After a rough first half, New York Giants QB Eli Manning went on to set a team record in single game passing yardage (with 510 yards in the air) while leading a 41-34 comeback victory over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
The Buccaneers defense was determined to prove that last week's strong performance against the Carolina Panthers wasn't a fluke and, in the first half, they achieved that goal. In the first thirty minutes of play, Tampa Bay intercepted Manning three times, scoring 21 points off those turnovers with seven coming from a 60-yard Eric Wright pick-six.
But following a 52-yard Connor Barth field goal on the Buccaneers' first drive out of the half, the Giants scored 21 unanswered points. Victor Cruz's 80-yard touchdown reception would tie the game at 27 following a successful two point conversion. On the very next drive, the Giants would take the lead on a 33-yard Manning to Martellus Bennett touchdown strike.
But Josh Freeman wasn't going to go down that easily. After getting the ball back, he showed some good chemistry with TE Dallas Clark before hooking up with WR Mike Williams on a beautiful 41-yard touchdown toss in the corner of the endzone to even the game.
Ultimately though, Manning came through with fourth quarter heroics yet again. Manning would find Hakeem Nicks for a 50-yard grab to set up a the dagger: a two-yard touchdown run from Andre Brown. The Buccaneers made things interesting at the end, but an interception from LB Michael Boley would ice it.
Fantasy studs/duds: Wide receivers were the story for both teams during this game, with Vincent Jackson (128 yards, one TD), Hakeem Nicks (199 yards, one TD) and Victor Cruz (179 yards, one TD) all putting up eye-popping numbers. Manning obviously had a huge game with 510 yards and three touchdowns, but it could have been his best performance ever if it wasn't for the negative points off the picks.
Giants QB Eli Manning debuted in 2004-- He has 13 regular-season games with 3 INT since then, tied for most in NFL with ... Brett Favre— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) September 16, 2012
But Did They Cover?: The Giants comeback redeemed their 2.5-point favorite status.
Injury Info: RB Ahmad Bradshaw (neck), WR Domenik Hixon (concussion) and RT David Diehl (knee) were all forced from the game and did not return for the Giants. CB Eric Wright did not return on for the Buccaneers after a lower back injury that's bothered him all preseason acted up.
Next Week's Schedule: The Giants only have four days to recover before heading to Carolina to face the Panthers on Thursday Night Football. The Buccaneers will continue on their NFC East tour, taking on the Cowboys in Dallas.