The New York Giants got a desperately-needed victory Monday night, defeating the Miami Dolphins, 31-24. With the victory, the Giants remain in a first-place tie in the NFC East with the Washington Redskins and Philadelphia Eagles. All three teams are 6-7.
Head coach Tom Coughlin called the victory "fulfilling."
"We talked about playing 60 minutes. We hadn't been doing that, we hadn't been finishing," Coughlin said. "That was a major goal and we did that.
"A really solid game for our guys. It certainly is good to win."
Maybe the key was that the Giants weren't winning when the fourth quarter started. The Giants have, of course, blown five fourth-quarter leads. With their season on the line, the Giants entered the fourth quarter in a 24-24 tie game.
An 84-yard pass from Eli Manning to Odell Beckham Jr, gave the Giants a 31-24 lead with 11:13 to platy. The question then, obviously, would be whether or not the Giants could hang on. They did, by accomplishing two things they have been unable to do most of the season.
The Giants got two stops from their defense, then closed out the game with three first downs after taking possession with 4:39 to go. One first down came on a third-and-1 run by Rashad Jennings, the other two on short passes to Dwayne Harris and Beckham. The 5-yard pass to Beckham with 1:40 remaining allowed the Giants to run out the clock.
"Our guys have hung in there. They've taken all the shots from the outside and they've continued to work hard and believe they can win, and tonight that's what it took," Coughlin said
Manning had a tremendous game, going 27-of-31 for 337 yards and four touchdowns. Beckham had seven receptions for 166 yards and two scores, his sixth straight 100+ yard receiving game. Rashad Jennings, finally given an opportunity to be a workhorse back, carried 22 times for 81 yards. Both were season highs.
The Giants host the unbeaten (13-0) Carolina Panthers Sunday at MetLife Stadium. Kickoff is at 1 p.m. ET. The Panthers have already clinched the NFC South title. Could the Giants be catching the Panthers at a time when they might be vulnerable?