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(Sunday, November 22nd)
Final Score: NY Giants 34, Atlanta 31 (OT)
East Rutherford, NJ (Sports Network) - Lawrence Tynes kicked a 36-yard field goal in overtime to lift the New York Giants to a 34-31 victory over the Atlanta Falcons at the Meadowlands.
Eli Manning threw for a career-high 384 yards with three touchdowns and directed the winning drive on the only overtime possession, as the Giants (6-4) came off their bye week and snapped a four-game losing streak.
"We did do a lot of soul searching probably these past two weeks," said Giants coach Tom Coughlin. "In terms of believing in each other and trusting, we certainly didn't start the game all that well, but we did finish it okay."
Matt Ryan tossed a pair of touchdown passes and Jason Snelling ran for a pair of scores for Atlanta (5-5), which rallied from a 14-point deficit in the fourth quarter to force the extra period. The Falcons still lost their second straight game and have dropped four of their last five.
"It's disappointing because we didn't come out with the outcome that we wanted," said Ryan. "I thought we had great contributions from a lot of guys and great effort from a lot of guys in the second half to come back from 14 down. But with that said there's no moral victories."
The Giants built a two-touchdown lead early in the fourth quarter, but the Falcons pulled within seven with 6:01 remaining on a four-yard touchdown pass from Ryan to Eric Weems.
Atlanta forced the first punt of the second half on the next New York series and Ryan started from his own 24 with 3:42 to play. Three short passes got the Falcons to the 40 at the two-minute warning and a 22-yard pass to Roddy White converted 3rd-and-4.
Tony Gonzalez then hauled in passes of 14 and 11 yards to set up a first down at the New York 11. After Ryan threw incomplete toward the Pro Bowl tight end, Gonzalez made a great catch between defenders in the end zone with 28 seconds remaining to tie the contest.
The Giants were unable to mount a threat in the closing seconds, but won the overtime toss. A 34-yard kickoff return by Domenik Hixon gave the Giants good field position and Manning converted 3rd-and-2 with a seven-yard pass to rookie Hakeem Nicks before finding Mario Manningham for 29 yards to put New York at the Atlanta 23.
After gaining five yards on three plays, Tynes came on and split the uprights to give the Giants a much-needed win.
Manning completed 25-of-39 passes and notched his first career 300-yard game at home. He was also picked off once. Manningham finished with six receptions for 126 yards, while Kevin Boss had five catches for 76 yards with a pair of scores.
"Our receivers did a great job, running fast, making the right reads, right decisions," Manning said. "They really did an outstanding job and a big reason we had the success that we did."
Ryan wasn't as efficient, connecting on 26-of-46 throws for 268 yards, while Gonzalez caught eight passes for 82 yards. Snelling, starting in place of the injured Michael Turner, ran for 76 yards on 25 carries. Turner missed practice all week because of a sprained ankle he sustained last week against Carolina.
Manning was picked off by Brent Grimes on the first possession of the game, but the Falcons were unable to convert the turnover despite good field position at the New York 45. The Giants followed with a 12-play, 64-yard drive that ended with a 39-yard field goal from Tynes late in the opening quarter.
Back came the Falcons with a 65-yard drive for a touchdown. Ryan completed each of his four passes during the series, which finished with a seven-yard touchdown run by Snelling just over a minute into the second period.
Tynes then pulled a 31-yard field goal try wide left, but the Giants got the ball right back after an Atlanta three-and-out. A 28-yard punt gave New York possession at its own 48 and Manning needed three plays put his team in the end zone, capping the quick set with a 28-yard scoring pass to Boss.
Jason Elam had a chance to tie it with just under three minutes left in the half, but missed a 35-yard field goal try. The Falcons got the ball back following the two-minute warning after a Giant punt, but Ryan was sacked by Justin Tuck and lost the ball.
Osi Umenyiora recovered for the Giants at the Atlanta 34 with 1:19 remaining and Manning found Boss in the end zone from four yards away to give New York a 17-7 lead just 14 seconds prior to intermission.
The Falcons took the opening kickoff of the second half and drove 63 yards in eight plays to pull within three. Ryan connected on throws of 23 and 28 yards early in the series before Snelling scored from a yard away on third down.
New York restored its 10-point margin just over three minutes later. Manning threw a 51-yard pass to Steve Smith on the first play after the kickoff and Ahmad Bradshaw followed with a 12-yard run on the next play, helping to set up a two-yard scoring run by Brandon Jacobs.
The Falcons made it a 24-17 game on a 25-yard field goal by Elam with 1:57 left in the third. The 18-play drive was aided by a New York penalty for defensive holding on a third-down incomplete pass, but the Giants caught a break when Michael Jenkins was unable to hang on to a pass in the end zone just before Elam's kick.
Manning went right back to work and directed a nine-play, 79-yard scoring march. He hit fullback Madison Hedgecock out of the backfield for a three-yard touchdown to give the Giants a 14-point cushion with 12:08 to play.
The road team had won the last 12 meetings...The last home team to win was the Giants in 1979...The Giants had averaged just 20 points during their four-game skid...Jacobs finished with 39 yards on 12 carries, while Bradshaw added 34 yards on 12 attempts...The Giants outgained the Falcons, 456-352...Former Falcons linebacker Michael Boley, who signed with the Giants as a free agent in the offseason, led New York with 13 tackles, including 11 solo. He also had a sack...The Giants played without middle linebacker Antonio Pierce, who was diagnosed Friday with a bulging disc in his neck...The Giants have won 11 straight games when Tuck has at least one sack...Boss notched his first career two-touchdown game and has a TD catch in each of his last three contests.
11/22 18:31:00 ET
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