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The New York Giants were able to pull a victory on Sunday against the winless Miami Dolphins, but from watching the game, you’d think the Giants didn’t even care about the game. If it wasn’t for Eli Manning, the New York headlines would read something much different had the Dolphins gotten their first win in MetLife Stadium.
Manning’s 25-yard touchdown throw to Victor Cruz with just under six minutes left in the game helped the Giants to escape with a victory, and move to two games ahead of the Cowboys and Eagles in the NFC East, moving the team to 5-2.
“The pressure was there just to get the win,” Giants guard Chris Snee said. “No one was concerned about ‘Oh, we’re going to lose to a winless team, or we were going to lose.’ We thought we were still going to win the game and that’s just the confidence we have, and that stems from Eli.”
Manning was the lone bright spot. He ran 31 of 45 for 345 yards and two touchdowns, bringing the Giants back from 11 points down in the first half. With every passing week, he’s starting to show the leadership many thought was missing, as well as the ability to put the team on his shoulders when they aren’t there mentally. Four of the five wins the Giants have had this season have come in the fourth quarter.
“We knew coming in it would be a tough battle,” Manning said. “A lot of games have come to the fourth quarter, and we knew it would be a tough road. They did a lot of good things defensively, ran a lot of different blitzes. We didn’t run the ball real well today, and we had to throw the ball more than we wanted to. But we’re capable of doing that.”
This loss is just another notch on what is going to be coach Tony Sparano’s last season as the Dolphins head coach. It follows last week’s disastrous game when the Dolphins blew a 15-point lead and lost in overtime to Tim Tebow and the Broncos
“We went toe to toe with them, swung hard. We didn’t win. It’s not acceptable,” Sparano said. Matt Moore played a semi-decent game, going 13 of 22 for 138 yards and one interception. He also had five carries for 31 yards and a touchdown on the ground. However, he was sacked on the final two drives four times, and his one pick sealed the game for the Giants.
Steve Slaton and Moore scored on one yard runs to finish the Dolphins first two drives. After that, they were only able to get a field goal from Dan Carpenter as the Giants defense stepped things up in the second half.
Reggie Bush had his best game as a Dolphin. He rushed 103 yards on 15 carries, but it wasn’t enough to stop the Dolphins from giving away another game, and continuing the league-long winless streak.
The Dolphins head to Kansas City next week to square off with the surging Chiefs who are on the hunt for the AFC West. This is a game the Dolphins have a chance to win and finally get that first victory of the season. However, they will have to show up for the full four quarters and not just the first three.
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