10. A Week 7 to Remember – October 23, 2005
On October 23, 2005, Eli Manning led a game-winning drive over the Denver Broncos, and two days later, Giants football patriarch, Wellington Mara passed away. Prior to the passing of one of the most iconic figures in professional football, Manning delivered one final moment of Giants glory to “The Duke”.
Manning was 23-for-42 on the day with a total of 214 passing yards, two touchdowns and an interception. But it was his final drive late in the fourth quarter that made this game so special. Down 23 – 17 with 3:29 to play, the Giants returned a punt from Broncos punter, Todd Sauerbrun.
While marching down the field, Manning executed 15 plays for 83 yards, capping off this 3:24 minute drive with his second touchdown on the day before leaving the field with his team ahead 24 – 23 to earn his second career game-winning drive, and complete his first career game-winning touchdown pass.
Ironically, Toomer had been unhappy about his role in the Giants offense that season, and yet Manning found him in the end zone to give the Giants the win over a very talented Broncos team. It was a game that gained Manning the trust of wary Giants fans who hadn’t yet made up their minds whether this 1stoverall draft selection was worth it or would live up to the hype.
Little did they know then that he’d deliver two Super Bowl titles in seven years’ time.