Cornerback Herman Edwards picked up a fumble and raced 26 yards for a touchdown with 20 seconds left yesterday to rally the Philadelphia Eagles to a stunning 19-17 NFL victory over the New York Giants.
Trailing, 17-12, and with no timeouts remaining, the Eagles apparently were headed for defeat. But Giant quarterback Joe Pisarcik missed a handoff to fullback Larry Csonka. The ball glanced off Csonka's hip, fell to the ground and bounced into the hands of Edwards, who sprinted untouched for the winning score.
The Eagles, 7-5, pulled within 17-12 with 3:59 remaining by driving 91 yards for a touchdown on Mike Hogan's one-yard run. The drive was helped by two pass-interference penalties and a roughing-the-passer call against the Giants - who suffered their fourth straight defeat to drop to 5-7.
The Eagles moved deep into Giant territory in the final two minutes, but New York apparently had sealed the victory when rookie cornerback Odis McKinney intercepted a Ron Jaworski pass that bounced off Hogan's hands at the Giants 10.
Pisarcik, playing despite a case of the flu, passed for two first-quarter touchdowns - to Bobby Hammond and Johnny Perkins - and set up a 37-yard third-period field goal by Joe Danelo that sent New York ahead, 17-6, with 4:21 left in the third quarter. The Eagles had scored late in the first half of Wilbert Montgomery's eight-yard run.
Pisarcik and Hammond hooked up on a 19-yard pass play as the Giants moved 72 yards in nine plays, scoring at 7:35 of the opening quarter.
New York increased its lead to 14-0 less than two minutes later, after line-backer Brad Van Pelt intercepted a Ron Jaworski pass and returned it 12 yards to the Philadelphia 38. Pisarcik then teamed with Perkins on an 18-yard pass, moving the Giants to the Philadelphia 20. After a holding penalty set New York back 10 yards, Perkins caught the Eagles on a defensive lapse and was wide open in the end zone.
The Eagles closed within 14-6 at 13:34 of the second quarter on Montgomery's run, climaxing an 80-yard, nine-play drive. The extra point failed when Guy Morriss' snap sailed over the head of holder John Sciarra.
After Danelo kicked his field goal at 10:39 of the third quarted, Philadelphia moved within 17-12 on Hogan's plunge. Morriss' extra-point snap again eluded Sciarra.
Philadelphia's Harold Carmichael extended his streak of catching at least one pass in a game to 92 with five receptions.