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Eagles Cash In Return Ticket

October 20, 2003|From Associated Press

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. — The Philadelphia Eagles found another heartbreaking way to beat the New York Giants.

Twenty-five years after stunning the Giants with "The Fumble," the Eagles now have "The Punt Return" to torment them.

Brian Westbrook scored on an 84-yard punt return with 1:16 to play Sunday, leading the Eagles to a 14-10 victory over the mistake-prone Giants.

"I had a feeling I was going to get a return," Westbrook said after Philadelphia (3-3) took advantage of yet another special teams meltdown by the Giants (2-4).

Until the return, the Giants' defense dominated the game between the two struggling NFC East powers. It limited Donovan McNabb and the Eagles to 134 yards, with Philadelphia getting one first down and 23 yards in the second half.

With 1:34 to play, all the Giants needed was to have Jeff Feagles get off a punt. Then the defense would go out and protect a lead New York took on a one-yard third-quarter scoring pass from Kerry Collins to Jeremy Shockey.

It all went awry. Feagles got off the punt without being seriously rushed, but he didn't get much hang time on the somewhat short, wobbly kick.

The ball bounced inside the 20-yard line and Westbrook fielded it as Ike Reese put a questionable block on the Giants' David Tyree.

Westbrook then broke through a wall of defenders quickly, leaving only two to beat. He outran Feagles to the sideline and tiptoed past a last-ditch tackle by Marcellus Rivers before scoring and leaving the crowd of 78,000 in stunned silence.

"It's unbelievable," Giant offensive tackle Chris Bober said. "We just keep finding ways to lose football games. You might call it bad luck, but we just aren't finishing football games."

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