It was ugly, gut-wrenching, and nerve-fraying, but the New York Giants managed to overcome multiple injuries, sloppy play, and more to come from behind for the win. The Giants are now in control of the NFC East going into a pair of division games. But that's for later, let's take a look at some of the twists and turns on this wild ride.
Eli Manning throws a pick to end the half
The Giants' offense appeared unstoppable as they marched down the field in the final minute of the first half. Eli Manning had hit on nearly every pass to leave his hand in the first half, finding receivers with ease. With just eleven seconds left in the half, Eli did what the Giants have wanted to do and go for the touchdown rather than simply settle for the touchdown. The Giants had left points on the field and settled for a pair of field goals already that half.
However, some quick pressure from Aaron Lynch forced Eli Manning to throw without setting his feet.That wobbly, off-target, under-thrown ball combined with a shove from 49ers defensive back Traimane Brock on Odell Beckham lead to an interception to end the half. A loss of even three points, and more importantly momentum, that loomed large at the end of the game.
Odell Beckham is good at football
With the game tied in the end of the third quarter, their offense bogging down and their defense struggling, the Giants needed something to light a spark.
Who else but the Giants' offensive dynamo, Beckham, to provide that spark. On 1first-and-10 from -- roughly -- the 49ers' 20-yard line, Eli Manning dropped back to pass. Manning held the ball as long as possible, waiting for Beckham to work open in the short field. Almost too long, in fact, as he was in the grasp of Aaron Lynch by the time Beckham flashed open. Despite being a fraction of a second away from being sacked, Eli managed to flick the ball to his receiving phenom, and once again magic happened.
This might not have been a 60-yard bomb, but making those kinds of moves in a phone booth is special in it's own right. This would be the last time we would see Beckham until the very end of the game, and the 49ers would come back to tie the game once again but this play injected some life back in the Giants.
Leapin' Larry Donnell
It's a nickname that has kicked around comments sections as an insult to Larry Donnell and his habit of leaving his feet like an extra in an Arnold Schwarzenegger movie whenever he took a hit.
At the end of the game, Donnell made it an honorific.
With 1:41 left in the game and the Giants needing a touchdown to win, Manning engineered one of the great drives of his career. Odell Beckham and Rueben Randle were both on the bench with leg injuries, and Justin Pugh soon joined them with a dinged ankle.
Free agent Dwayne Harris, rookie Geremy Davis, and practice squadder Myles White were Eli's wide receivers. But he still had Shane Vereen -- for whom the 49ers had no answer -- and Donnell. Soon after Beckham managed to get back on the field, he drew a pass interference call to get the Giants within striking distance of the end zone. The very next play Larry Donnell channeled Beckham and David Tyree to haul in a finger-tip catch on his helmet, over NaVorro Bowman, for the win.
Rather than offer my final thoughts, I thought it best that we just enjoy the victory. Was it pretty? Nope, it was pug fugly, but the Giants were hit hard by injury coming into the game, and absolutely riddled by injury by the end. Let's take a day or two and enjoy the fact that Manning and the Giants found a way to win.