Owens, McNabb shine in Eagles win over Giants
NFL.com wire reports

PHILADELPHIA (Sept. 12, 2004) -- Terrell Owens flexed his muscles, flapped his arms and took his bows.

Owens had three touchdown catches, Donovan McNabb threw for 330 yards and tied a career high with four TD passes and Brian Westbrook ran for 119 yards, leading the Philadelphia Eagles over the New York Giants 31-17 on Sunday.

The Eagles, runners-up in the NFC championship the last three years, won their season opener for just the second time in coach Andy Reid's six seasons.

Two-time NFL MVP Kurt Warner had a lackluster debut for the Giants, who lost their ninth straight game and first under new coach Tom Coughlin. Heralded rookie Eli Manning made his NFL debut in the final minutes, handing off to Tiki Barber for a 72-yard TD run on his first play.

Owens, playing his first game with the Eagles after eight sometimes-controversial seasons in San Francisco, made an immediate impact, scoring on his first two receptions in the first quarter.

The four-time Pro Bowl receiver, known for his flamboyant TD celebrations, kept it low key. He stood in the end zone and flexed his right arm while cradling the ball in his left arm after his first score. He flapped his arms after the last one, then took a few bows on the sideline while fans chanted, "T.O."

Owens, acquired in a three-team trade with the ***** and Baltimore in March, finished with eight catches for 68 yards, including TDs of 20, 3 and 12 yards. McNabb completed 26 of 36 passes and had no interceptions.

After the Giants took a 7-0 lead on Ron Dayne's 3-yard run early in the first quarter, the Eagles came right back.

Westbrook ran 50 yards to New York's 21. Two plays later, McNabb dropped back, pump-faked and lofted a pass into the right corner over cornerback Will Allen and safety Shaun Williams into Owens' hands.

McNabb's 3-yard TD pass to Owens made it 14-7. The play was vintage McNabb.

He was chased out of the pocket by Michael Strahan, scrambled toward the right sideline, stutter-stepped near the 10, kept rolling and threw across his body just before stepping out of bounds.

A 53-yard pass from McNabb to Todd Pinkston on a third-and-10 put the Eagles at New York's 3, setting up the score.

L.J. Smith made a tumbling catch in the right corner of the end zone on a 14-yard pass from McNabb to give the Eagles a 21-7 lead in the second quarter.

McNabb and Owens connected on a 12-yarder, giving Philadelphia a 31-10 lead in the third quarter.

Warner, who led St. Louis to a Super Bowl victory in 1999, has lost his last nine starts, including to the New England Patriots in the 2001 Super Bowl.

Released by the Rams in June after losing his job to Marc Bulger, Warner is keeping the position warm for Manning. Warner finished 16-of-28 for 203 yards and was sacked four times. Barber had 125 yards rushing on nine carries. Manning was 3-of-9 for 66 yards, and fumbled after being hit hard on the final play.

The victory was costly for the Eagles. Rookie offensive guard Shawn Andrews, the 16th overall pick in the draft, broke his leg. Philadelphia already lost defensive end N.D. Kalu and running back Correll Buckhalter to season-ending injuries in the preseason.

The Giants were 4-4 at the midpoint last year, before losing their last eight games, costing coach Jim Fassel his job.



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