A frustrating day turned into a memorable one for Mario Manningham in the span of one beautifully thrown Eli Manning laser.
The two players that are a “ham” away from having the same name will now be remembered for a game-changing play in the fourth quarter.
Down 14-10 midway through the quarter, the Giants were given a gift by San Francisco 49ers punt returner Kyle Williams. He foolishly let a punt touch him on the bounce and it set up the Giants on the 49ers 29-yard-line.
Five plays later and Manning and the Giants were facing a 3rd-and-15 situation. A field goal looked like all the G-Men were going to get.
Manning had beautiful protection and stepped through the pass rush and fired a bullet into the middle of the end zone, and Manningham was able to hang on despite having a 49ers defender draped on him the entire time. It was a spectacular catch set up by a brilliant throw from Manning. The timing was absolutely perfect, and the location of the pass placed it where only Manningham could snag it.
The catch was the only one made by Manningham on the day, but boy was it a big one.
The touchdown momentarily put the Giants up 17-14, before Alex Smith led the 49ers to a game-tying field goal drive.
Now the NFC Championship game heads to overtime with both teams all knotted up at 17.
In a game that has been dictated by the defenses of both teams, New York would have never made it this far if it wasn’t for the heroics of Manning and his teammate with a similar last name.