No one gave the New York Giants a chance this week when they traveled into Detroit to play the Lions as ten point underdogs. After suffering two blowout losses in a row to the Chargers and Seahawks, it seemed that this team was incapable of winning a game. To the Lions dismay, who needed this win to keep their playoff hopes alive, the Giants put together their most complete game of the season and stunned Detroit with an overtime field goal to win the game.
“It’s a great team win, all three phases battling their butts off. We fought, we fought, we fought, didn’t look good, but we found a way to win and that’s classic Giants football” said Giants head coach Tom Coughlin to his team after the comeback victory.
It didn’t come easy for New York, who blew a golden opportunity to seal the victory late in the fourth quarter. After effectively driving the ball across mid-field, Eli Manning through that marquis interception which felt like it could be the end for Big Blue. With 28 seconds on the clock, Eli made a head-scratching throw intended for Jerrel Jernigan that sailed and was intercepted by Glover Quin. Stafford took a knee with two timeouts and 23 seconds left despite hearing boos from the crowd, which brought the game into overtime.
The Giants won the coin toss and elected to receive. After a 56 yard kickoff return from Michael Cox and a 15 yard completion from Manning to Brandon Myers, the Giants looked like they were bound to score at least three points to begin overtime. On the next play, Andre Brown had a nice seven yard run, but tragically coughed the ball up at the Lions 28 yard line.
“The turnovers, unfortunately we had a couple of them. Gosh, that one with Andre Brown, that hurt, but we were able to bounce back from that,” said Coughlin.
The Giants defense, which has played so well, was once again able to bail the offense out after their mistakes. They forced a three-and-out, and gave the offense one more chance to win the game. This time, Eli Manning drove his ‘replacement’ offense down the field and set up the game winning 45 yard field goal by Josh Brown.
The play of the game came from Giants safety Will Hill. Down 20-13, Hill took advantage of a tipped ball from Matthew Stafford and ran it back for a score to tie the game with five minutes left in the fourth quarter.
“I just saw the ball take off in the air and just took advantage of the situation in cover-four. I was overseeing three players and once I saw the ball tip off his hands I just saw daylight,” said Hill after the game.
It was only the fourth time this year that the Giants were able to win the turnover battle. All four times they have had a positive turnover differential, they have won the game. It was a great win for the mentality of this Giants team that has been tested this year.
Next week, the Giants (6-9) will travel to Washington to take on the Redskins. After starting the season 0-6, a win in Washington would round there season out at 7-9. That would mean through their last ten games, they would go 7-3 which is a nice way to finish a season that seemed lost from the start. If they can secure the ball better next season, New York will undoubtedly win more games and compete for the NFC East title once again.