Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports
At the half, New York was still very much in the game.
Down 10-9 at the break, the Giants' defense had been steadfast in the face of a dangerous Broncos offense, spearheaded by Peyton Manning's deadly passing attack. Offensively, the first-half performance was not picture-perfect, but New York was still able to put together three scoring drives.
The game was competitive...until the second half began.
The Giants' first possession of the third quarter resulted in a 3-and-out; Denver's resulted in seven points. Although the Giants responded with a touchdown of their own on the ensuing possession, four Bronco penalties helped keep the drive alive. The momentum was clearly beginning to shift in Denver's favor.
The floodgates burst open shortly after Brandon Jacobs' one-yard touchdown run, which pulled the Giants to within one in the third quarter. Broncos running back Knowshon Moreno busted out a 25-yard touchdown on the final drive of the third frame, setting the stage for a final 15 minutes that would belong almost entirely to Denver.
Eli was intercepted on the first play of the fourth quarter. Peyton only had to drive 36 yards to take a two-possession lead, which he did on an 11-yard connection to tight end Julius Thomas. The game was essentially sealed less than two minutes later, when Trindon Holliday returned a Steve Weatherford punt 81 yards for a touchdown.
At one point, it looked like the game would come down to the wire. Then, suddenly, it was a blowout. In the span of about five football minutes, the Giants surrendered 21 points and lost the game.
Never mind the late-game squirt-pass to Da'Rel Scott, which ended up being Eli's only touchdown pass of the afternoon. Manning's three fourth-quarter interceptions were far more prominent, as the hope behind his many desperation heaves painfully waned as Denver's lead grew and time on the clock shrank.