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Notebook

Rookie makes quick first impression on Eagles

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Posted: Sunday January 07, 2001 9:35 PM

  Ron Dixon Ron Dixon's opening-kickoff return for a touchdown was the first for the Giants since December of 1966. AP

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP) -- Ron Dixon from Lambuth University was drafted in the third round last year to add some speed to the New York Giants' receiving and return units.

He did just that Sunday with a 97-yard touchdown return on the opening kickoff, the first score on a kickoff return in Giants playoff history.

It also was the first opening kickoff return for a TD in any NFL playoff game since Nat Moore did it for Miami against Oakland on Dec. 21, 1974.

"I told the guys, 'Just give me a little screen and I'll do the rest,'" said Dixon, who said he wasn't touched except for a "scrape" from Eagles kicker David Akers.

The last Giants return for a touchdown on an opening kickoff was Dec. 4, 1966, by Clarence Childs.

Running quarterbacks

Philadelphia QB Donovan McNabb's scrambles were contained all day by the Giants, who sacked him six times, held him to 17 yards rushing and a longest gain of 7 yards. Giants QB Kerry Collins, far less of a threat to run than McNabb, also had 17 yards rushing, a total that was lowered by minus-5 yards in kneel-downs at the end of the game. His longest gain was 9 yards. 'We obviously took advantage of my exceptional running skills,' Collins joked.

Barber's Arm

Giants RB Tiki Barber played with a fiberglass cast on his broken left arm, which he injured three weeks ago.

He carried 15 times for 35 yards and added three receptions for 13 yards. He also was responsible for one of the three fumbles lost by the Giants. He was stripped of the ball from his right arm.

"The broken arm didn't bother me," he said. "I fumbled, but the arm wasn't a factor. They just made a good play on me."

Barber said he wasn't sure if he would wear the cast again in next Sunday's NFC championship game against Minnesota, but added that some kind of wrapping was needed to prevent a blow directly on the arm.

Playoff experience

Only 11 players remain on the Giants from their last playoff appearance in 1997, but they have 21 players on their 53-man roster with postseason experience, led by offensive guard Glenn Parker with 17 games, including four Super Bowl appearances with the Buffalo Bills.

Among the Giants, TE Howard Cross (Giants), G Ron Stone (Cowboys) and CB Dave Thomas (Cowboys) have one Super Bowl appearance apiece.

Dominating the Eagles

The Giants' nine-game winning streak against the Eagles is tied for the longest active winning streak of one NFL team over another.

Miami has defeated Cincinnati nine consecutive times, and New England is 9-0 over San Diego in their last nine meetings.


 
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