Eli Manning (10) of the New York Giants walks to the bench after throwing an interception that went for a touchdown during a game against the Seattle Seahawks at MetLife Stadium on October 9, 2011 in East Rutherford, New Jersey. (Photo by Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images)
Live by the last-minute comeback, die by the last-minute comeback. The New York Giants won six regular-season games in 2011 in the fourth quarter, and the 2012 Super Bowl. In Week 5 of the 2011 NFL season, the Giants died a painful, unnecessary death when a fourth-quarter rally went awry.
The Giants lost to the Seattle Seahawks, 36-25, in Week 5. This was a game in which the Giants were favored, and Seattle lost starting quarterback Tarvaris Jackson to injury, and was using backup quarterback Charlie Whitehurst. Still, as they so often did in 2011, the Giants played to the level of their competition and left this game to be decided in the closing moments.
This time, it was the Giants' opponent that made the crucial plays in the closing moments.
Trailing 25-22 with 4:49 to play, Whitehurst led Seattle on an 80-yard, seven-play drive that ended with a 27-yard touchdown pass to an uncovered Doug Baldwin for a 29-22 lead with 2:37 to play.
The Giants responded by driving to the Seattle 10-yard line before Eli Manning had a pass bounce off the hands of a slipping Victor Cruz and turn into a 94-yard game-sealing interception return for a touchdown by Brandon Browner of the Seahawks.
The game was a mixed-bag for Cruz. He made eight catches for 161 yards and an incredible 68-yard touchdown catch-and-run. He also, however, had that pass bounce off his hands and had a fumble that lead to a Seattle field goal.