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Thunder and Lightning Not Only Strike Force

September 11, 2000|From Associated Press

PHILADELPHIA — The New York Giants have something they've been missing for years: a 2-0 start and a diverse offense.

Kerry Collins passed for 220 yards and two touchdowns Sunday as the Giants beat the Philadelphia Eagles, 33-18.

The Giants hadn't opened with two victories since 1994.

"We showed we can run or throw," said Amani Toomer, who had seven receptions for 80 yards and a touchdown. "We kept them off-balance. In years past, teams knew we were going to pass the ball on third-and-medium. Now we can do both."

One week after Thunder and Lightning -- Tiki Barber and Ron Dayne--had a successful running debut, the Giants proved they also have a passing game.

Collins completed 21 of 29 passes and had several key third-down conversions as New York dominated the game, controlling the ball for nearly 40 minutes.

"I feel better than I've ever felt," said Collins, who had his problems in previous stints with Carolina and New Orleans. "I have a grasp of the offense. It's a fun offense. I'm much more confident."

Barber, coming off a career-high 144 yards rushing against Arizona, had 96 yards and a touchdown in 11 carries. Dayne had 50 yards in 21 attempts.

The Giants have won seven in a row against the Eagles, whose expectations had soared when they beat Dallas 41-14 in their opener.

"The beauty of this offense is we can convert in any situation," Barber said. "There's always a playmaker out there."

Philadelphia, which had 425 yards against the Cowboys, went three-and-out on its first three possessions, and in four of five possessions in falling behind 20-3 in the first half.

The Eagles' running game was completely shut down. Duce Staley, who ran for 201 yards against Dallas, gained only 11 yards--four in the first half.

The Giants also consistently put pressure on Donovan McNabb, sacking him three times.

"A lot of people said our defense was ready for a funeral. I wouldn't order the hearse yet," Giant Coach Jim Fassel said.

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