Phil Simms became the second New York Giants quarterback in the club's 60 years to pass for 400 yards in a game as he threw for four touchdowns today and a 28-27 victory over the Philadelphia Eagles.
Simms completed 23 of 30 passes for 409 yards in picking apart the Eagles' secondary. The six-year veteran passed 24 yards to Zeke Mowatt for a touchdown in the first quarter, 65 yards to Byron Williams for one in the second quarter and to rookie Bob Johnson for scores of 35 and 16 yards in the second and fourth quarters, respectively.
"They presented us with a lot of opportunities," said Simms. "I got great protection, something you have to have in this league to win."
The scoring pass to Williams was the longest of Simms' career and came during a 16 of 20 first half that gained 306 yards. His 409-yard game was second only to the team record of 505 yards set by Y.A. Tittle in 1962.
"We were not at our best, that's for sure," said Eagles Coach Marion Campbell. "The thing that hurts so much is the long ones that got away. To get scored upon with the long ball is something that is not normally done against this defense."
Still, the Eagles cut the Giants' 21-6 halftime lead to 21-20 in the third quarter when Wilbert Montgomery scored on a four-yard run and Ron Jaworski hit Mike Quick on a 14-yard scoring pass.
Simms rallied the Giants once more. He found Johnson, who had eight catches for 137 yards, open in the corner of the end zone 58 seconds into the final period, only to have Philadelphia reserve linebacker Rich Kraynak returned Ali Haji-Sheikh's blocked punt eight yards for a touchdown that made it 28-27 with 5:45 to go. The Giants' regular punter, Dave Jennings, had to sit out the second half with bruised ribs.