans. They refer to it, simply and grumpily, as "The Fumble."

History of Giants' heartbreak when Eagles come to town

December, 19, 2010
12/19/10
6:34
PM ET


Sunday's wild game was the Eagles' first visit to New Meadowlands Stadium, and it reinforced a theme in this NFC East rivalry:

No matter where they play, the Eagles enjoy visiting the Giants and stealing games late.

Oct. 19, 1978
Miracle at the Meadowlands

The Giants led 17-12 and offensive coordinator Bob Gibson inexplicably called for a run play -- with 31 seconds left and 30 ticks on the play clock -- instead of a kneel-down. Quarterback Joe Pisarcik tried to hand off to Larry Csonka but fumbled the exchange. The ball bounced to defensive back Herm Edwards, who ran into the end zone for the game-winning score.

Nov. 20, 1988
Eagles return blocked kick for TD, win in OT

After the Eagles scored a touchdown midway through the fourth quarter to tie the game and force overtime, they lined up in OT for a potential game-winning field goal from 30 yards out. The Giants blocked Luis Zendejas' kick, which went right into the hands of the Eagles' Clyde Simmons, who ran the ball in for a score to win the game.


AP Photo/Chris Gardner
Brian Westbrook scores on the 84-yard punt return that sunk the Giants on Oct. 19, 2003.


Dec. 3, 1989
Cunningham's 91-yard punt changes game

The Eagles and Giants were tied at 17 in the fourth quarter when Philly had a third-and-long at its own 2-yard line. So what did the Eagles do? They had Randall Cunningham punt the ball -- and it went 91 yards, totally changing the field position in the game. On the Giants' ensuing possession, Phil Simms was sacked by Mike Golic and fumbled the ball. That led to an Eagles touchdown that proved to be the game winner.

Oct. 19, 2003 | Recap
Westbrook's punt return wins it

With 1:16 left, Brian Westbrook took a punt back 84 yards to lift the Eagles to a 14-10 win at the Giants. The Eagles hadn't scored or mustered much offense since Westbrook had a TD run in the first quarter.

Dec. 19, 2010 | Recap
Eagles score 28 unanswered points to win

The Eagles make themselves at home in their first game at New Meadowlands Stadium, this time scoring a franchise-record 28 points in the fourth quarter. All 28 came within the final 7:28, bookended by a 65-yard TD reception by Brent Celek and a 65-yard punt return by DeSean Jackson on the last play of regulation.

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