A Heroic Game for Nicks – Photo by US Presswire
Giants Rally to Beat Buccaneers: Trailing 27-13 early in the third quarter, the New York Giants outscored the Tampa Bay Buccaneers 28-7 over the remaining course of the game to win 41-34 at MetLife Stadium.
Statistically, the Giants dominated the game, dramatically out-gaining the Buccaneers in first downs (31 to 14), total net yards (604 to 307), and net yards passing (510 to 228). The Giants also held the advantage in net yards rushing (94 to 79) and time of possession (33:29 to 26:31).
The problem in the first half for the Giants was turnovers, and specifically three interceptions by QB Eli Manning that led directly to 21 points by Tampa Bay.
After two possessions each by the Giants and Buccaneers to start the game, the Giants led 6-3 on two field goals by PK Lawrence Tynes (from 37 and 24 yards out). On the Giants’ third possession, Manning was picked off at the Giants’ 28-yard line. Three plays later, on 3rd-and-11, QB Josh Freeman found WR Vincent Jackson for a 29-yard touchdown.
Both teams then exchanged punts. On the Giants’ fifth possession, Manning was intercepted again. His pass was picked off at the Tampa Bay 34-yard line and returned 40 yards. A horse-collar tackle by HB Andre Brown put the ball on the Giants’ 13-yard line. Two plays later, HB Doug Martin scored from eight yards out. The Buccaneers were now up 17-6.
The Giants responded with an 8-play, 80-yard drive that resulted in a 23-yard touchdown pass from Manning to WR Hakeem Nicks with less than two minutes to play before halftime. Bucs 17 – Giants 13.
With just over a minute to play, Tampa was forced to punt. The Giants moved from their own 25 yard line to the Buccaneers’ 39 yard line, but on 3rd-and-2 with only 23 seconds left, Manning’s pass intended for WR Victor Cruz was intercepted and returned for a 60-yard score. The Giants trailed 24-13 at the half.
The situation got worse for New York at the start of the third quarter. Tampa Bay returned the kickoff to the Giants’ 47-yard line, setting up a 52-yard field goal by the Buccaneers to take a 27-13 lead.
After both teams exchanged punts, the Giants put together a 13-play, 64-yard drive that ended with a 36-yard field goal by Tynes to cut the score to 27-16. On the Buccaneers’ next possession, CB Corey Webster intercepted Freeman at the Tampa Bay 36-yard line. The Giants however had to settle for another field goal, this time from 24 yards out, to make it a 27-19 game.
Tampa Bay picked up a first down and then punted. The Giants started their fourth drive of the second half at their own 12-yard line. After two plays, on 3rd-and-2, Manning hit Cruz for an 80-yard touchdown. With less than seven minutes to play in the game, the score was tied 27-27 after a successful two-point conversion by Andre Brown.
The Buccaneers went three-and-out on their next possession. The Giants responded with a 4-play, 67-yard drive that ended with a 33-yard touchdown pass from Manning to TE Martellus Bennett. The Giants now led 34-27 with four minutes to play.
However, the defense allowed the Buccaneers to tie the game as Tampa Bay marched 80 yards in five plays and two minutes. Freeman hit WR Mike Williams for a 41-yard touchdown.
But Manning and the offense responded again. New York drove 80 yards in four plays to take a 41-34 lead with 31 seconds to play. Brown scored from two yards out.
LB Michael Boley sealed the game with five seconds left on the clock when hie picked off Freeman at the Giants’ 30-yard line.
Manning finished the game 31-of-51 for 510 yards, 3 touchdowns, and 3 interceptions. Cruz caught 11 passes for 179 yards and a touchdown. Nicks caught 10 passes for 199 yards and a touchdown. Bennett caught 5 passes for 72 yards and a touchdown. Brown rushed for 71 yards and a touchdown on 13 carries.
Defensively, DE Jason Pierre-Paul and LB Chase Blackburn each had sacks. Webster and Boley each had interceptions.
Highlights/lowlights of the game are available at NFL.com.
Injury Report: The Giants came out of the game very banged up. HB Ahmad Bradshaw (neck), WR Domenik Hixon (concussion), and OT David Diehl (knee) all were knocked out of the game. Diehl and Bradshaw will undergo an MRIs.
WR Hakeem Nicks (ankle) left the game but returned. DT Linval Joseph (unknown) and HB Andre Brown (unknown) went for x-rays after the game. Brown also need an IV after the game for dehydration. CB Michael Coe (hamstring) said he aggravated his injury.
Post-Game Player Media Q&As: Transcripts and video clips of post-game media Q&As with the following players are available at Giants.com:
- QB Eli Manning (Video)
- WR Hakeem Nicks (Video)
- WR Victor Cruz (Video)
- TE Martellus Bennett (Video)
- DE Justin Tuck (Video)
- CB Michael Coe (Video)
Post-Game Notes: Inactive for the Giants were LB Keith Rivers (hamstring), CB Prince Amukamara (ankle), HB Da’Rel Scott (knee), OT James Brewer (back), WR Jerrel Jernigan, TE Adrien Robinson, and DE Adewale Ojomo.
The Giants gained 604 total yards against Tampa Bay. That is the second-highest total in franchise history. The franchise record of 609 yards was set on December 3, 1950 in a 51-7 victory over the New York Yanks.
The Giants’ 510 net passing yards are a franchise record. The previous record of 505 yards was set in that 1962 game against the Washington Redskins.
Manning’s 510 yards were the second-highest total by a quarterback in Giants history. Simms threw for 513 yards at Cincinnati on October 13, 1985.
This was the 21st time Manning has rallied the Giants from a fourth-quarter deficit or tie to win a regular season game.
Wide receivers Victor Cruz caught 11 passes for 179 yards and Hakeem Nicks added 10 receptions for 199 yards. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, the Giants are the first team in NFL history with two players with at least 10 catches and at least 175 receiving yards in the same game.
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