Larry Donnell – © USA TODAY Sports Images
NEW YORK GIANTS 30 – SAN FRANCISCO 49ers 27…
The New York Giants rallied late in the fourth quarter to defeat the San Francisco 49ers 30-27 at MetLife Stadium on Sunday night. The victory improved New York’s overall record to 3-2 and first place in the NFC East.
All looked lost when the 49ers drove 80 yards to score the go-ahead touchdown with just 1:45 left in the game. At this point, San Fransisco led 27-23. But quarterback Eli Manning orchestrated an 8-play, 82-yard drive that culminated with a dramatic, game-winning 12-yard touchdown throw to tight end Larry Donnell with 21 second to play.
The 49ers received the football to start the game and moved 55 yards in eight plays to set up a successful 43-yard field goal. The Giants tied the game on their first possession by traveling 76 yards in nine plays to set up a 22-yard field goal as the drive stalled inside the 10-yard line. Manning found wide receiver Odell Beckham for a 49-yard gain on this initial possession.
Shane Vereen – © USA TODAY Sports Images
After forcing San Francisco to punt on their second possession, the Giants put together a 14-play, 81-yard drive that resulted in a 2-yard touchdown pass from Manning to running back Shane Vereen on 3rd-and-goal. The big play on the drive was a 31-yard pass to Beckham on 3rd-and-7. Giants 10 – 49ers 3.
After another San Fransisco punt, the Giants moved the ball 43 yards in 10 plays to set up place kicker Josh Brown’s second successful field goal, this one from 41 yards out. Giants 13 – 49ers 3. However, the 49ers cut into that lead by driving 76 yards in 11 plays and kicking a 22-yard field goal late in the first half.
The Giants blew an opportunity for more points before intermission as New York drove 66 yards in less than a minute to reach the 49er 14-yard line. But Manning was picked off in the end zone on an ill-advised pass with five seconds to play. At the half, the Giants led 13-6.
The Giants received the ball to start the second half but punted after picking up one first down. The 49ers then tied the game on their initial possession of the second half by driving 88 yards in 10 plays. Quarterback Colin Kaepernick found wideout Anquan Boldin for a 3-yard score. Giants 13 – 49ers 13.
After the Giants and 49ers exchanged punts, New York drove the ball 61 yards in seven plays near the end of the third quarter and Manning found Beckham for a 17-yard catch-and-run for a touchdown. Giants 20 – 49ers 13. However, the Giants defense could not hold the advantage as San Fransisco responded with another long touchdown drive, this time 80 yards in 11 plays with Kaepernick hitting tight end Garrett Celek for a 5-yard score on 3rd-and-goal.
The Giants responded with a long scoring drive of their own, marching 74 yards in 14 plays. However, the Giants had to settle for another short field goal, this time from 24 yards out as the Giants went ahead 23-20 with 4:29 to play.
New York’s defense fell apart again, as the 49ers scored their third long touchdown drive of the second half. In just seven plays, San Fransisco went 80 yards with running back Carlos Hyde scoring from two yards out to put the 49ers up 27-23 with 1:45 to play.
Then came the dramatic game-winning drive. Manning scrambled for 11 yards and then threw to Vereen for 11 and 16 yards. Disaster almost struck on 1st-and-10 from the 49er 44-yard line when Manning’s deep pass initially appeared to be intercepted, but replay overruled the pick as the ball hit the ground. Two plays later, on 3rd-and-10, Manning hit Vereen for a 24-yard gain. After an 8-yard pass interference penalty was called on the 49ers against Beckham, Manning found Donnell for the game winner from 12 yards out with 21 seconds to play.
Offensively, the Giants accrued 30 first downs and 525 total yards (84 rushing, 441 passing). The team was 9-of-14 (64 percent) on third down, but only 3-of-6 (50 percent) in red zone opportunities. Manning finished the game 41-of-54 for 441 yards, 3 touchdowns, and 1 interception. His leading receivers were Vereen (8 catches for 86 yards and a touchdown), Beckham (7 catches for 121 yards and a touchdown), wide receiver Dwayne Harris (6 catches for 72 yards), and Donnell (6 catches for 35 yards and a touchdown). Running back Rashad Jennings carried the ball 11 times for 46 yards and Vereen five times for 24 yards.
Defensively, the Giants allowed 22 first downs and 380 total yards (124 rushing, 256 passing). The 49ers were 8-of-14 (57 percent) on third down and 3-of-4 (75 percent) in the red zone. Defensive end Damontre Moore had both of New York’s sacks, but the Giants rarely pressured Kaepernick. The Giants did not force a turnover.
Video highlights/lowlights are available at Giants.com. A video of the locker room celebration is also available.
WR Odell Beckham (hamstring), WR Rueben Randle (hamstring), LG Justin Pugh (ankle), LB Jon Beason (concussion), CB Trumaine McBride (possible aggravation of groin injury) all left the game with injuries. Beckham returned to the game.
“Sure, I was (reluctant to put Beckham back in the game),” said Head Coach Tom Coughlin. “We were trying to win a game. He wanted to go. The medical people said let him go. I let him go. We’ll see what he is like tomorrow.”
Transcripts and video clips of post-game media sessions with Head Coach Tom Coughlin and the following players are available in The Corner Forum and at Giants.com:
Inactive for the Giants were WR Victor Cruz (calf), TE Jerome Cunningham (knee), DE Robert Ayers (hamstring), DE George Selvie (calf), LB Devon Kennard (hamstring), LB Jonathan Casillas (calf), and OT Bobby Hart.
The Giants broke a three-game losing streak on Sunday Night Football and improved their Sunday night record to 20-26-1, including 10-12 at home.
QB Eli Manning’s 41 completions and 54 pass attempts were career highs. Manning’s 41 completions were a franchise record. His 441 yards were the third-highest total of his career. Manning completed a career-high 15 consecutive passes over three series spanning the third and fourth quarters.
The victory was the 102nd of Manning’s career (94 regular season, eight postseason). That is a franchise record. Manning had been tied with Phil Simms (95 regular season, six postseason).
This was the 27th time that Manning has rallied the Giants from a fourth-quarter deficit or tie to win a regular-season game. He’s also done it five times in the postseason, including two Super Bowls. It was Manning’s first game-winning drive since October 5, 2014 vs. Atlanta.
DANIEL FELLS MRSA UPDATE…
According to an NFL.com report on Sunday, tight end Daniel Fells’ health situation had become far more serious. Fells, who has been hospitalized with a Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) staph infection since last weekend, was moved to the Intensive Care Unit on Friday. He has undergone five surgeries to treat the infection with additional surgeries planned. There is a chance that Fells’ foot may need to be amputated.
However, NJ.com is reporting that Fells has responded better this weekend to a new antibiotic and FOXSports is reporting is reporting that his fever has dipped.
“We dedicated the game to Daniel Fells and his family, and thank God we were able to give him the game ball,” said Head Coach Tom Coughlin after the Giants’ 30-27 victory over the 49ers. “Fells has had two very good days in a row…His MRI came back without any issues. Thank God and hopefully he will just continue in that direction and have this cleared up so he can go home and see his kids.”