The New York Giants are alive. Forget that four-game losing streak. The Giants are now in first place in the NFC East thanks to an exhilarating 37-34 victory Sunday night over the Dallas Cowboys. Both teams are 7-6, but the victory gives the Giants the playoff tie-breaker edge for now.
The Giants can thank two players for this victory -- defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul and quarterback Eli Manning. Pierre-Paul, who was pretty much a one-man defense for the Giants all night, capped a dominating effort by blocking Dan Bailey's 47-yard game-tying field goal attempt with six seconds remaining in the game. A Manning kneel down ended the game.
Pierre-Paul finished the game with eight tackles, two sacks, a forced fumble and a blocked field goal. As tremendous as he was, his performance would have gone for naught without the sheer brilliance of Manning.
With the Giants trailing 34-22 with 5:52 to play after one of many blown coverages by the Giants allowed Tony Romo to hit Dez Bryant for an easy 50-yard touchdown pass, Manning did what he has done all season. Play fabulous, courageous football when the Giants needed it most.
First, Manning took the Giants 80 yards in eight plays, hitting Jake Ballard for an eight-yard touchdown to make the score 34-29 in favor of Dallas.
After a three-and-out by Dallas the Giants regained possession at their own 42-yard line with 2:12 to play. Manning drove the Giants to the game-winning score eight plays later when Brandon Jacobs ran the ball in from a yard out. Manning overcame an end zone drop by Mario Manningham on a perfectly thrown ball to complete the drive. For the second consecutive week the Giants were successful with a two-point conversion, again running shotgun draw to D.J. Ware, to make the score 37-34.
With no timeouts Dallas drove to the Giants' 30. Bailey booted an apparent game-tying kick through the uprights, but Giants coach Tom Coughlin negated the kick with his final timeout, forcing Bailey to try again. Blasting through the middle, Pierre-Paul put the Giants back in control of the NFC East.
Manning finished 27-of-47 for 400 yards with two touchdowns and one interception. Jacobs ran for 101 yards on 19 carries. Hakeem Nicks had seven catches for 154 yards for the Giants.