Manning, defense helps Giants avoid 3-peat, advance to NFC title game Print
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Sunday, 13 January 2008 15:36
NFL Headline News

 IRVING, Texas (AP) -After the Dallas Cowboys had the New York Giants on the ropes, Eli Manning delivered a stunning counterpunch.
The Giants quarterback drove New York 71 yards in seven plays Sunday for a game-tying touchdown just before the first half ended. Manning finally looked like the franchise player New York hoped it was getting in its big draft-day trade with San Diego in 2004.
The Giants won 21-17 despite having the ball for less than 24 minutes and giving up three scoring drives that covered 96, 90 and 62 yards. Those drives lasted 43 plays and 23 minutes and 32 seconds, draining the already banged-up defense.
When Marion Barber capped the more than 10-minute, 20-play drive with 53 seconds left in the first half, the Cowboys had a 14-7 lead and the Giants in trouble since Dallas was also in line to get the second-half kickoff.
Then, Manning stepped up in the next 43 seconds.
He quickly led the Giants down the field and connected on a 4-yard touchdown pass to Amani Toomer, who earlier caught a 52-yard TD on the game's opening series.
Even after Dallas took a 17-14 lead on the opening series of the second half, the Giants wouldn't go away. After a drive fizzled at the Dallas 40, the defense forced a punt and R.W. McQuarters returned it 25-yards to the Dallas 37.
Manning completed passes of 13 yards to Toomer and 11 to Steve Smith eventually setting up Brandon Jacobs' TD run, one which he slammed the ball of the play clock.
After that it was up to the Giants' defense.
A sack by Reggie Torbor helped end the first drive. An intentional grounding against Romo stopped the second and McQuarters picked off Romo in the end zone in the closing seconds with Dallas at the Giants 23.
They dubbed themselves the All Joes against the All Pros. No one gave the New York Giants a chance against the Dallas Cowboys except themselves. They felt a play here and there and they could beat America's Team.
You know what, the Giants made the plays and they are going to the NFC title game for the first time since 2000.
Now it's on to Green Bay for the Giants, who were written off early this season after consecutive losses to Dallas and Green Bay to start the season.
 

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