EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J., SEPT. 9 -- Phil Simms threw a 12-yard touchdown pass and Dave Meggett scored on a 68-yard punt return in a 1:56 span of the third quarter tonight, leading the New York Giants to a 27-20 victory over the Eagles and ending their Philadelphia hex.
The Eagles had a four-game winning streak against the Giants, during which Philadelphia always found a way to win and New York, seemingly, always found a way to lose.
The Giants appeared ready to continue that trend until Simms issued a wakeup call to the offense, while Lawrence Taylor and the defense throttled Randall Cunningham and the Eagles after halftime.
"It's just nice to beat these guys," Simms said. "Now we won't have to listen to all that stuff. It won't be hanging over our heads any more."
Simms, 15 of 27 for 149 yards, did most of the damage by sandwiching scoring passes of 12 yards to rookie Rodney Hampton and 41 yards to Mark Ingram around Meggett's dazzling punt return in the first 17 minutes of the second half to give New York a 27-10 lead.
The Giants continued their ability to dominate the third quarter, in which they outscored opponents by 100-38 last season.
The key drive opened the second half, when New York moved 70 yards in nine plays to go ahead, 13-10. Simms twice kept the drive alive on third down by hitting Odessa Turner for 18 yards and Lionel Manuel for 19.
Hampton put New York ahead for good by taking a swing pass from Simms and running the final 10 yards, reaching the end zone with a dive from the 2.
After three plays the Eagles punted. Meggett fielded Jeff Feagles' punt at the Giants 32, moved a couple of steps to his right, then cut through a tiny hole and scored after eluding Feagles at the 20.
"They made the plays," Eagles safety Wes Hopkins said. "That was the difference in the game. When you are playing a team like the Giants you can't make mistakes and we did."
Simms's second touchdown pass -- the 41-yarder to Ingram -- capped a 76-yard drive bridging the third and fourth quarters.
Philadelphia then moved 86 yards, Cunningham scoring from the 1 with 5:19 to play.
The first half was typical of a Giants-Eagles game. New York had more scoring chances and controlled the play, but left the field trailing by 10-6 because Philadelphia came up with the big plays.
Former Cowboy Everson Walls intercepted to give New York a first down at the Eagles 33 three plays into the game. Raul Allegre kicked a 38-yard field goal.
Allegre added a 46-yarder six minutes later and New York appeared in great position after Mark Collins intercepted Cunningham on the next play.
However, Hopkins intercepted Simms on the next play and Philadelphia drove 39 yards for a 37-yard field goal by Roger Ruzek.
The Eagles took the lead as Keith Byars threw an 18-yard scoring pass to Anthony Toney on a halfback option early in the second quarter.
Cunningham, who was sacked four times and harassed all night, was 25 of 42 for 226 yards and three interceptions. Taylor had three of the sacks and also forced a fumble.
"I was impressed with what I did, considering I just came into camp on Wednesday," Taylor said. "My stamina wasn't good. If it was, I would have made a couple more tackles."