GIANTS 41, Bucs 34 – Manning, Cruz, and Nicks Spark Giants 4th Quarter Comeback Win
The Giants were not just taking on the Tampa Bay Bucs today at MetLife Stadium, they found out in the first half that they’d also have to battle adversity as well. Eli Manning posted 510 yards and 3 touchdowns as the Giants overcame an 11-point hole to come back and defeat the Bucs 41-34 at MetLife Stadium.
Eli Manning overcame 3 interceptions in the first half to throw 3 touchdowns in the second half. Manning avoided turning the ball over after halftime and found his groove in the second half with his corp of receivers. As poorly as Manning played in the first half, he was outstanding in the second half. Manning’s 4th quarter’s dominance continues to impress.
Hakeem Nicks and Victor Cruz came up huge today …
Nicks still trying to recover from a broken foot was exceptional today. He connected with Manning on one big play after another. Nicks finished with 10 catches for 199 yards and a touchdown. It will be important to see how Nicks and that injured foot progresses after such a strong effort today. Cruz was locked in from the start and showed the focus that propelled him to stardom last season. Cruz caught 11 passes for 179 yards and a huge 80-yard touchdown that led to a special salsa dance celebration in tribute to his grandmother who recently passed away.
The Giants defense showed a bend-don’t-break mentality today against the Bucs. Tampa Bay went after their secondary early and often, however they were able to weather the storm.The defense did a solid job of containing Tampa Bay’s offense in the second half long enough for Manning and the Giants to get back into the ballgame and eventually come away with the victory.
RT David Diehl (Knee), WR Domenik Hixon (concussion), and Ahmad Bradshaw (neck) were all lost for the game in the first half to injuries.
The loss of Bradshaw today because of injury put an added burden on the Giants running game which hasn’t been able to get on track yet this season. However, Andre Brown took advantage of his opportunity toady and came up big for the Giants. Brown carried the ball 13 times for 71 yards and ran 2 yards for the decisive touchdown. It was Brown who also converted a 2 yard run for a 2-point conversion earlier in the 4th quarter that tied the game up at 27.
The Giants pulled out the win, however they do have questions that need to be addressed as they head into week 3 of the season. The offense has stalled in the Red Zone for two consecutive weeks. They were 1-5 today and will need to figure out how to captilize when in that position. The offensive numbers in the second half will make many forget about the mistakes that were made in the first half. Dropped passes were again an issue, including two in the red zone.
The secondary struggled at times today and arguably were fortunate that they were not facing a team with a prolific passing attack. The progress of CB Prince Amukamara (ankle) will be something to pay close attention this week.
The Giants will have to turn right around and get ready for the Carolina Panthers this Thursday night on the road.