It wasn't pretty, and the New York Giants tried every way they could think of not to win Sunday's game against the Oakland Raiders. In the end, however, the Giants did manage to defeat the Raiders, 24-20, at MetLife Stadium.
The Giants fumbled the ball away twice, handing Oakland 10 points. Eli Manning threw a pick six. Steve Weatherford had a punt blocked. Yet, the Giants (3-6) outlasted the Raiders (3-6) in a battle that came down to which team end up hurting itself the least.
Andre Brown was the star for the Giants, carrying 30 times for 115 yards.
Manning completed 12-of-22 passes for 140 yards with a touchdown and an interception.
"We're finding ways to win and that's nice and obviously we've won three in a row but we still have to figure some things out," Manning said. "We still have to play a little bit better."
The Giants defense has now surrendered only one touchdown in 14 quarters extending back to the first half of Week 6 vs. the Chicago Bears. The Giants intercepted Oakland's Terrelle Pryor once and recovered a Pryor fumble late in the fourth quarter. The Giants held the Raiders to a field goal after Oakland drove to the New York 1-yard line during its opening possession of the third quarter.
The game turned in the third quarter. Just when things were looking like they might get away from the Giants with Oakland leading 20-14 the defense came up big again. Oakland got the ball at the Giants' 48-yard line following a 27-yard punt by Steve Weatherford. On third and nine at the Giants' 33, Terrell Thomas interceptied a Pryor pass for Denarius Moore and returned the ball to the Oakland 5-yard line.
"It was a big play for us," Thomas said. "We needed it. It was a route that they had run a lot and I was waiting on it all game. They run two-by-two slants and coach put us in a great position and I I was just happy to make a play for our defense."
The Giants capitalized, taking a 21-20 lead with 2:15 left in the third quarter when Brown scored from 1-yard out, following a jarring block on the edge from fullback John Connor. The Giants never trailed after that.
The Giants extended the lead to 24-20 with 8:04 left on a 23-yard field goal by Josh Brown. That capped off a 13-play, 70-yard drive that took 6:56.
The Giants' defense snuffed out Oakland's final chance when Mathias Kiwanuka forced a Pryor fumble that Cullen Jenkins fell on at the Oakland 45-yard line with 3:28 to play. From there, the Giants' offense was able to run out the clock.
The Giants trailed 17-14 at the half despite allowing the Oakland offense only 99 total yards. Giants' turnovers handed Oakland all 17 of its points. A Jerrel Jernigan fumble on the opening kickoff led to a touchdown less than a minute into the game, Eli Manning threw a pick 6 to Tracy Porter and a Peyton Hillis fumble led to a Sebastian Janikowski field goal.
"We knew we could win this game," said wide receiver Rueben Randle. "Despite the three turnovers we were still in the game, only down three. We knew just control the ball, go out there and make some plays and we could come out with the victory."
They did just that.
What It Means: The Giants are, ridiculously, alive in the NFC East at 3-6. The Green Bay Packers saw Seneca Wallace, subbing for the injured Aaron Rodgers, leave their game against the Philadelphia Eagles on Sunday with a hamstring injury. The Giants could be hosting a Green Bay team next week down to its third quarterback who, right now, is Scott Tolzien. It also means the Giants will be rooting -- hard -- for the New Orleans Saints to defeat the Dallas Cowboys on Sunday.
Boxscore Hero: Andre Brown carried an incredible 30 times for 115 yards and a touchdown in his first game of the season.
Next Week: The Giants will host the Green Bay Packers at MetLife Stadium. That game starts at 4:25 p.m. ET.