The last two times these teams have played, it has gone down to the wire. Eli Manning and Tom Brady have played a game of can you top this, the game within the game. Yesterday resembled the classic ending we saw in Super Bowl XLII. Tom Brady put up solid numbers, but the Giants harassed him into 3 turnovers (2 picks and a fumble).
Trailing 13-10, Manning led the Giants on an 85 yard scoring drive to give them a 17-13 lead with 3:03 left in the fourth quarter. Everybody and their brother knew that was way to much time for Brady. He did the inevitable and drove New England right back down the field and capped it off with a touchdown to Rob Gronkowski to make it 20-17 with 1:36 to go.
There’s no way Eli can out clutch Brady in Foxborough with 1:36 left without Hakeem Nicks and Ahmad Bradshaw, right? Wrong, he was helped by a pass interfernence call at the goal line, but Eli marched them down the field in the closing moments with the game on the line. He was also helped immensely by tight end Jake Ballard who made a David Tyree-esque leaping, twisting, high degree of difficulty catch of his own. A few plays later he caught the game winner in the back of the end zone.
The win moved New York to 6-2, two full games ahead of Dallas and possibly Philadelphia if they beat Chicago tonight on Monday Night Football. They are in control of the NFC East. Barring an internal collapse that they allow to carry over onto the field, it looks like it could stay that way. The Eagles are trying to round themselves into shape and make a run, and they very well could, but New York already beat them once in Philly and get them at home for the rematch. The Cowboys soft schedule will keep them in the mix for the time being but they are going to have to show that they can play much better when they face good competition, which outside of the San Francisco game, they haven’t been able to do. The Redskins, well they’re just busy being the Redskins. For now, the NFC East is in a New York state of mind, time will tell if that’s the case at season’s end.
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