PHILADELPHIA — Last June the Philadelphia Eagles agonized over spending $1 million to sign Herschel Walker.
With more than a little trepidation, they finally did. It turned out to be the investment of the year for owner Norman Braman.
Walker ran for 104 yards in 16 carries as the playoff-bound Eagles beat the New York Giants, 20-10, Sunday for their fourth consecutive victory.
Walker went over 1,000 yards for the second time in his eight-year NFL career, finishing with 1,066. It was the fifth time this season that he ran for 100 or more in a game.
"Thank God we have Herschel on our team," Coach Rich Kotite said. "Herschel ran exceptionally well today, and we're all thrilled for him. It was a great acquisition to get him."
Said Walker: "We went out this year and said we were going to run. And that's what we did. I knew what I could do. I knew it could be done if given the opportunity."
Once again, it was home sweet home for Philadelphia, which completed its first unbeaten, untied home season in 43 years. The Eagles, 11-5 overall, needed that home superiority to reach the playoffs because they were 3-5 on the road, where they start postseason play next Sunday against the New Orleans Saints.
The Eagles beat the Saints, 15-13, at home in their season opener.
Not since the NFL champion Eagles of 1949 were 6-0 has Philadelphia won all its home games. The Eagles were 5-0-1 in 1953.
"That was one of our goals this year, to be dominant at home," Kotite said.
For the Giants (6-10) it was the end of a nightmarish season of bickering between players and Coach Ray Handley, who reportedly will be fired before another season arrives. It was the sixth loss in seven games for the Giants.
"It is no different than it was yesterday or two weeks ago," Handley said. "I'm going to sit down with George (Young, the Giants' general manager), maybe (today), and he is going to make an evaluation. George is going to do what is best for the New York Giants."
The Giants, down, 17-0, at halftime, rallied to make it 17-10 with 10:05 to play, as Ken Willis kicked a 20-yard field goal in the third quarter and Jeff Hostetler passed 13 yards to Ed McCaffrey for a touchdown in the fourth.
After a 46-yard field goal by Roger Ruzek gave the Eagles a 20-10 lead with 7:29 to play, the Giants drove to the Eagles' 35. But Rich Miano's first interception of the year stopped the drive.
The Eagle defense sacked Hostetler five times, recovered two fumbles and intercepted a pass.
The leader of the Eagles' defense was Reggie White, who might have played his last home game for Philadelphia. White is expected to become a free agent after the season.