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(Sunday, November 28th)
Final Score: NY Giants 24, Jacksonville 20
East Rutherford, NJ (Sports Network) - Eli Manning threw a 32-yard touchdown pass to Kevin Boss for the go-ahead score late in the fourth quarter and the New York defense produced three straight sacks to stymie Jacksonville's final drive, as the Giants rallied for a 24-20 victory over the Jaguars at the New Meadowlands Stadium.
Trailing 20-17 with just under six minutes to play, the Giants went 69 yards on six plays to take the lead. Mario Manningham made a nice catch on an underthrown ball for 18 yards to ignite the series, and Brandon Jacobs followed with an 18-yard run up the middle to set up a first down at the Jacksonville 32. After two plays netted nothing, Manning found Boss with a short pass, and the tight end broke one tackle before finding open space on his way to the end zone for the go-ahead score with 3:15 remaining.
"They were blitzing and Eli and I were on the same page," said Boss. "We read it 'hot.' It was a good read by Eli and I was able to recognize it right away. I was just able to get into the end zone. It was a huge play for us."
Jacksonville then started from its own 27 after the kickoff and immediately reached the 48 on a 21-yard pass from David Garrard to Mike Sims-Walker. Mike Thomas caught a pass for 13 yards on 3rd-and-5 before the Jaguars caught a break on another third down when an incomplete pass was negated by a defensive holding penalty to set up a first down at the New York 29.
Garrard, who had been sacked just once all game despite fierce pressure, was then dropped on three consecutive plays -- the last resulting in a fumble that the Giants recovered at the Jacksonville 39 with just under 90 seconds left to seal the outcome.
"I think that on the last drive, there's the ball sitting at midfield and we kept coming and we had some big hits there and set them back," said New York head coach Tom Coughlin. "But David Garrard played a heck of a game and we were able to find a way there at the end to win it."
Manning completed 14-of-24 passes for 226 yards with a pair of second-half touchdowns, as the Giants (7-4) outscored the Jaguars 18-3 over the final 30 minutes to snap a two-game slide. The Giants pulled even with the Eagles in the NFC East after Philadelphia lost to Chicago later Sunday.
Jacobs, starting for the first time this season in place of the turnover-prone Ahmad Bradshaw, ran for 87 yards on 14 carries. Bradshaw contributed 49 yards on nine attempts and also caught four passes for 34 yards while adding a big two-point conversion run.
Garrard threw for 162 yards on 20-of-35 passing with an interception and ran for 41 yards with a touchdown for Jacksonville (6-5), which had a three-game winning streak stopped. The Jaguars remained tied with Indianapolis atop the AFC South after the Colts were routed by the Chargers on Sunday night.
"We had our chances there at the end," said Garrard. "We were driving down the field pretty good and we just stalled. They brought a few more blitzes and we didn't do a great job, myself, of getting the ball out of my hands. I can do better there so I don't take these shots and put that much stress on my offensive line."
Maurice Jones-Drew eclipsed the 100-yard mark for the fourth straight game with 113 yards on 21 carries. Rashad Jennings added 53 yards with a score on the ground, as the Jaguars rolled up 207 yards against New York's fourth-rated rush defense.
The Giants trailed 17-9 late in the third quarter and started a drive from their own 12 after a Jacksonville punt, but Manning needed just five plays to tie the game. A 17-yard pass to Boss was followed by a 17-yard run by Jacobs before Boss hauled in a 25-yard pass on the first play of the fourth quarter. After a short run by Jacobs, Manning and Manningham connected for a 26-yard score and the two-point conversion run by Bradshaw made it 17-17.
Jacksonville, which had a turnover and two punts on its first three possessions of the second half, drove 42 yards in 10 plays to regain the lead. Jones-Drew ran for 10 yards on 3rd-and-2 to move the chains and Garrard followed with an 11-yard scramble to the New York 26, setting up Josh Scobee's 42-yard field goal for a 20-17 advantage with 8:26 remaining.
The Giants quickly went three-and-out and so did Jacksonville, but only after a holding penalty negated a 23-yard gain on the first play after the punt, setting up New York's go-ahead drive.
Jacksonville dominated time of possession thanks to its third-down prowess. The Jaguars converted 10-of-16 third downs and held the ball for more than 35 minutes.
New York appeared headed for a touchdown on the game's opening drive before Derek Hagan fumbled after a reception inside the Jacksonville 10. The play was challenged and reversed, as Hagan never had complete possession, but the Giants were unable to take full advantage and Lawrence Tynes kicked a 22-yard field goal for a 3-0 lead.
Jacksonville answered with a 75-yard touchdown march. Jones-Drew kept the series alive early with a four-yard run on 3rd-and-1, then added a 23-yard jaunt before Jennings rumbled 19 yards to the five and scored up the middle on the next play to make it 7-3.
Scobee connected from 22 yards away to end Jacksonville's next series early in the second quarter. The 15-play set went 85 yards and ate up nearly nine minutes.
The Giants followed with a 29-yard Tynes field goal with just over 5 1/2 minutes left in the half after a Manning to Manningham touchdown pass was called back because of a penalty, but Jacksonville responded with another lengthy touchdown march.
Garrard converted a trio of third downs during the 13-play trek. The first was a 15-yard pass on 3rd-and-7, and the second was a winding six-yard scramble on 3rd-and-5 with just over a minute left before the break. Then, facing 3rd-and- goal from the five, Garrard was flushed from the pocket and eluded a diving Osi Umenyiora before reversing his field. He picked up a couple of blocks and found his way into the end zone with 19 seconds left in the half for a 17-6 lead.
The Jaguars took the opening kickoff of the second half and turned it over on the first play from scrimmage, as Garrard was picked off by Terrell Thomas. The Giants took over on the Jacksonville 34 and reached the nine with a first down, but had to settle for a 28-yard Tynes field goal to pull within eight.
Jacksonville went three-and-out for only the ninth time this season, fewest in the NFL...The Giants have now gone 13 games without a touchdown on their opening drive, the longest streak in the NFL...Giants offensive lineman Shawn Andrews was inactive after spending two days in the hospital this week because of back issues...The Jaguars visit Tennessee next week and the Giants host Washington.
11/29 00:19:33 ET