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With Manning's Help, Giants Get Past Broncos

October 24, 2005|From Associated Press

Eli Manning was backpedaling under pressure, spinning away from a defender and throwing the ball in what looked like desperation.

Except there was nothing desperate about this two-yard pass, caught in the end zone on the run by a leaping Amani Toomer with five seconds remaining to give the New York Giants a 24-23 victory over the Denver Broncos on Sunday at East Rutherford, N.J.

The second-year quarterback's education took another huge step forward with the touchdown toss that capped a brilliant comeback drive and ended Denver's five-game winning streak, despite another solid running performance by the Broncos.

Trailing 23-17 with 3:29 left, Manning drove the Giants from their 17 to the Denver two. The key play was a 24-yard pass to tight end Jeremy Shockey on third-and-10 at the Denver 32.

After an incompletion and a short pass to Tiki Barber, Manning, off-balance and under heavy pressure, found Toomer just inside the goal line for the score.

"A two-minute drive against a good team that's playing well, and to score a game-winning touchdown ... that's definitely the biggest play of my career," Manning said.

Manning completed 23 of 42 for 214 yards and two touchdowns for the Giants (4-2), who trailed from midway through the second quarter until the final drive.

Jason Elam kicked three field goals for Denver. But he missed a 49-yarder with 5:18 left after Barber scored on a short run to bring the Giants to within six points at 23-17.

Manning had a pass intercepted by Champ Bailey on the Giants' next possession, but New York held Denver (5-2) on downs and got the ball back one more time.

Mike Anderson gained 120 yards in 24 carries and had a two-yard touchdown run for Denver, while Tatum Bell had 60 yards in eight carries.

The Broncos, the NFL's third-best rushing team, ran for 191 yards, 38 yards more than their average.

Oakland 38, Buffalo 17 -- Kerry Collins, sacked on the Raiders' opening drive, completed nine of 10 passes on consecutive touchdown drives late in the second quarter and early in the third as they took control at Oakland.

LaMont Jordan rushed for 122 yards and a career-high three touchdowns for the Raiders (2-4). He had a career-high 28 carries and his three rushing touchdowns were the most by a Raider since Rich Gannon did it Sept. 10, 2000, against Indianapolis.

Kelly Holcomb, who was sacked three times, lost for the first time in three games as the starter for the Bills (3-4) since replacing J.P. Losman.

Indianapolis 38, Houston 20 -- The Colts improved to 7-0 for the first time in franchise history by winning at Houston. They scored 24 consecutive second-half points and held the Texans (0-6) to minus-four yards after halftime.

Tony Dungy became the 34th NFL coach to win 100 games and the Colts won for the 70th time since 1999, tops in the league.

Detroit 13, Cleveland 10 -- Jeff Garcia, making his first start this season in place of Joey Harrington, ran for a touchdown and Jason Hanson kicked two field goals to lead the Lions (3-3) at Cleveland.

After sitting out Detroit's first five games because of a broken left leg, Garcia returned to practice this week and got the starting assignment before the game from Coach Steve Mariucci.

The Browns (2-4) didn't get a first down in the second half until only 9:52 remained. They had their chances, but wide receiver Antonio Bryant dropped a key third-down pass in the fourth and they didn't capitalize on a 100-yard rushing performance by Reuben Droughns.

St. Louis 28, New Orleans 17 -- Steven Jackson scored on two short runs and Kevin Curtis scored the go-ahead touchdown for the Rams (3-4) on a five-yard reverse with 5:58 remaining at St. Louis.

A pair of failed trick plays came back to haunt the Saints (2-5), who squandered a 14-point first-quarter lead and have lost three in a row.

A quarterback sneak on a fake field goal on fourth-and-one was stuffed for no gain near the end of the third quarter and Donte' Stallworth's fumble on a fourth-quarter reverse led to the go-ahead score.

Washington 52, San Francisco 17 -- The Redskins (4-2) led 35-7 at halftime at Washington, totaled 448 yards and scored on seven of their first nine possessions to end a two-game losing streak and hand the 49ers (1-5) their fifth loss in a row.

The 52 points were the most for the Redskins since a 56-17 win over Atlanta on Nov. 10, 1991. They forced two turnovers and had five sacks -- doubling their number for the entire season.

Chicago 10, Baltimore 6 -- In a matchup of two top defensive teams, the Bears mustered just enough offense when it counted at Chicago.

Kyle Orton threw a first-quarter touchdown pass to Marc Edwards and Thomas Jones ran for 83 of his 139 yards in the fourth quarter to help the Bears (3-3) beat the Ravens (2-4).

Jones clinched the victory with a 42-yard run along the left sideline on the final drive and then converting a fourth-and-one from the Ravens' 30 as Chicago ran out the clock.

It was the Bears' second straight game without allowing a touchdown, and they remain the league's only team not to have allowed a rushing touchdown this season.

Arizona 20, Tennessee 10 -- David Macklin returned an interception 61 yards for a touchdown and the Cardinals turned three Titan turnovers into 17 points at Tempe, Ariz.

Neil Rackers kicked field goals of 33 and 24 yards to improve to 20 for 20 this season for the Cardinals.

The Cardinals (2-4) clinched the victory after Karlos Dansby's fourth-quarter sack of Billy Volek, who fumbled and Dansby recovered at the Tennessee 34.

On third and 10, Josh McCown completed a pass over the middle to Larry Fitzgerald, who scored to make it 20-10 with 5:20 left. The Titans are 2-5.

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