Eli Manning played a brilliant game against the Patriots on Sunday afternoon, but it wasn’t enough to keep the Giants from losing their fifth game of the year. In four of those losses for the 5-5 team, New York has held a lead with fewer than two minutes remaining in the fourth quarter.
That was the case again versus New England despite some brilliant throws from the veteran quarterback that led to the Giants taking a two-point lead late in the final period. With Big Blue down a point and facing a 3rd-and-3 situation, Manning found Dwayne Harris for 30 yards to put the team in field goal range. Two plays later, he hit Harris again for an 18-yard strike that got the Giants down to the New England five-yard line.
Now with the Patriots on the brink of defeat, Manning appeared to throw a pass that would put New York up by a touchdown. Although the five-yard play was initially ruled a touchdown, it was overturned to an incompletion because Odell Beckham Jr. had the ball knocked out of his hands by Patriots cornerback Malcolm Butler before the wide receiver could complete the catch. Instead of going up by six or seven points, the Giants settled for a field goal and gave New England quarterback Tom Brady a chance to drive his team to the winning score.
He put a scare into fans by nearly throwing an interception to rookie safety Landon Collins, but in the end, Brady did just that. The future Hall of Famer connected with wide receiver Danny Amendola on consecutive plays to put his kicker Stephen Gostkowski in position to win the game. Gostkowski nailed the 54-yard try to make the final score 27-26 in favor of New England.
Manning made his presence felt on Sunday well before the final offensive drive. On just the second Giants play from scrimmage he found Beckham down the right sideline for what appeared to be a big gain… until the sophomore sensation made a cut to his left to turn the play into an 87-yard touchdown that tied the score at 7-7.
Another key Manning pass happened right before the end of the first half with the score 10-10. He hit tight end Will Tye in the seam for a 31-yard pass that put the ball on the New England one-yard line. Two plays later, Manning threw a one-yard touchdown pass to Harris that gave the Giants a seven-point halftime lead.
Even though he only completed 24 of 44 passes and saw some important second-half possessions end in punts, Manning was still money for the Giants on Sunday evening. With 361 passing yards and a pair of touchdowns, he put New York in a position to beat the undefeated Patriots, but in a scene all too familiar for fans of Big Blue this season, Manning’s team came up a little bit short.