Manning does it again, leads Giants to fourth-quarter win
Eli Manning was angry and frustrated by his play in the first half, but all smiles at the end after leading the New York Giants on another of his fourth-quarter comebacks on Sunday.
Manning, who produced six fourth-quarter comeback wins in last year’s regular season and another in the Super Bowl over the New England Patriots, did it again as he steered the never-say-die Giants to a 41-34 win over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
“It’s fun,” said Manning, who topped 500 yards passing for the first time in his career. “As a quarterback you like to throw it.”
The softspoken leader of the Giants bounced back from tossing three second-quarter interceptions that resulted in three Tampa Bay touchdowns with a pair of touchdown strikes in the fourth quarter and 510 yards passing.
“In the first half you’re frustrated and you’re angry,” Manning told reporters. “And then you get the excitement of coming back. It’s not the situation you always want to be in, but it can be fun.”
Finding his twin threat wide receivers Victor Cruz and Hakeem Nicks over and over again, Manning surpassed Y.A. Tittle’s 505 yards thrown in 1962 to stand second behind Phil Simms’s single game team record of 513 yards set in 1985.
Manning completed 31-of-51 passes with Nicks hauling in 10 passes for 199 yards and a touchdown, and Cruz making 11 catches for 179 yards and a touchdown.
The Giants trailed 24-13 at intermission after Manning’s meltdown in the second quarter when he made bad decisions about where to throw the ball and bad passes that allowed Mason Foster, Brandon McDonald and Eric Wright to make interceptions.
“You go into halftime saying, ‘I have to make better decisions,’” admitted Manning, who said as the second half unfolded he began recognizing what the Bucs were doing and made adjustments.
“We’re going to be OK and here’s how we’re going to attack it,” the quarterback said he told his team mates. “The guys fought and believed...we kept staying in the game.”
The Giants were losing 27-16 entering the fourth quarter and in danger of starting their season 0-2 after losing to the Dallas Cowboys in last week’s NFL opener.
“No one wants to start 0-2,” said Manning. “It’s a big win, big win, especially after a first half playing poorly and last week not playing well.
“The second half was good. Some big time plays, stepping up when we needed it. That was fun.”