EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. — A victory? Yes, the New York Giants actually earned a victory on Sunday, defeating the Miami Dolphins, 36-13, at MetLife Stadium.
The victory ended a nine-game losing streak for the 3-11 Giants and allowed them to avoid what would have been a franchise-record 10th straight defeat. The Dolphins are also 3-11.
“It’s been quite a long stretch, but it felt really to win,” said coach Pat Shurmur. “It feels good for me because these guys have continued to fight.”
The victory allowed Eli Manning to even his career regular-season record as a starting quarterback at 117-117. Manning, playing again for the injured Daniel Jones, completed 20 of 28 passes for 283 yards with two touchdown passes and three interceptions.
“It was good to have Eli out there playing with us and help lead us to a victory,” Shurmur said. “He’s certainly done many, many good things around here for many, many years. For him to enjoy leading us to a victory should feel real special for him.”
Saquon Barkley went over 100 yards rushing for the first time since Week 2. Barkley carried a season-high 24 times for 112 yards and two touchdowns. Barkley also caught four passes for 31 yards.
The Giants led, 10-7, at the half and outscored the Dolphins 29-10 over the game’s final 30 minutes.
In the second half Manning hit Darius Slayton for a 5-yard scoring pass, Sam Beal tackled Patrick Laird for a safety, Barkley scored on runs of 1 and 10 yards and Buck Allen had a 1-yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter. Manning was 12 of 14 in the second half.
Alex Tanney replaced Manning, who received a huge ovation, with 1:50 to play.
Fans chanted his name and “Thank you, Eli” throughout the game. A smiling Manning was shown on the video board receiving congratulations after being taken out. He referred to the victory, which may have marked his final appearance as the team’s quarterback, as a “special day, special win.”
Big defensive play
Here is Beal’s momentum-changing safety that made the score 16-13 Giants with 5:24 left in the third quarter.
First half stuff
The first quarter was scoreless.
The Dolphins took a 7-0 lead with 9:53 left in the half on a 20-yard pass from Ryan Fitzpatrick to DeVante Parker. It was Miami’s third possession, and the third time the Dolphins reached scoring territory. The first two drives ended in a missed 49-yard field goal and a turnover on downs.
The Giants responded with a 51-yard pass from Eli Manning to Golden Tate to tiethe score at7-7 with 8:01 left in the half. Tate was interfered with, bobbled the ball, gathered it in, backpedaled the last few yards and got blasted into the end zone by a Miami defender.
An Eli Manning interception led to a 24-yard Sanders field goal with :44 left in the half to give Miami a 10-7 lead.
Standing ovation for Eli Manning
MetLife Stadium wasn’t full Sunday, but fans in attendance gave Eli Manning a well-earned standing ovation when the Giants got the ball for the first time on Sunday. The 16-year veteran may have played his final game with the Giants on Sunday, though Daniel Jones’ health will be the determing factor on that.
Saquon gave us a highlight
Well, at least there was this:
Cornerback DeAndre Baker was helped off midway through the third quarter with a right knee injury. He was originally declared questionable to return, but did come back into the game.
The Giants have only two games remaining. They travel to Landover, Md. next Sunday to face the Washington Redskins at 1 p.m. ET. They finish the season on Sunday, Dec. 29 by hosting the Philadelphia Eagles in a 1 p.m. start at MetLife Stadium.