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Giants Knock Out Vick and Eagles

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Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver Steve Smith, left,  tries to tackle New York Giants Aaron Ross during the second half of an NFL football game on  Sunday, Sept. 25, 2011, in Philadelphia. The Giants won 29-16. (AP Photo/The Wilmington News-Journal, Ron Soliman)

Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver Steve Smith, left, tries to tackle New York Giants Aaron Ross during the second half of an NFL football game on Sunday, Sept. 25, 2011, in Philadelphia. The Giants won 29-16. (AP Photo/The Wilmington News-Journal, Ron Soliman)

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By ROB MAADDI
AP Pro Football Writer

PHILADELPHIA (AP) _ Eli Manning delivered the knockout blow
after Michael Vick got knocked out of another game.

Manning threw four touchdown passes, including two to Victor
Cruz, and the New York Giants beat the Philadelphia Eagles 29-16
Sunday.

Vick started despite suffering a concussion in last week’s 35-31
loss at Atlanta. He left with a broken right hand in the fourth
quarter after helping the Eagles overcome a 14-0 first-quarter
deficit to take a 16-14 lead.

It’s uncertain how long the left-handed quarterback will be out.
He’ll have a CT scan Monday.

“I don’t know anything right now except my hand is broken,”
Vick said.

Vick wasn’t happy with the hit, either. He completed a 23-yard
pass to Jeremy Maclin before taking a hard shot from Chris Canty.

“I felt I got hit late. No flag,” Vick said. “At some point
something catastrophic is gonna happen. Not to blame the refs, but
more precautions should be taken. I’m on the ground all the time in
the pocket.”

Without their Pro Bowl quarterback, the Eagles (1-2) hardly look
like the “Dream Team” that entered the season with Super Bowl or
bust expectations.

Manning threw a pair of TD passes in the fourth quarter to rally
New York. The Giants (2-1) have won two in a row and snapped a
six-game losing streak against their division rivals.

“It’s always good to beat those guys, especially here,”
Manning said. “They have good players and we new we had to come in
with the same game plan as last year and just finish it this
time.”

In their previous meeting at the Meadowlands last December, the
Eagles rallied from a 21-point deficit with 8:17 left, and won
38-31 on DeSean Jackson’s 65-yard punt return for a touchdown on
the last play.

The teams traded a lot of trash talk in the offseason and during
the week. The Giants backed it up.

“I think I responded today,” Giants safety Antrel Rolle said.
“I’m not scared of anyone on the field. I thing it’s more mental
than physical. They tried to get in my head sticking their hands in
my face, blocking me after the play, but if they want to fight,
I’ll fight anyone, but in between the lines, I’m too smart to get
thrown out of the game.”

Manning threw for 254 yards, and Ahmad Bradshaw ran for 86 and
had 53 more receiving, including a TD. Filling in because Mario
Manningham and Domenik Hixon are out, Cruz had three catches for
110 yards and his first two career scores.

Aaron Ross, who was benched in the second half of New York’s win
over St. Louis last Monday, had two interceptions that led to 14
points.

LeSean McCoy had 128 yards rushing and one TD for Philadelphia,
which has blown two fourth-quarter leads in consecutive games.

After McCoy was stopped for a 3-yard loss by Michael Boley on
fourth-and-1 from the Giants 43, Manning drove New York in for the
go-ahead score. He tossed a 28-yard TD pass to a well-covered Cruz
to put the Giants up 20-16. Jacobs ran in for the 2-point
conversion to make it 22-16.

Cruz outfought Nnamdi Asomugha and Jarrad Page to make the catch
near the goal line and fell into the end zone, losing the ball
after he crossed.

“It means the world to me because a lot of people were saying
our receivers were down and who would step up and I was happy to be
that guy that stepped up to help my team,” Cruz said.

Mike Kafka replaced Vick on the ensuing possession and Ross
intercepted his first pass. Manning connected with Bradshaw for an
18-yard TD pass to put the game away.

Vick finished 16 of 23 for 176 yards and one interception. He
ran for 31 yards. Vick looked shaky early, but made a few nice
throws before leaving.

He didn’t seem all that happy after the Eagles kicked a field
goal to pull within 14-13 at halftime. Vick looked angry as he
walked off the field, waving his arms and pointing. Jackson tried
to calm him down, but Vick didn’t seem interested in listening.

“He was just frustrated with the offensive line,” Jackson
said.
The Eagles dominated time of possession by a nearly 3-1 margin
throughout the first three quarters, but didn’t take the lead until
the final minute of the third when Alex Henery kicked a 21-yard
field goal.

It was a disappointing end to a drive that began at the 10 and
stalled at the Giants 1. The Eagles had a first down at the 2 and
failed on four runs to get it in. McCoy didn’t get one of the
handoffs.

Philadelphia got a lucky bounce on that drive. Vick ran 8 yards
for a first down on third-and-6 from the 14. Vick fumbled at the
end of the run, but the ball bounced forward and left tackle Jason
Peters caught it in the air. Peters rumbled for 5 more yards.

Vick left the game for X-rays on his right hand after that drive
and was temporarily replaced by Kafka. But he returned during a
time out while Kafka was in the huddle and played one more drive
before going to the bench.

Steve Smith made a crucial mistake on the first ball that came
his away against his former team. Smith left the Giants for
Philadelphia and returned ahead of schedule from knee surgery to be
ready for Week 1. Vick’s third-down pass on Philadelphia’s first
drive hit Smith in the hands and bounced in the air to Ross, who
caught it at the Giants 8. Ross returned the interception 19 yards,
and Manning needed six plays to lead New York into the end zone.

Rookie linebacker Casey Matthews, who was moved from the middle
to the weakside spot earlier in the week, bit badly on a play-fake
that allowed Jacobs to get wide open. Manning’s perfect throw hit
him in stride and the Giants went up 7-0.

Manning connected with Cruz late in the first to give New York a
14-0 lead. Cruz caught a short pass at the Giants 34, but broke
Kurt Coleman’s tackle and sprinted down the sideline. Cruz again
got away from Coleman, when he collided with Asomugha at the Eagles
46, and the second-year pro cruised into the end zone for his first
career score.

After the Giants turned it over on downs at the Eagles 29, Vick
got going. He had completions of 13 and 17 yards on a drive that
was finished off by McCoy’s nifty 11-yard TD run. McCoy broke a
tackle, cut outside and ran into the end zone to get the Eagles
within 14-10.

Notes: Miami Heat star LeBron James was on the field before the
game. He was in town to play in an exhibition basketball game with
other NBA All-Stars at The Palestra. … The Giants were again
without Pro Bowl DE Osi Umenyiora and first-round draft pick Prince
Amukamara. WRs Mario Manningham and Domenik Hixon also were
sidelined. Hixon is out for the season. … The Eagles didn’t have
defensive ends Darryl Tapp and Juqua Parker. … The Eagles
reshuffled all three of their starting linebackers this week,
moving each one into a new spot. … Vick lined up at receiver for
one play with Ronnie Brown in the shotgun formation behind center.
McCoy took the direct snap and ran 3 yards.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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