East Rutherford, NJ – Andre Brown's 2-yard rushing touchdown with 31 seconds left capped a huge fourth quarter, as the New York Giants rallied past the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, 41-34.
Eli Manning threw two of his three touchdown passes in the fourth period for the Giants (1-1), who bounced back from a season-opening loss to the Dallas Cowboys on Sept. 5. He finished 31-of-51 for 510 yards, three touchdowns and three interceptions.
Manning's 510 passing yards was a career high and just three shy of the franchise record of 513 by Phil Simms (at Cincinnati, Oct. 13, 1985).
"No one wants to start 0-2, even though we've done that before and made a run and got into the playoffs," Manning said. "It's a big win, especially with the first half, playing poorly and last week not playing well. We've got to get back to that level of playing good football, and the second half was really good -- no fumbles, no turnovers, we did some things better obviously, made some big-time plays and stepped up when we needed. That was fun to have."
Brown carried the ball 13 times for 71 yards and a touchdown for the victors. Victor Cruz caught 11 passes for 179 yards and a score while Hakeem Nicks hauled in 10 passes for 199 yards and a touchdown.
The news was not all good for the Giants. Running back Ahmad Bradshaw (neck), right tackle David Diehl (knee) and wide receiver Domenik Hixon (concussion) left the game with injuries.
Josh Freeman completed 15-of-28 passes for 243 yards, two touchdowns and two interceptions for the Bucs (1-1), who were coming off a win over the Panthers in Week 1.
Doug Martin carried the ball 20 times for 66 yards and a score. Vincent Jackson caught five passes for 128 yards and a touchdown.
"It was a cat-and-mouse game, and they won it," Bucs coach Greg Schiano said.
Trailing 27-13 early in the third quarter, the Giants scored 21 unanswered points to grab the lead. Lawrence Tynes got the comeback started with a 36- yard field goal.
New York's defense followed with a big play as Corey Webster picked off Freeman's pass at the Tampa Bay 36-yard line. The Giants got down to the 5- yard line before settling for a 24-yard Tynes field goal early in the fourth.
The Giants started their next drive from the 12-yard line. But on the third play, Manning threw an 80-yard bomb down the right sideline to Cruz for a touchdown. A successful two-point conversion tied the game at 27 with 6:48 to play.
After the Bucs went three-and-out on offense, New York scored another touchdown. This time around, Martellus Bennett hauled in a 33-yard pass near the right pylon to give the Giants a 34-27 lead with 3:59 to go.
Tampa Bay responded with a score of its own just plays later. Mike Williams hauled in a 41-yard pass in the left side of the end zone to tie the contest.
But Manning and the Giants had the answer. Nicks caught a 50-yard pass down the right sideline to put the ball in the red zone. Brown followed with a nine-yard run and fell down at the 2-yard line to waste time. On the next play, Brown made his way into the end zone for his first TD in the NFL.
Michael Boley picked off Freeman to seal the come-from-behind victory.
The Giants got the ball to start the game and settled for a 37-yard Tynes field goal. Nicks caught a 40-yard pass on the drive to set up the field goal.
Tampa Bay also got three points on its first possession. Jackson caught a 41- yard pass down the right sideline to put the ball at the 31-yard line. Connor Barth made a 45-yard field goal to tie the game.
New York got the ball to the Buccaneers' 1-yard line of the Buccaneers on the ensuing possession. After a false start on 3rd-and-goal brought the ball back five yards, Manning threw an incomplete pass. Tynes made a 24-yard field goal to make it 6-3 with 2:54 left.
Manning's first pick of the game came early in the second stanza. Mason Foster intercepted the ball at the 28-yard line of the Giants. Three plays later, Jackson caught a 29-yard TD pass down the left sideline.
Following a pair of punts, Manning was picked off by Brandon McDonald. A 15- yard horse collar penalty on the return set up the Bucs at the New York 13- yard line. Just two plays later, Martin made a nice spin move at the line before going to the left for an eight-yard score. The extra point made it 17-6.
New York responded an eight-play, 80-yard scoring drive that Nicks capped with a 23-yard TD catch.
But on the next New York possession, Manning threw his third pick of the quarter. Eric Wright intercepted the pass and went 60 yards down the right sideline for a Tampa Bay touchdown, making it 24-13.
Barth's 52-yard field goal early in the third quarter made it 27-13.
The Giants lead the all-time series by a 12-6 margin ... New York had 604 yards of total offense, compared to 307 for Tampa Bay ... Tampa Bay right tackle Jeremy Trueblood was inactive with an ankle injury ... Wright (back) left the game in the third quarter and did not return ... Cruz became first Giants player to record at least 11 receptions and 179 receiving yards in a game since Del Shofner (11 catches, 269 yards vs. Washington) on Oct. 28, 1962 ... New York cornerback Prince Amukamara (high ankle sprain) missed his second straight game ... Williams caught three passes for 59 yards.