The Miracle at the Linc: In a game that will go down as one of the most memorable in team history, the New York Giants overcame a 24-7 fourth quarter deficit against the Eagles to win 30-24 in overtime at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia. At 1-1, the Giants are now tied for first place in the NFC East.

“After the first half, I never thought in a million years those guys would come back and beat us,” Eagles’ MLB Jeremiah Trotter said after the game.

“This one will be something that we’ll remember,” said Head Coach Tom Coughlin. “That was fun. (We were down) 24-7 and not much was going well. I told the players that I saw a little glimpse of New York Giant pride in that second half. They kept coming back and they kept fighting back little by little. It wasn’t pretty, but it was effective…I take my hat off the players for the kind of effort, for the kind of drive for the kind of heart that they displayed out there today, because obviously, it was not easy to come from that far behind.”

“We came down here knowing full well what was at stake,” Coughlin said. “What I like about today from our standpoint is that we seemed to play ourselves back into being a pretty decent football team. That was questionable in the first part of the game. To be 1-0 in the division and there will be three (NFC East) teams tied at 1-1 after tonight, it’s a nice place to be. To think where we were when it was 24-7 and now what we have, we can appreciate that.”

“It was a huge win,” QB Eli Manning said. “It wasn’t the prettiest one. It was downright ugly for us for a while. We couldn’t get anything going.”

“We’re on the road,” said DE Michael Strahan, “we’re down 17 going into the fourth quarter in Philadelphia, the fans are cursing at us, screaming at us, yelling obscenities at us, mooning us on the way in. To win in this hostile territory and have it end on such a good play…priceless.”

“I think it’s telling of the resolve of this team,” said HB Tiki Barber. “In past years, we don’t win that game. We either fold or we don’t have the wherewithal to resist a bad play. Today, I think it’s a testament to how we never give up.”

“It’s just a good feeling,” said WR Amani Toomer, “to be on a team where you know no matter what happens in the first three quarters of the game, you’re always going to have an opportunity in the fourth quarter to come back.”

The game started off well for New York, but quickly deteriorated. The Giants drove 67 yards in seven plays to take a 7-0 lead with Manning hitting Toomer on a 37-yard touchdown pass. But for the remainder of the first half, the Giants were completely shut down, netting only 20 more yards on their next five offensive possessions. The running attack was virtually non-existent and the offensive line struggled mightily in pass protection. In all, Manning was sacked eight times in the game.

Defensively, the Giants were simply atrocious. By halftime, QB Donovan McNabb had already passed for 256 yards as the Eagles moved up an down the football field. Indeed, the Giants were lucky to be only trailing 17-7 at halftime. Philadelphia quickly added to that lead after intermission by driving 69 yards for a touchdown to take a 24-7 advantage early in the third quarter.

The Eagles would not score another point in the game.

The Giants’ first possession of the second half didn’t amount to much, but on their second drive, they Giants drove 88 yards in nine plays to cut the score to 24-14 early in the fourth quarter. The touchdown came on a fluke play as WR Plaxico Burress was stripped of the football at the Eagles’ 16-yard line after a 23-yard catch-and-run. The free ball rolled towards the end zone, was almost recovered by an Eagle defender, squirted into the end zone where WR Tim Carter recovered it for a touchdown.

“I was on the other side of the field and I saw Plaxico make the catch and I saw him try to break a tackle and he got hit and I saw the ball fly out,” Carter said. “I saw a couple of guys go after the ball and I thought it might get kicked around. I went after it…and I won. I was aware of where I was and I knew I might be able to get into the end zone.”

“That was a huge spark,” Coughlin said. “We were just trying to get something going. Plaxico tired to make a play out of that and the ball came squirting out. (Eagles’ SS Michael) Lewis is right there to cover the ball, but he can’t control it and Tim Carter comes up with the ball in the end zone. There were so many of those kinds of plays in the game.”

The Eagles went three-and-out on their next possession. The Giants started their ensuing drive at the Eagle 49-yard line, but were not able to pick up a first down and turned the ball over on a 4th-and-2 play as a pass to Barber was well-defended, tipped into the air, and intercepted. The Eagles themselves tried to put the game away by going for it on 4th-and-1 at the Giants’ 38-yard line with under nine minutes to play, but the running play was stuffed by SS Gibril Wilson and the Giants took over on downs.

All looked lost when New York was only able to pick up one first down and then punted with a little over six minutes to play and still trailing by 10 points. The Eagles picked up one first down and as they were attempting to run out the clock, LB Carlos Emmons forced a fumble that FS Will Demps recovered at the Eagles’ 33-yard line with just over four minutes to play. Four plays later, Manning hit Toomer from 22 yards out to cut the lead to 24-21 with about three-and-a-half minutes to go.

The Eagles picked up one first down but were forced to punt with a minute left in the game. The G-Men were out of timeouts and started their final drive in regulation at their own 20-yard line. Manning found Barber for eight yards, Toomer for 10 yards, Carter for 22 yards, and TE Jeremy Shockey for 8 yards. On the last play, a personal foul penalty on the Eagles also moved the Giants 15 yards closer with 10 seconds left on the clock. PK Jay Feely hit the 35-yard field goal to send the game into overtime.

The Giants won the toss, but the pass protection broke down again, Manning was sacked twice and the Giants had to punt. The Eagles’ first possession in overtime started at their own 44-yard line, but Philadelphia could not pick up a single first down.

The Giants’ second possession of overtime – their final and game-winning possession, started at their own 15-yard line. The Giants running game finally showed some life as Barber picked up 24 yards on six carries. HB Brandon Jacobs chipped in another nine yards. And Manning found Toomer for 22 yards on three catches and TE Visanthe Shiancoe for nine yards. After a holding penalty on Carter and a false start on OC Shaun O’Hara, the Giants faced a 3rd-and-11 from the Eagles’ 31-yard line. Philadelphia came with an all-out blitz, Manning backed away, and lofted an arching pass to Burress, who was single-covered, for the 31-yard score to win the game.

“We knew they were coming with an all-out blitz,” Manning said. “We were just trying to get it somewhat protected. I knew exactly where I was going (with the ball). The play before, when we jumped offsides, they showed the same thing. I told Plaxico, ‘Run a go route.’ I was going to drop back as fast as I could and (hopefully get) enough time where I could get him down the field. I threw it up as high as I could. There was no middle safety. We had a 6-6 receiver. Either he’s going to catch it or no one is. It was a great play by Plaxico making that catch and getting in the end zone for the win.”

“There’s no better place to get a win than to come into Philadelphia and beat them in their home stadium,” Burress said. “Their players had a couple of things to say about us this week. They came out and got after it after we scored on our first drive and we kept plugging away. It’s so gratifying to get a win here more than anyplace else.”

Manning finished the game 31-of-43 for 371 yards, three touchdowns, and one interception. Barber was held to 51 yards on 21 carries. Toomer had a huge game with a career-high 12 catches for 137 yards and two touchdowns. Burress had six catches for 114 yards and one touchdown.

Post-Game Notes: This was just the third time in the last 21 seasons that the Giants have overcome a deficit of at least 17 points to win.

The Giants inactive players were HB Derrick Ward (foot), WR Michael Jennings, OT Na’Shan Goddard, OT Guy Whimper, DT Jonas Seawright, LB Brandon Short, and CB Kevin Dockery. Tim Hasselbeck was again the third quarterback.