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Sunday, November 9, 2008
Rapid Reaction: Giants 36, Eagles 31

By Dan Graziano
ESPN.com

Posted by ESPN.com's Matt Mosley

PHILADELPHIA, Pa. -- The New York Giants tried to keep the Eagles in the game Sunday but in the end they couldn't pull it off.

Giants quarterback Eli Manning served up an interception on the first drive of the game. The Eagles cashed in immediately, but the moment was fleeting.

The Giants overcame Manning's interception and a subsequent fumble by Brandon Jacobs in a 36-31 victory over the Eagles. The Giants dominated the line of scrimmage in the first half, rushing for 104 yards. Meanwhile, the Eagles didn't have any semblance of a running game -- unless you count the end-arounds to wide receiver DeSean Jackson that dried up in the second half.

But as horribly as their offense played , the Eagles were driving with two minutes left. On fourth-and-1, the Eagles gave it to running back Brian Westbrook, who was stopped at the line of scrimmage by linebacker Chase Blackburn.

The Giants improved to 8-1 with and have a two-game lead over the Redskins in the NFC East. The Eagles are now tied with the Cowboys in the division cellar at 5-4. But that record is even worse than it appears. With an 0-3 record in the division, the Eagles would be in trouble in tie-breaking scenarios. For now, though, that's wishful thinking. On a night when he needed to lead the team, Donovan McNabb shrunk to the occasion. At this point, it's safe to say he's the fourth-best quarterback in the NFC East.

His pass down the right sideline late in the first half was easily picked off by Giants cornerback Sam Madison, leading to a field goal that put New York up, 20-14. The Giants controlled the line of scrimmage and the clock. They just couldn't seem to finish off the Eagles.

The game hinged on a successful challenge by Giants head coach Tom Coughlin in the third quarter. The Giants had fallen behind, 24-20, when Eli Manning connected with tight end Kevin Boss for 17 yards. The officials ruled that Manning had crossed the line of scrimmage before delivering the pass. Coughlin challenged the call, and it was overturned.

The Giants took a 27-24 lead and held on the rest of the way.