NFL: Eagles soar over rallying Giants to claim top spot
(Reuters) - Michael Vick and the Philadelphia Eagles took the honors in a wild NFC East grudge match against New York on Sunday, holding off the visiting Giants for a 19-17 victory that lifted them to first place in the division.
With the contest on the line, New York kicker Lawrence Tynes missed his 54-yard game-winning field goal attempt as time expired to prevent the Giants from pulling off a signature triumphant final drive.
"It's the Giants and the Eagles, it always comes down to this," Eagles running back LeSean McCoy told reporters after rushing for 123 yards.
"I was so nervous (on the final kick) because it looked good at first. I was happy it was short."
Eli Manning has made a habit of rallying his team late as he did in last season's Super Bowl victory, but this time, a costly penalty ensured his late charge came up just short.
The Giants (2-2) had marched down to Philadelphia's 26-yard-line in the final seconds but an offensive pass interference call on receiver Ramses Barden backed them up 10 yards, which ultimately proved too far a distance for Tynes' boot.
Tynes actually missed the final attempt twice after first misfiring but having the kick replayed when it was determined Philadelphia coach Andy Reid called timeout just before the snap.
Vick played a turnover-free game, finishing with 241 yards passing and a touchdown to go with 49 rushing yards, and the Eagles discovered their running game to improve to 3-1.
The quarterback had entered the night under heavy criticism due to his nine turnovers in three games, but his offensive line protected him better and he enjoyed a sharp outing.
"I challenged the (offensive line) throughout the game and they responded well," Vick said. "Football can take years off of life. I'm just glad we pulled it out."
Philadelphia led 7-3 at halftime and settled the contest with four Alex Henery field goals in the second half.
The Giants surged ahead 17-16, their only lead of the night, midway through the fourth on a Manning six-yard pass to Bear Pascoe but the Eagles responded with a time-killing drive that put them back on top for good.
Manning finished the night with 309 yards passing and two touchdowns, despite playing a second straight game without receiver Hakeem Nicks.
(Writing by Jahmal Corner in Los Angeles; Editing by John O'Brien)
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