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Barber, Giants close in

By Associated Press
Published December 18, 2005

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. - Tiki Barber had enough in his veteran legs to pull the Giants to the brink of a division title.

Barber ran for a team-record 220 yards and scored two touchdowns, helping the Giants beat up-and-coming runner Larry Johnson and the Chiefs. If the Giants beat Washington on Saturday, they will clinch the NFC East.

Despite a banged up offensive line, Barber slithered through the Chiefs defense, breaking one tackle after another to eclipse the mark of 218, set by Gene Roberts against the Chicago Cardinals in 1950.

Kansas City, meanwhile, saw its wild-card chances diminish.

Johnson tried to keep the Chiefs in the game, finishing with 167 yards and two touchdowns. He and Barber extended their 100-yard-game streaks - Johnson to a club-record seven and Barber to five. Barber has 1,577 yards on the season, surpassing his single-season rushing mark of 1,518 set last year.

Both backs rightly shared the spotlight, but shoddy tackling doomed the Chiefs. Barber broke at least five tackles on his 41-yard touchdown run down the left sideline in the second quarter, and safety Sammy Knight failed to take down Amani Toomer on the receiver's 31-yard touchdown catch from Eli Manning in the fourth.

Knight appeared to have Toomer wrapped up for a minimal gain, but Toomer bulled past Knight and sprinted into the end zone for a 20-10 lead. The Chiefs unsuccessfully challenged, saying Toomer's knee touched the ground when he was hit by Knight. Replays showed that Toomer's knee appeared to be about an inch or two off the ground.

NOTABLE: The Giants played without starting linebackers Carlos Emmons (strained right pectoral muscle) and Antonio Pierce (ankle), defensive tackle William Joseph (ankle) and starting tackles Kareem McKenzie (hamstring) and Luke Petitgout (back spasms). [Last modified December 18, 2005, 01:02:23]


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