The Giants learned Sunday they can't pull fourth-quarter magic out of their helmets every week.
After Eli Manning-led late rallies produced victories in their previous three games, the Giants tried duplicating the blueprint against the San Francisco 49ers in Candlestick Park. They sliced a 14-point deficit in half with 8½ minutes remaining and got the ball back with 6:35 left. When they converted a fourth-and-six on an 18-yard pass to Mario Manningham, the Giants seemed poised for another memorable finish.
But they couldn't quite pull it off. An open Manningham couldn't get to Manning's pass in the end zone, which was their best chance to tie the score. They did convert another fourth down, on a 10-yard pass to Victor Cruz. But when they went to the well the third time it came up dry. Manning's pass on fourth-and-two was batted down by defensive end Justin Smith with 34 seconds left.
Instead of celebrating another comeback, the Giants lost, 27-20. They fell to 6-3 and lead the Dallas Cowboys by one game in the NFC East race. The Giants host Philadelphia next Sunday night.
*Coach Coughlin: "We came to win, we didn't win. We played hard. We fought hard and that's the one thing we can take away from this. We had our opportunities, didn't quite work that way. We did not win the turnover battle. It was two-to-one, in that regard and we knew that we could not make any mistakes along those lines because they were 12 coming in here. We did a pretty good job with [WR Ted] Ginn [Jr.] and special teams, except one of the punts was, obviously, way out of bounds and way too short. Too little, too late, not enough — whatever you want to describe it as. They're a good team. They're a sound team. They play very good defense. They don't give you much. When they did pressure, we got the ball over the top, we took advantage of that, but that only happened a couple of times. We're a good defensive team and they came out and ran the ball six times in the first half, which was a surprise. They made some plays with the passing game and made some plays over the middle into the second half. The crossing pattern there at the end of the game – I'll have to look at that, but that's too easy. The run, the final touchdown, was too easy. We had a lot of young guys that had to go in and play and play as hard as they could and they'll learn from this and hopefully we all will as well. Very disappointed in losing. We didn't come here to lose. We came to win. It just didn't happen.*" FULL TRANSCRIPT
Passing 1st downs
Rushing 1st downs
1st downs from Penalties
3rd down efficiency
4th down efficiency
Yards per pass
Yards per rush
Red Zone (Made-Att)
Defensive / Special Teams TDs