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Giants overtake Eagles, sideline Vick with broken hand

Sep 25, 2011, 3:20 p.m.
Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Michael Vick throws a forward pass during the first quarter of NFL football action against the New York Giants in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania September 25, 2011. REUTERS/Tim Shaffer

By Larry Fine

PHILADELPHIA (Reuters) - The New York Giants scored 15 unanswered points to snap a six-game losing streak against the Philadelphia Eagles, who lost their quarterback Michael Vick to a broken hand, with a 29-16 road victory on Sunday.

Two touchdown catches by little-used receiver Victor Cruz and two short-yardage stops by a ferocious Giants defense helped New York overwhelm their divisional rivals after they trailed 16-14 and improve to 2-1 for the season while dropping Philadelphia to 1-2.

Cruz, who had only two receptions this season, scored on a 74-yard touchdown connection with quarterback Eli Manning in the first quarter then put New York back in front with a 28-yard touchdown grab between two defenders in the fourth quarter.

Eagles signal caller Vick, who returned to action from a concussion suffered last week, led Philadelphia back from a 14-0 first quarter deficit to lead by two points in the third quarter when he fractured his right, non-throwing hand.

He was replaced in the fourth quarter by back-up quarterback Mike Kafka, who threw two interceptions as the Giants roared back to seal the win.

Manning threw four touchdown passes, including one each to running backs Brandon Jacobs and Ahmad Bradshaw, and no interceptions as he connected on 16-of-23 passes for 254 yards.

LeSean McCoy rushed for 128 yards on 24 carries for the Eagles and one touchdown, while Vick had identical completion totals as Manning for 176 yards but had no touchdown throws and one interception before being forced to the sidelines.

"We fought our way back," said Giants coach Tom Coughlin.

"Of course Victor Cruz had a huge day. Aaron Ross had a huge day.

Cruz was making his first NFL start since the injury-hit Giants were without starter Mario Manningham, out with a concussion.

"All week long we just heard that someone had to step up," said Cruz. "I waited patiently for my opportunity and made the most of it when it came."

Two big defensive stands also played a key role in the outcome, which avenged a heartbreaking loss to the visiting Eagles last December that catapulted Philadelphia into the playoffs at New York's expense.

Vick steered the Eagles to a first down at the two-yard line late in the third quarter, but three successive running plays, one a sneak by Vick, were stopped and Philadelphia settled for a short field goal to claim a 16-14 lead.

On Philadelphia's next series, with Vick still in the game despite having injured his hand, the Eagles went for a fourth-and-one from the Giants' 43-yard line and linebacker Michael Boley slammed down McCoy for a three-yard loss and momentum swung back again to the Giants.

"I didn't do it last week and should have," Eagles coach Andy Reid said about going for a first down. "I did it this week and shouldn't have. That's how this thing works sometimes."

Vick said he was not bothered by post-concussion symptoms in the game despite taking numerous hits but was unhappy that officials took no action over his hand injury, which occurred on a late hit by defensive tackle Chris Canty.

"Every time I throw the ball, I'm on the ground. I don't know why I don't get the 15-yard flags everybody else does," he said.

(Editing by Julian Linden)

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