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Drive of the Game: An 'ill-advised' throw

11/10/2014

SEATTLE -- The New York Giants were more than in the game against the defending Super Bowl champions. They led Seattle 17-14 at halftime, and the game was still tied 17-17 when the Giants got the ball on their own 20-yard line with 4:13 left in the third quarter. Eli Manning converted two third downs, the first with a 20-yard pass to Preston Parker and the second with an 8-yard pass to Odell Beckham Jr. This set the Giants up with a first-and-10 at the Seahawks' 39-yard line, and the Giants decided it was time to try for a big play.

Bad idea.

Manning chucked it deep down the right sideline for Beckham, who had 92 receiving yards in the first half and was having a big game despite being matched up on star cornerback Richard Sherman for much of it. Sherman was on him on this play, but Beckham jumped higher and got one hand on the ball. He was unable to catch it though, and safety Earl Thomas (who was in the area due to the Seahawks' obvious respect for the rookie Beckham) was there to catch it for the interception.

"I'm sure that 'ill-advised' would be the phrase you could use," Giants coach Tom Coughlin said after the game. "But you're trying to make something happen."

Coughlin said the timing of the play had been disrupted early, and given the number of defenders in the area, Manning should have made a different decision. Manning agreed, saying he probably should have thrown the ball away. Beckham said he thought he should have caught the ball, which would have been incredible. Sherman seemed to agree with everyone.

"It was a fade all the way, but Eli took a little while to get it out," Sherman said. "I went up to play it and got grabbed a little bit. I was surprised [Manning threw it], but Beckham is a great young player and you have to depend on him. You have to take risks, and you have to take shots to him in a game like this. That was his shot. He was able to get one earlier, but they weren't able to get that one."

Thomas returned it to the 42. Seattle drove 58 yards for the tie-breaking touchdown and outscored the Giants 21-0 from that point on. It was Manning's sixth interception of the year, but only his second since Week 2 and his first since Week 4.