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Flashback Friday: Osi Umenyiora’s giant night vs. the Eagles

Record-breaking six-sack game led Giants to victory

Philadelphia Eagles v New York Giants Photo by Nick Laham/Getty Images

The debut of a weekly feature on Big Blue View, Flashback Friday will draw from the Giants’ current matchup and skim the annals of Big Blue history to commemorate a great performance against that opponent. As the Giants and Eagles renew acquaintances in Week 9, how can we not start with Osi Umenyiora’s monster Sunday night at the old Giants Stadium in 2007?

Giants vs. Eagles, 9/30/2007

The New York Giants (4-3) have nine sacks in 2016. Giants’ great Osi Umenyiora had six in 2007. In one game.

Osi’s record-breaking performance powered Big Blue past the Donovan McNabb-led Philadelphia Eagles, 16-3. The Giants recorded 12 sacks on the night, which tied an NFL record, and reached .500 after an 0-2 start that saw them give up 80 points. The defense, just as maligned then as it is presently, allowed 190 total yards, returned one of McNabb’s three fumbles for a touchdown and forced eight punts.

Umenyiora abused left tackle Winston Justice, then a second-year player filling in for starter William Thomas. Michael Strahan told reporters he felt sorry for Justice:

"That poor kid that they had over there," Strahan said. "Why didn't they help him? I felt, in an odd way, you could ruin the guy. It's his first start and that's what he gets. It's not a good thing."

Here is what Ed wrote about Umenyiora in “Kudos & Wet Willies:”

He had an incredible six of the Giants record-tying 12 sacks of Donovan McNabb. Poor Winston Justice. What was Andy Reid thinking, not giving the overmatched Eagles offensive tackle any help against Osi? Thank you, Andy!

That night belonged to Osi, but the Giants of 2007 had plenty of big-time play-makers on defense. Those were the days of the three-headed monster, comprised of Umenyiora, Justin Tuck and Strahan, now a Hall of Famer. The trio combined for nine sacks on the night and 22 for the year. Big Blue rode them (along with a young, burgeoning Eli Manning) all the way to an improbable Super Bowl XLII victory over the then-undefeated New England Patriots, the first team in league history to finish the regular season 16-0.