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NFL: Manning, Giants top Bucs 41-34

Published September 16, 2012 9:08 pm

Manning's monster day propels Giants to wild victory over the Buccaneers.
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2012, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

East Rutherford, N.J. • Eli Manning needed a near-record performance to make up for his own mistakes and help the Super Bowl champion New York Giants avoid a second straight loss.

Manning threw for 510 yards and three touchdowns and capped the second greatest passing day by a Giants' quarterback by setting up Andre Brown's game-winning 2-yard run with a 50-yard pass that lifted New York to a wild 41-34 victory Sunday over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

The game featured four touchdowns in the final 6:48 and ended with some postgame squabbling between Giants coach Tom Coughlin and Tampa Bay coach Greg Schiano. Coughlin screamed at the former Rutgers coach after Manning was knocked down on the final play because the Bucs went all out to try to force a fumble on a kneel-down.

Manning, who completed 31 of 51 passes, overcame a miserable first half with a 295 yards passing in the second half, tying for the eighth most in NFL history and coming up 3 yards short of Phil Simms' club record. After his three first-half interceptions staked the Bucs (1-1) to an 11-point lead, Manning was nearly flawless when the Giants needed him at his best.

"Eli hung in. He made a couple of bad plays, but he didn't get discouraged," Coughlin said. "We just kept talking about the character of this team and we finally made some plays and came back."

Manning threw touchdowns of 23 yards to Hakeem Nicks, 80 to Victor Cruz and 33 to Martellus Bennett with 3:59 to play to give New York a 34-27 lead. After Cruz scored, Brown scored on a 2-point conversion run to tie the game.

Josh Freeman tied the game 34-34 with a 41-yard pass to Mike Williams, but Manning drove New York 80 yards in four plays to win it. A 50-yard completion to Nicks led to Brown's score, which came one play after he kneeled at the 2 when Tampa Bay was letting him score.

"They made plays. It's a game of inches," Schiano said. "They were able to make them. We were close and we didn't." Giants 41, Buccaneers 34

Tampa Bay 3 21 3 7 — 34

N.Y. Giants 6 7 3 25 — 41

First Quarter

NYG • FG Tynes 37, 12:43.

TB • FG Barth 45, 8:42.

NYG • FG Tynes 24, 2:54.

Second Quarter

TB • Jackson 29 pass from Freeman (Barth kick), 13:48.

TB • Martin 8 run (Barth kick), 6:19.

NYG • Nicks 23 pass from Manning (Tynes kick), 1:54.

TB • Wright 60 interception return (Barth kick), :08.

Third Quarter

TB • FG Barth 52, 13:14.

NYG • FG Tynes 36, :39.

Fourth Quarter

NYG • FG Tynes 24, 12:22.

NYG • Cruz 80 pass from Manning (A.Brown run), 6:48.

NYG • Bennett 33 pass from Manning (Tynes kick), 3:59.

TB • Williams 41 pass from Freeman (Barth kick), 1:58.

NYG • A.Brown 2 run (Tynes kick), :31.

TB NYG

First downs 14 31

Total Net Yards 307 604

Rushes-yards 22-79 25-94

Passing 228 510

Punt Returns 2-16 2-23

Kickoff Returns 8-198 4-99

Interceptions Ret. 3-100 2-6

Comp-Att-Int 15-28-2 31-51-3

Sacked-Yards Lost 2-15 0-0

Punts 6-42.0 2-39.5

Fumbles-Lost 1-0 1-0

Penalties-yards 5-33 7-53

Time of Possession 26:31 33:29

Individual Statistics

Rushing • Tampa Bay, Martin 20-66, Parker 1-7, Ware 1-6. N.Y. Giants, A.Brown 13-71, Bradshaw 5-16, Wilson 3-6, Hynoski 1-3, Manning 3-(minus 2).

Passing • Tampa Bay, Freeman 15-28-2-243. N.Y. Giants, Manning 31-51-3-510.

Receiving • Tampa Bay, Jackson 5-128, Clark 4-33, Williams 3-59, Stroughter 1-14, Lorig 1-8, Ware 1-1. N.Y. Giants, Cruz 11-179, Nicks 10-199, Bennett 5-72, A.Brown 2-19, Barden 1-24, Hixon 1-12, Hynoski 1-5.