Breaking Down Eli Manning's 243-Yard 4th Quarter

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Breaking Down Eli Manning's 243-Yard 4th Quarter
Jim O'Connor-US PRESSWIRE

Eli Manning, frankly, had a typical Eli Manning performance in the New York Giants' 41-34 win against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers

OK, maybe 510 yards with three touchdowns and three interceptions isn't exactly typical for Eli, but the ebb and flow of the game, the roller coaster ride that ends with Manning's club pulling out the victory is what was so typical about it. 

The most astounding part of Manning's day? 

The 243-yard, two-touchdown fourth quarter he pieced together en route to the comeback victory, especially after he was completely out of sorts in the first half. 

Let's break down the major developments in the final stanza in Manning's historic day. 

First, the 80-yard touchdown to Victor Cruz, a deep strike that got the Giants within two before a two-point conversion tied the game at 27. 

As you can see, cornerback Eric Wright, who was matched up with Victor Cruz prior to the snap came flying in on a slot corner blitz. 

New York's offensive line did a nice job shifting to the right in order to stonewall him and the Buccaneers defensive linemen rushing Manning from the left. 

Because of Wright's blitz, Cruz was given a 10-yard cushion to build speed against veteran cornerback Ronde Barber who was covering him one-on-one.

Cruz will burn the safety every time. 

Manning made a quick pump fake which happened as soon as Cruz faked an out cut before heading down field, leaving Barber in the dust. 

Then, it was time for the Salsa dance. 

Later, with the game still tied at 27, Manning hooked up with tight end Martellus Bennett for a 33-yard touchdown, another play in which the Giants took advantage of a major mismatch in the secondary. 

Pre snap, you can see Bennett lined up in the slot, with Tampa Bay looking to place the athlete rookie linebacker Lavonte David on him in coverage. 

However, then Bennett and receiver Ramses Barden cross each other within the first five yards of the line of scrimmage, thus making the small cornerback cover the 6'6'' tight end. 

Manning lofted the ball up for his huge target, and the former Texas A&M standout came down with the football. No surprise, he won the jump ball. 

With under two minutes remaining and the score locked at 34, Manning hit Hakeem Nicks down the sideline for 50 yards, setting up the game winning score. 

To be honest, there wasn't anything overly intricate about this play. 

Nicks simply beat Aqib Talib who was playing aggressive press coverage and Manning lofted a perfect pass before a blitzing Mark Barron was able to get to New York's quarterback. 

Manning comes up big when the Giants need it most? 

No way. 

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