Sep 16, 2012; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Giants wide receiver Victor Cruz (80) makes reception against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers during the first half at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jim O'Connor-US PRESSWIRE
Well folks, it can't get much closer, or crazier, than that.
Eli Manning threw for 510 yards and three touchdowns as the Giants (1-1) came out on top in a wild fourth-quarter finish. One, incidentally, that ended with coach tom Coughlin giving rookie Tampa Bay coach Greg Schiano an earful after Eli Manning was knocked to the ground on the final play with the Giants in victory formation.
You might have expected the Giants, angry after a season-opening loss to the Dallas Cowboys, to push the young Buccaneers around MetLife Stadium. That didn't happen. Manning threw three first-half interceptions and the Giants trailed 27-13 early in the third quarter. The Giants still trailed 27-16 entering the final quarter.
The Giants, you well know by now, never make things easy. On themselves or their fans.
In the fourth quarter, the Giants -- of course rallied. They scored 25 points with Manning throwing two touchdown passes, Andre Brown running for a touchdown and a two-point conversion and Lawrence Tynes kicking a field goal.
They appeared to have the game won when Martellus Bennett hauled in a 33-yard pass from Manning with 3:09 to play, but Mike Williams victimized Justin Tryon for a 41-yard game-tying score with 1:58 to play.
No matter. A 24-yard pass to Ramses Barden and a 50-yard pass to the amazing Hakeem Nicks and the Giants were at the Tampa Bay 11-yard line. Two plays later, Andre Brown scored the winning touchdown on a 2-yard run.
Nicks had 10 catches for 199 yards, Cruz had 11 for 179 and Bennett had five for 72.
Much more later.