The Giants edged out the 49ers at home to garner their third straight victory since starting 0-2 on the year. Both teams went back and forth deep into the fourth quarter, with the 49ers taking their first lead of the game with 1:45 left in regulation. Manning engineered an 82 yard drive, finally hitting Larry Donnell for a David Tyree-esque game winning touchdown. The Giants Beat interviewed the clutch tightend after the victory.
“Once I had it, I had to hold that thing,” Donnell commented on the catch. “You know, the game was on the line and I had to make a play.”
Manning floated the ball just over the fingertips of a reaching Navarro Bowman, who was in double coverage alongside Antoine Bethea. Donnell plucked the tail end of the ball out of the air as it soared over his helmet while be pushed down to the ground by the momentum of his own gravity.
“Yeah, it (the coverage) was two high. Man to man,” Donnell said describing the coverage. “Eli put it up there and that’s where I feel comfortable.”
To measure the impact of the play, per NFL.com there were more than 130,000 tweets sent out directly referencing the catch within the first 5 minutes of the game’s conclusion. Obviously the enamored response was conjured by the desperate situation mixed with the degree of difficulty of the catch. However, Donnell said it was never a doubt that the Giants would win on Sunday Night.
“No doubt, noted Donnell. “It’s a football game. You have to play four quarters. Nobody said it would be easy. It’s a 60-minute game. We fought and we won.”
Donnell’s confidence may have translated to his firm ball security on the final offensive play of the Giants evening. Also, at the drive’s inception, he was the most accomplished Giants receiver on the field, with OBJ, Cruz and Randle all on the sidelines. Donnell said that didn’t affect him or his teammate’s execution.
“I’m just thinking about my job, the ways I can help the team,” admitted Donnell. “They were not there but we have other good guys, great guys, great players. They came in and did a great job.”
The Giants won in dramatic fashion that been a theme of defeat for the organization in 2015. The end to Sunday Night’s game is a stark contrast to the Giants first two games of the season, and signifies a sharp turnaround for the future ahead. The Giants will look to build off their momentum when they face the Eagles in Philadelphia next Monday Night.