Giants Knocked Out, Handley on the Outs : NFC: Kemp replaces injured McMahon, leads Philadelphia to sixth consecutive victory, 19-14.
The “Ray Must Go” chants have started at Giants Stadium. The New York Giants are already gone, for this season.
Jeff Kemp replaced an injured Jim McMahon and rallied Philadelphia from an 11-point first-half deficit to a 19-14 victory that helped eliminate the defending Super Bowl champions of first-year Coach Ray Handley.
Kemp threw an eight-yard touchdown pass to Calvin Williams shortly before halftime, and Roger Ruzek kicked four field goals as the Eagles (9-5) won their sixth consecutive game--their longest streak since 1981.
“Personally, I am not taking any great satisfaction in knocking off the Giants from a pedestal,” Kemp said. “I am just pleased the Eagles are closer to their goal, which is a Super Bowl. We’ve got a long way to go. We have to beat Dallas next week. This was a great win over a great team that played very well.”
Kemp will probably be the Eagles’ quarterback next week. McMahon was hospitalized Sunday night with bruised ribs and possible cartilage damage.
After Kemp’s touchdown pass to Williams got the Eagles to within 14-10, Ruzek kicked a 21-yard field goal late in the third quarter and made a 51-yarder during the fourth quarter to give Philadelphia a 16-14 lead.
Ruzek added a 36-yarder with 1:36 left and the Eagles beat the Giants (7-7) for the seventh time in eight games.
“This game was the epitome of our entire season,” Handley said. “We didn’t take advantage of the opportunities we were given. We didn’t execute (near the goal line). We turned the ball over, took penalties at the wrong time. We didn’t stop them in the fourth quarter. We gave up the big play.”
The Giants ran two flea-flickers and even had Lawrence Taylor and Erik Howard return from injuries to aid the defense. Still, they could not avoid losing a fourth-quarter lead for the fifth time this year.
Matt Bahr, whose clutch kicking helped New York win the title last season, missed a 44-yard attempt early in the third quarter with New York ahead, 14-10. Later, he missed a 32-yard attempt with 7:20 left that could have put the Giants back ahead.
“No excuses,” said Bahr, who had made his previous 11 field-goal tries. “The conditions were perfect.”
New York got the ball one last time at its 20. Phil Simms missed his first pass, the second was blocked, he was sacked on third down by Seth Joyner and his fourth-down pass fell short.
“This is a tough loss,” said Simms, who finished the game seven of 23 for 100 yards and touchdowns of eight and 14 yards to Dave Meggett. “I don’t know what to say. We made the same mistakes we made all year. And that’s what upsets everybody.”
New York was limited to a season-low 151 yards on offense, only 47 during the second half. Simms was one of 11 in the second half.
Philadelphia gained 324 yards, with Kemp hitting completing 10 of 19 for 146 yards.