Final

Giants 17

(0-1, 0-1 away)

Eagles 31

(1-0, 1-0 home)

4:15 PM ET, September 12, 2004

 

1 2 3 4 T
NYG 7 3 0 717
PHI 14 10 7 031

McNabb tosses four scores in easy win

PHILADELPHIA (AP) -- Terrell Owens needed a police escort to get to the stadium. He didn't need help finding the end zone.

Owens had three touchdown catches, Donovan McNabb threw for 330 yards and tied a career high with four TD passes and Brian Westbrook ran for 119 yards, leading the Philadelphia Eagles over the New York Giants 31-17 on Sunday.

Allen's Analysis

Eric Allen

Should we expect more of the same from McNabb and Owens (3 scoring connections) this season?

After seeing today's play from McNabb and Owens, all I can say is "wow!" Every player on this offense has benefited from the acquisition of Owens -- including the other two receivers, Freddie Mitchell and Todd Pinkston. Sometimes it's hard to quantify how much a player can bring to a team in terms of work ethic rubbing off on other players and confidence bestowed on a team. In Owens' case, it looks like it'll be easy as long as he keeps up with amazing performances like this one. Last season the top receiver for the Eagles scored two touchdowns and Owens surpassed that in his first game. I'm sure the Eagles' coaching staff and organization is as happy as the Ravens are disappointed that they ended up with him.

Definitely expect more of the same because Owens is a special player and he finally has a quarterback who can fully take advantage of his talents.

Eric Allen played cornerback for 14 NFL seasons with the Eagles, Saints and Raiders. He's a regular contributor to Insider.

Owens got stuck in traffic on his way to Lincoln Financial Field for his first game with the Eagles, and was told by a police officer he wouldn't make it in time without an escort.

"I didn't expect the traffic to be so hectic," Owens said. "I was on time for the game. That's all that matters."

An Eagles spokesman said Owens wasn't fined for being late.

The Eagles, runners-up in the NFC championship the last three years, won their opener for just the second time in coach Andy Reid's six seasons.

"It was a good start," said McNabb, who completed 26 of 36 passes and had no interceptions. "We made some big plays. We made some mistakes. Overall, it was a great performance."

Two-time NFL MVP Kurt Warner had a lackluster debut for the Giants, who lost their ninth straight game and first under new coach Tom Coughlin. Heralded rookie Eli Manning made his NFL debut in the final minutes, handing off to Tiki Barber for a 72-yard TD run on his first play.

"We obviously had a lot of trouble stopping them on defense," Coughlin said. "We have our work cut out for us, but I'm not discouraged."

Owens, who came to the Eagles after eight sometimes-controversial seasons in San Francisco, made an immediate impact, scoring on his first two receptions.

The four-time Pro Bowl receiver, known for his flamboyant TD celebrations, kept it low key. He stood in the end zone and flexed his right arm while cradling the ball in his left arm after his first score. He flapped his arms after the last one, then took a few bows on the sideline while fans chanted, "T.O."

"This is what I expected. This is why I lobbied to get here," Owens said. "I'm loving it."

Owens, acquired in a three-team trade with the 49ers and Baltimore in March, finished with eight catches for 68 yards, including TDs of 20, 3 and 12 yards.

After the Giants took a 7-0 lead on Ron Dayne's 3-yard run early in the first quarter, the Eagles came right back.

Westbrook ran 50 yards to New York's 21. Two plays later, McNabb dropped back, pump-faked and lofted a pass into the right corner over cornerback Will Allen and safety Shaun Williams into Owens' hands.

McNabb's 3-yard TD pass to Owens made it 14-7. The play was vintage McNabb.

He was chased out of the pocket by Michael Strahan, scrambled toward the right sideline, stutter-stepped near the 10, kept rolling and threw across his body just before stepping out of bounds.

"For a guy who has the ability to run like he does, he has a knack for keeping his eyes open downfield," Reid said.

A 53-yard pass from McNabb to Todd Pinkston on a third-and-10 put the Eagles at New York's 3, setting up the score.

L.J. Smith made a tumbling catch in the right corner of the end zone on a 14-yard pass from McNabb to give the Eagles a 21-7 lead in the second quarter.

McNabb and Owens connected on a 12-yarder, giving Philadelphia a 31-10 lead in the third quarter.

Warner, who led St. Louis to a Super Bowl victory in 1999, has lost his last nine starts, including to the New England Patriots in the 2001 Super Bowl.

Released by the Rams in June after losing his job to Marc Bulger, Warner is keeping the position warm for Manning. Warner finished 16-of-28 for 203 yards and was sacked four times. Barber had 125 yards rushing on nine carries. Manning was 3-of-9 for 66 yards, and fumbled after being hit hard on the final play.

"I thought we made progress," Warner said. "But it's never good enough if you don't win."

The victory was costly for the Eagles. Rookie offensive guard Shawn Andrews, the 16th overall pick in the draft, will miss the rest of the season after breaking his right leg. Philadelphia already lost defensive end N.D. Kalu and running back Correll Buckhalter to season-ending injuries in the preseason.

The Giants were 4-4 at the midpoint last year, before losing their last eight games, costing coach Jim Fassel his job.

Game notes


Giants Pro Bowl TE Jeremy Shockey, who sat out all four preseason games with an injured foot and hamstring problem, had two catches for 39 yards. ... Weak side LB Nate Wayne sat out with a hamstring injury for Philadelphia. Keith Adams started in his place. ... Westbrook went over 100 yards rushing for the first time in his three seasons.

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press

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Scoring Summary

FOURTH QUARTERNYGPHI
nygTD2:37Tiki Barber, 72 yd run
Drive info: 1 plays, 72 yds, 0:00
1631
nyg2:37
Drive info: 1 plays, 72 yds, 0:00
1731
FIRST QUARTERNYGPHI
phiTD2:46Touchdown
Drive info: 5 plays, 56 yds, 0:54
713
SECOND QUARTERNYGPHI
phiFG2:24David Akers 10 yd Field Goal
Drive info: 5 plays, 20 yds, 1:45
724
FIRST QUARTERNYGPHI
phiTD6:24Touchdown
Drive info: 3 plays, 66 yds, 1:43
76
phi2:46
Drive info: 5 plays, 56 yds, 0:54
714
phi6:24
Drive info: 3 plays, 66 yds, 1:43
77
nygTD8:50Ron Dayne, 3 yd run
Drive info: 7 plays, 66 yds, 2:31
60
nyg8:50
Drive info: 7 plays, 66 yds, 2:31
70
SECOND QUARTERNYGPHI
nygFG1:19Steve Christie 10 yd Field Goal
Drive info: 6 plays, 43 yds, 0:10
1024
THIRD QUARTERNYGPHI
phiTD5:30Touchdown
Drive info: 9 plays, 71 yds, 3:55
1030
SECOND QUARTERNYGPHI
phiTD6:28Touchdown
Drive info: 11 plays, 80 yds, 5:51
720
THIRD QUARTERNYGPHI
phi5:30
Drive info: 9 plays, 71 yds, 3:55
1031
SECOND QUARTERNYGPHI
phi6:28
Drive info: 11 plays, 80 yds, 5:51
721