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This might be a benefit to Brunell and the passing game next week:




September 13, 2004 --

PHILADELPHIA — The questions were buzzing around Giants safety Shaun Williams and he became flustered, losing track of what became a depressing situation for his club.

Williams couldn't keep straight which Terrell Owens touchdown was which.

"He was in there so many times," Williams said, almost apologetically, "I don't even remember which one you're talking about."

There were three — count 'em, three — scoring passes from Donovan McNabb to Owens as the Eagles devoured the Giants, 31-17, yesterday at Lincoln Financial Field. McNabb threw for 33 yards and added a TD pass to tight end L.J. Smith in what must be described as a thoroughly bad performance by the Giants secondary.

"Guys have to be responsible," coach Tom Coughlin said. "That's the most difficult position you play back there, but you have the responsibility to uphold your end of the deal."

Everyone shared in the blame, but cornerback Will Allen had a particularly rough afternoon. He missed valuable practice time last week with a strained knee ligament after a training camp in which he was returning from foot surgery. He looked extremely rusty in coverage and missed several tackles but refused to use that as a reason for a forgettable showing.

"I thought I practiced well when I did practice and I was ready to play," Allen said. "Actually I know I was ready to play, that's no excuse. That's not the case at all.

"Do I think it was a really tough day for me? No. Tough day as far as what? I just got to make my plays."

Coughlin said he knew Allen is "better football player than that. I think he'll come back from this."

McNabb got Allen to bite on a pump-fake to Owens and as Allen stumbled and tried futilely to recover, Owens easily hauled in a 20-yard TD pass as Williams was just arriving on the scene in the end zone.

McNabb burned the other cornerback, Will Peterson, to ignite the next drive, as Peterson never turned back around to locate the ball on an arching 53-yard bomb to Todd Pinkston to the Giants 3-yard line.

Owens was embarrassingly wide-open on his third TD-catch, which came with the Giants in a Cover-2 zone. Williams blamed himself. "I should have been there," he said. "I wish that was the only one they scored on."

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