For the New York Giants, this was about as "must-win" as it gets. The coaching staff had dubbed the last game against the Chargers as a one game season, and their failure made this game that much more important.
The team would have found themselves in a world of hurt if they lost yet another game and sunk to 5-5.
The Giants were in control for most of the game, but the entire team let up just enough to give the Falcons a chance to win the game.
With a 14-point lead in the fourth quarter and the playoffs on the line, the wheels came off and the defense let Matt Ryan shred his way back and force the game into overtime.
Aside from an interception on the opening possession, Eli Manning was brilliant. With the running game failing to get anything going, Gilbride unleashed Manning with full force. He finished the day with this stat line: 384 yards, three touchdowns, 64.1 completion percentage, and a 111.5 QB rating.
With the season on the line the Giants turned to their undisputed franchise leader, and he responded with one of the best games of his career.
The defense played well in the first half, but allowed the Falcons to score 24 points on all four of their possessions in the second half.
The Giants were without defensive captain Antonio Pierce, and when the Falcons made adjustments after half time, the defense was unable to keep up. Luckily, the offense was up to the task.
However, when they needed to get a first down and put the game away with a seven-point lead, the offense sputtered and gave the ball back to the Falcons with over 3:00 left on the clock.
Matt Ryan drove the ball down the field yet again and sent the game into overtime with an impressive 11-yard touchdown pass to Tony Gonzalez.
With all the momentum swinging to the Falcons, a flip of a coin seemed to take it all away.
The Giants won the toss, got a first down, had a big play to Mario Manningham to the Atlanta 23-yard line, and won the game with a 39 yard field goal from Lawrence Tynes.
The team will get on a plane to Denver and prepare for a tough road test on Thanksgiving night. They need to win this game to build some confidence and momentum moving forward.
In almost every season, there is a win considered to be either a turn around game or a significant win to propel a late season run. At the end of the day, I believe this game will be considered both.
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