Kerry thrives under pressure

Giants QB Kerry Collins was only sacked once, but he faced as much pressure yesterday as he has all season. Still, he survived the fierce Philadelphia pass rush to finish off the most prolific passing season ever by a Giants quarterback.

Collins completed 25 of 35 passes for 256 yards, giving him 4,073 yards for the season. That broke the old club mark of 4,044 set in 1984 by Phil Simms.

"Kerry seemed to settle down," Giants coach Jim Fassel said. "I was a little worried about him at halftime because I was trying to protect him with everything and they were getting through a little bit and changing our tempo.

"The pressure was pretty good getting to him."

Collins who turns 30 tomorrow was hit several times and appeared to rush his throw on his one interception in the end zone on 2nd-and-goal from the 6 on the Giants' opening drive. That ended a streak of 129 passes without an interception.

Said Collins: "I wouldn't say I was rattled."

He did look rattled at times, though, especially when he fumbled two snaps and botched one handoff to Tiki Barber. A year ago Collins set the NFL record with 23 fumbles, but he had only had five this year.
Dec. 29,02