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Eli Manning and the New York Giants were at first down by two scores, but a 25 point 4th quarter comeback allowed the Giants to defeat the Tampa Bay Buccaneers 41-34.
Manning was off to an extremely shaky start and threw three interceptions in the first half, including his last interception with less than a minute left, resulting in a Buccaneers’ pick six to go ahead 24-13. However, Manning kept his composure and finished off the game, throwing for over 500 yards and three touchdowns.
Giants wideout Hakeem Nicks was questionable for today’s game because of a foot injury, but that did not seem evident in his performance. Nicks caught 10 passes for 199 yards and one touchdown. Giants receiver Victor Cruz had a big day catching 11 passes for 179 yards and one touchdown.
Tampa Bay took advantage of the Giants weak secondary throughout the game. Josh Freeman completed 15 of 28 passes for 243 yards and threw two touchdowns along with two interceptions. Wideout Vincent Jackson caught 5 passes for 128 yards and one touchdown. Wideout Mike Williams caught 3 passes for 59 yards, and scored a touchdown with less than two minutes left to tie the game.
Giants running back Ahmad Bradshaw did not see much action after exiting the game in the 2nd quarter with a neck injury. Third year running back Andre Brown handled most of the snaps at running back for the rest of the game. Brown had 13 carries for 71 yards and scored the game-winning touchdown for the Giants with 31 seconds left.
After scoring the go ahead touchdown, the Giants kicked back off to the Buccaneers, giving them an attempt to tie the game. Tampa started their drive on their own 36 yard line, and Freeman and Jackson connected for 19 yards moving up to the Giants 45 yard line. The following play, Freeman connected with Mike Williams all the way down to the Giants’ 16. However, the play was reviewed by officials because Williams did not maintain possession and was overturned, negating the big gain. With about 12 seconds remaining, Freeman dropped back, overthrew intended receiver Dallas Clark and was intercepted by Giants linebacker Michael Boley to end the game.
Eli and the Giants offense came out for one more play to kneel it and solidify the win. At the end of the game, controversy spurred as Giants coach Tom Coughlin confronted Buccaneers coach Greg Schiano evidently upset about something.
The Giants could have easily breezed past the Buccaneers if they would have converted on their red-zone possessions. The Giants settled for four field goals in the red-zone rather than punching in touchdown scores. New York will be back in action this upcoming Thursday against the Carolina Panthers.
Image Courtesy of Tampa Bay Buccaneers