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Roger Lewis highlight catch sets up Giants' OT win

lewis-center-new-11916.jpg breaks down the turning points of the game:

Ninety minutes before kickoff, the Giants released their inactive list and Sterling Shepard's name was on it. Once again, they were down another top receiver. Once again, they needed Roger Lewis to step up.

This time, he did -- in thrilling fashion.

Lewis, who had just six receptions for 64 yards in the four games since the fateful Week 5 outing where the Giants lost Odell Beckham Jr., Brandon Marshall, and Dwayne Harris for the season, made the key play in Sunday's 12-9 overtime victory over the Kansas City Chiefs by hauling in a 34-yard pass from Eli Manning to set up the game-winning field goal.

"That's what I do, that's what I want to do," Lewis said. "I want to make plays, I want to be able to have 10 [Manning] trust me. Everybody was down -- 13 [Beckham], 15 [Marshall], 17 [Harris], 87 [Shepard]. Nobody believed in us, but it's that time."

After the defense made one last stand and forced Kansas City to punt the opening possession of overtime, the Giants first had a decision to make on fourth-and-five at the Chiefs 36 with 2:12 remaining.

They could attempt a 54-yarder, but the percentages were low with high winds and a kicker with his share of misses. They could punt it away and possibly settle for their first tie since 1997. Or the team with one win and eight losses could go for it. The Giants went for it in front of the home crowd.

"When we got in the huddle, 10 was like, 'We're going to hit a slant.' We hit a slant, and 10 was like, 'You ready?' And I said, 'Yeah, you believe in me.'"

That's when Kansas City blitzed, and Eli Manning lobbed a pass to Lewis, who slid to the ground with Chiefs defensive back Phillip Gaines pulling him from behind. Somehow, Lewis managed to get his right arm under the ball to protect it from the turf as his left hand came in to secure it as he rolled down to the two-yard line. Alertly, he popped up and ran the ball into the end zone in case the defender never touched him.

"I thought I did [score]," Lewis said after the game. "I thought I did."

As it turned out, the defender did get his hands on him twice – one time before he caught it and once on the ground. Gaines was called for passing interference, but the Giants naturally declined the penalty. Manning centered the ball on the next play to set up the game-winning field goal for a team that had been on the wrong end of that twice this season in Philadelphia and Tampa Bay.

"I thought Coach Sully [offensive coordinator Mike Sullivan] called an aggressive game in overtime," Manning said. "Second-and-seven, we checked to a run right there and got the first and then hit a couple of nice plays to Roger Lewis and Tavarres King and then obviously Roger with the big play on fourth down down the left sideline. I thought the guys stepped up, were excited about the opportunity and we wanted to go get the win. We could smell it, we could taste it, it was there for us and we went and got it."

Here are other key plays that led to the overtime thriller:


Time: 0:51, 1st QTR
Situation: First-and-10, KC 18
Score: 0-0

The Chiefs came off their bye week with a league-low four turnovers on the season. The Giants forced three on Sunday alone, beginning with an interception by an improbable defender. Damon Harrison, a 350-pound run stuffer, got his hands on a botched shovel pass from Alex Smith intended for tight end Travis Kelce. "Snacks" returned it nine yards down to the Chiefs 26, and on the ensuing possession, Orleans Darkwa ran in a one-yard touchdown for the first points of the game. However, Aldrick Rosas missed the extra point, which only got magnified as the game went on and eventually reached overtime.

"They made a nice play on it," Smith said. "Certainly looking back on it, I felt like maybe I could have read it differently, but we'll look at it and learn. I'm not sure though that they knew what was coming. Certainly when 10 [Tyreek Hill] is in the backfield, he gets some attention, but there's a lot of things we do with him back there."


Time: 2:19, 4th QTR
Situation: Second-and-10, KC 18
Score: Tied 6-6

In a game full of trick plays, safety Landon Collins intercepted an option pass by Kelce, an All-Pro tight end, midway through the fourth quarter of a tie game. However, the Giants were unable to do anything with it and Brad Wing punted the ball back to the Chiefs, pinning them deep in their own territory. That's when cornerback Janoris Jenkins intercepted Smith, who came into Sunday with the best passer rating in the league having thrown just one interception. Rosas knocked in a short field goal to give the Giants a 9-6 lead with 1:38 left in the game.

"The redemption – I thought Janoris Jenkins played his tail off," coach Ben McAdoo said. "We'll have to go back, take a look at the tape and see what we saw on the last – on that second pick. Thought we could have iced the game there. But he played his tail off. He was all over the field, did a good job turning the ball back inside a few times, was playing physical. It was good to see him do that."


Time: 1:21, 4th QTR
Situation: First-and-10, KC 34
Score: Giants lead 9-6

Entering Sunday, the Giants had allowed a receiving touchdown to an opposing tight end in 10 consecutive games dating back to last year, the longest such streak in NFL history, according to the Elias Sports Bureau. While that streak would end, Kelce still hauled in eight passes for 109 yards, including a 32-yarder to jumpstart the Chiefs' game-tying drive that resulted in a 23-yard field goal at the end of regulation. But in overtime, the Giants got the stop they needed the most.

"The Kansas City Chiefs are a real good offense," cornerback Domonique Rodgers-Cromartie said. "They can run the ball, throw the ball and for the most part it made it one-dimensional and we went out there and we just kept fighting and never looked up at the scoreboard. At the end of the game we came out 12-9."

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