There were a couple of calls on that series, however, that seemed questionable. In other words, it was more than just Lawrence Tynes’ two misses that may have cost the Giants the comeback victory.
The drive opened up at the Giants’ 35-yard line. Manning threw an incompletion intended for Victor Cruz. He followed up with a fumbled snap, then an incompletion to Ramses Barden.
On 3rd-and-10, Manning found Cruz for nine yards. With the game in the balance, the Giants’ 4th-down play selection was a fade that fortunately resulted in a 21-yard pass-interference call.
Head coach Tom Coughlin said the play selection was dictated by what the defense was giving them.
Coughlin on the play selection:
“That’s the way we usually play unless the clock is radically against us. If it was under 20 seconds, that would have been a different story. It wasn’t, so what we’ve been able to do with success has been to continue on the attack. We feel quite frankly that with our quarterback that’s the way we should play. Do you have to be reasonable and smart? Yeah, sure you do. We had a run, that run was for two yards. We take another shot and, quite frankly, that could have been controlled as well, but it wasn’t.”
The pass-interference penalty positioned the Giants on the Philadelphia 35-yard line, where it was back to the passing game. Manning threw back-to-back-to-back incompletions intended for Cruz and Barden; the latter drew another pass-interference call, this time against Nnamdi Asomugha.
Yet again, penalties saved the Giants from a 4th-and-10. On seven plays called on the drive, all were passes.
On 1st-and-10 at the Philadelphia 27-yard line, Ahmad Bradshaw carried the ball for a one-yard gain. Now, 2nd-and-long from the 26, Manning reverted to the aerial attack. Another shot deep to Barden drew a PI call, this time against Barden.
Manning on the last pass play to Barden:
“Obviously, you can try to run the ball there and do different things and kick a 44-yarder. Obviously, if you knew what was going to happen on that play, that’s what you do, but I think I just could have thrown the ball differently. Probably just throw it back shoulder with the way the corner was playing, so you don’t put Ramses in a situation where he is worried about the absolute worst thing that could happen is an interception. That’s what you can’t have occur. Then (it’s) game over, you don’t even have a shot.”
The penalty cost the Giants 10 yards, putting them back at the 36. From there, it would be a 54-yard field-goal attempt.
With just over 10 seconds remaining, Manning took another shot deep. Unsuccessful.
Manning on why the team attempted the deep pass:
“Usually, when we do two-minute drives at practice, if we need a field goal, we say to get around the 17 yard line. If you’re at the 25, 24 and clocks running out, you understand those circumstances or we talked about getting to the 17 and we always think to try to get as close as possible and if you can score a touchdown, you try to score a touchdown. That’s the mentality that we have. You see a lot of teams get to the 30-yard line and then all of sudden get conservative and then you’ve got to kick a 48-yarder. Those aren’t guaranteed as well and so you want to get as close as possible to try to insure the win.”
It was now 3rd-and-19 from the 36 with no time to run another play. The game’s outcome depended upon Tynes.
Coughlin on the Tynes miss:
“Coming down we talked about, “hey, we need to have the ball at the 35.” The ball ended up at the 36, didn’t have a lot of choice there. To be point blank honest with you, it wasn’t a perfect execution of the kick. The snap wasn’t great, getting the ball down wasn’t great, I think it did interfere with the flow and the rhythm of the kicker, whereas he had kicked it long enough but to the left on the timeout play, which I don’t know, but maybe you guys know better than I do, but I don’t think we got those five seconds back on the clock either.”