Eli Manning led the 36th game-winning drive of his 15-year career Monday night as the Giants defeated the San Francisco 49ers, 27-23. The win broke the Giants’ five-game losing streak and raised their record to 2-7.
The 49ers’ took the lead on a 30-yard field goal by Robbie Gould with 2:46 remaining.
Manning and the Giants then went 75 yards in nine plays with Manning hitting Sterling Shepard with a 3-yard pass for the game-winner with 53 seconds remaining.
The Giants’ drive was helped by a pair of penalties, a holding and a pass interference, against the 49ers. The first, a holding call against Malcolm Smith on third-and-12, gave the Giants a first down at the 49ers 46-yard line at the two-minute mark. The second, called against Ahkello Witherspoon on a pass intended for Odell Beckham, gave the Giants a first down at the 35. A 23-yard pass to Saquon Barkley put the Giants at the San Francisco 12-yard line and set up the game winner. Two plays later, Manning found Shepard in the left front corner of the end zone.
The 49ers drove to the Giants’ 21-yard line with one second remaining, but a Nick Mullens’ Hail Mary was incomplete.
“First win in our little eight-game season here,” coach Pat Shurmur said in the post-game. “We’ll put all our energy into playing Tampa when we get back from the flight.
“Happy for our guys. It’s always fun to win a game.”
Per the ESPN broadcast, the Giants had lost their last 20 games when trailing by 7 points or more.
The Giants trailed at halftime, 13-10. The 49ers opened the second half by going 60 yards in 11 plays to take a 20-10 lead on an 11-yard pass to running back Matt Breida. A 20-yard touchdown pass from Manning to Beckham and a 31-yard Aldrick Rosas field goal made it 20-20 heading to the fourth quarter.
“We made progress tonight,” Shurmur said. “As we go along here we’re going to have more victories. They’re going to always be hard fought. This team fights hard.”
Manning finished 19-of-31 for 188 yards and three touchdowns. Barkley ran 20 times for 67 yards and had four catches for 33 yards. That gave him exactly 100 yards from scrimmage on the night, the eighth time in nine games he has accomplished that. Odell Beckham Jr. had four receptions for 73 yards and two scores.
San Francisco quarterback Nick Mullens completed 27-of-39 for 250 yards with a touchdown and two interceptions, both by linebacker B.J. Goodson. Matt Breida had 17 carries for 101 yards for the 49ers, and tight end George Kittle had a game-high nine catches for 83 yards.
NFL Draft order
The victory means the Giants would have the third overall pick in the 2019 NFL Draft if it were held today. The 1-8 Oakland Raiders would have the first pick and the 2-8 49ers would pick at No. 2. The Arizona Cardinals are also 2-7, but the Giants would pick higher based on strength of schedule.
The Giants host Ryan Fitzpatrick and the 3-6 Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Sunday at MetLife Stadium. The game will mean a reunion with former Giants first-round pick Jason Pierre-Paul. Game time is 1 p.m.