Monday, December 23, 2013
Drive of the Game: Giants go for it in OT
By Dan Graziano ESPN.com
DETROIT -- The third-down pass picked up 6 yards, which left the New York Giants facing a fourth-and-7 from the Detroit Lions' 42-yard line with the game tied and 9:24 left in overtime. After Giants coach Tom Coughlin went over the situation in his head and with his coaches and decided they'd go for it, he looked up to see quarterback Eli Manning still in the middle of the field.
"He didn't want to come off the field," Coughlin said. "I'd say that's about as close to 'lobbying' as he gets."
The Giants picked up that fourth down on a 15-yard pass from Manning to Jerrel Jernigan. Four plays later, a 45-yard Josh Brown field goal delivered a 23-20 Giants victory that eliminated the Lions from contention for this year's postseason and gave the Giants something about which to feel positive at the end of their own lost year.
The 11-play game-winning drive started at the Giants' 28-yard line after a 7-yard Rueben Randle punt return. Michael Cox, the only healthy tailback the Giants had after Andre Brown left earlier in overtime with a concussion, picked up a yard on first down. Manning threw incomplete to Bear Pascoe on second, then hit Randle for a 26-yard gain on third down. After an incomplete pass to Jernigan on first, Manning and Jernigan connected for 6 yards, but a holding penalty by left tackle Will Beatty pushed them back to second-and-20 at their 45. Manning hit Brandon Myers for 7 yards and then Randle for 6 to set up Coughlin's fourth-down decision. Then he delivered the 15-yarder to Jernigan that all but assured the win.
Tight end Pascoe was in at halfback on the first-down play that followed, and he picked up 2 yards. Manning then threw incomplete to Randle on second and knelt in the middle of the field on third to set up Brown with a straight-on look at the kick. Brown delivered his third field goal of the game in three tries.