NY Giants Pull an Improbable Comeback Against the Cardinals

Erick FernandezCorrespondent IIOctober 2, 2011

GLENDALE, AZ - OCTOBER 02:  Wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald #11 of the Arizona Cardinals congratulates quarterback Eli Manning #10 of the New York Giants following the NFL game at the University of Phoenix Stadium on October 2, 2011 in Glendale, Arizona. The Giants defeated the Cardinals 31-27.  (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
Christian Petersen/Getty Images

The New York Giants had a huge win against the Arizona Cardinals today, October 3, that could provide the team a lot of momentum moving forward. Despite being down 10 points with a little more than five minutes remaining, Eli Manning and the Giants were able to come back against the Cardinals in impressive fashion.

With 5:16 left in the game, the Giants were down 27-17. Although the Giants were seemingly outplayed for the first 54+ minutes of the game, Manning showed that in crunch time he still has ice in his veins.

He initiated an 80-yard drive in seven plays that only took 1:39 seconds off the clock.

This gave the Giants' defense time to make a crucial stop on an Arizona offense that was having a lot of success moving the ball, especially on the ground.

After a short line-drive punt that allowed Aaron Ross to make a good return to the Cardinals' 48-yard line, the Giants were in great position to at least tie the game.

On the first play after the punt, Manning completed a pass to wide receiver Victor Cruz. After alluding a defender, it seemed as if he slipped and fell without being ruled down by contact. After being on the ground, it seemed as if he self-induced a fumble that the Cardinals "recovered," but there was no ruling of a fumble on the field. 

Cardinals' head coach Ken Whisenhunt threw out the red flag to challenge the ruling on the field, but the officials claimed that Cruz gave himself up on the play and that he let the ball go to set up for the next play. The call on the field can be seen as controversial, but it did seem that Cruz was no longer attempting to make a football move.

Either way, the ruling on the field was that the Giants still held possession. With the Cardinals' secondary seemingly still livid about the call, Manning was able to find wide receiver Hakeem Nicks wide open, and he walked into the end zone. Nicks, who had 162 yards receiving on 10 catches, was a crucial component throughout the game and especially during crunch time.

Manning really demonstrated great leadership in the final minutes of this game. Losing a game to the inferior Cardinals would have been a huge let down after defeating their NFC east foe, Philadelphia Eagles. Instead, the Giants are tied for the division lead at 3-1 with the Washington Redskins after a quarter of the season.

One thing is for sure—the Giants really need to improve their running game if they want to run an efficient offensive scheme earlier in the game. Although the Giants were able to pull out this great victory, a game like this against a better, more disciplined team would have resulted in a defeat.

As for right now, the team will celebrate this win and prepare for the Seattle Seahawks next week at the New Meadowlands Stadium.