Collins: Wanting a birthday present

I started out last week's diary by writing "All I want for Christmas is a playoff berth" -- and we were able to win and keep alive our playoff hopes.

This week, all I want for my birthday (Dec. 30) is a victory against the Eagles. If we're able to do that, I'll have to figure out a way to get a gift for our first game in 2002!

Last week's game was a big win for us, in a very hard-fought game. Like us, Seattle was fighting for its playoff lives, so the Seahawks had as much motivation to win as we did. It was an incredible game, with both defenses scoring touchdowns.

I'm glad we were able to come back and win because it gave me a chance to make up for fumbling in our end zone and giving the Seahawks a touchdown. Michael Strahan made a huge play for us, picking up a fumble and bringing it back for a touchdown. Strahan has been making big plays for us all year, but I think the touchdown was his biggest yet.

People are talking to him being a lock for the Pro Bowl, but I also think he should be named the Most Valuable Defensive player in the league, too. What he does week in and week out is amazing.

Everyone talks about us driving down the field and scoring a touchdown with seconds to go in the game, especially since it was the second week in a row. To me, it's a good news/bad news thing. Bad because we were trailing, but good because we were able to come back.

I'm real proud of our offense for scoring on that last drive. When I got into the huddle, I said that we were going to go 96 yards and score a touchdown. I looked into each person's eyes, and I saw conviction, not doubt.

On our first play, Amani Toomer gets open and gains 28 yards, giving us room to breathe. All of our guys did a great job on that drive, and then Ike Hilliard found an opening in the end zone and scored.

I was happy for Ike, because he's a quiet guy who doesn't get enough credit. He's been playing with a sore toe all year long. I know he's in pain, but he toughs it out, week in and week out. I'm glad to have him on my team.

Thankfully, because we scored a touchdown on that last drive, we're still alive in the playoff race. Now we have to go to Philadelphia, one of the loudest stadiums in the league, and play against a very good Eagles team.

They have a very tough defense, and offensively, they have Donovan McNabb, one of the most explosive players in the NFL. It's going to be an incredible game, like every Giants-Eagles game is. Late December, 4 p.m., typical NFC East-smashmouth football.

Like I've said all along, you can only win one game a week in this league. We need to worry only about the Eagles. If we do that, and are lucky enough to come away with a win, then we can worry about next week's game. All I know is, we're going to have our hands full on Sunday.

I hope that you enjoy watching it, and I hope that by around 7:30 p.m. Sunday night, I'll be having a Happy birthday! Dec. 28, 2001

-- Kerry Collins