1:00 PM ET, November 10, 2013
MetLife Stadium, East Rutherford, NJ
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- A couple of comeback kids helped the New York Giants continue their winning streak.
It was appropriate that Thomas and Brown combined to maintain the Giants' hopes of overcoming an 0-6 start. Thomas missed the past two seasons with major knee injuries.
Brown missed the first eight games this season after breaking his left leg in the last preseason game for the second time in nine months.
"When I scored off his interception return, I went back over there and I said: 'Good job'" said Brown, who ran for 115 yards on 30 carries.
"He's another guy that showed perseverance. He knows how to deal with adversity. Guys like that, you feed off of. I want to make sure I'm a guy that they can feed off me."
The error-prone Giants (3-6) did. They also fed off their defense, which limited a banged up Terrelle Pryor and the Raiders to 213 yards in total offense.
Even more importantly they forced Oakland (3-6) to settle for a field goal on the opening possession of the second half after getting a first-and-goal at the 1.
Instead of a 24-14 lead, the margin was 20-14.
"That was huge," middle linebacker Jon Beason said. "Anytime you can go out there with your backs against the wall, it's a good thing."
Thomas' interception was even bigger, and it turned the momentum a final time.
After a three-and-out by New York, Oakland got the ball back at the New York 48 following a 27-yard punt by Steve Weatherford into a stiff breeze. On a third-and-9 from the 33, Pryor tried to hit Denarius Moore on a slant.
Thomas, who was the NFC defensive player of the week two weeks ago, was waiting in the slant route.
"It was a route they have run a lot and I was waiting on it the whole game," Thomas said. "They run two-by-two slants and coach put us in a great position and I was happy to make a play for the defense."
Thomas ran toward the gaping end zone, avoiding a tackle by Pryor inside the 20 before being tackled by Andre Holmes.
The ball came loose, and officials said Thomas was down.
Brown gave the Giants the lead from the 1-yard line following a pass interference call, taking time to kneel in the end zone and stretch his hands to the sky.
"It's great to have 'Dre back," Thomas said. "To run for 100 yards after sitting out and missing eight games and to come back in the fashion he did, and run like he did, it's very refreshing for our team. It was great to see him return to his old self. I wish I would have scored but it was great to see him get in."
"We just to go back to work and stick with each other," said Pryor, who was 11 of 26 for 122 yards playing with a sore hamstring. "A lot of fingers can be pointed at me. That's all right, I understand that. The next time we get in this situation we have to know how to react."
Coming off a 49-20 loss to the Eagles, the Raiders were in a position to win this game. Porter's interception return put them ahead 17-14 at the half and Janikowski's 24-yard field goal that capped an eight-minute drive stretched the lead to 20-14.
But Thomas and Brown stepped in to save New York.
Josh Brown added a 23-yard field goal in the fourth quarter and New York clinched the game when Mathias Kiwanuka had a sack-forced fumble on Oakland's final possession.
Pryor scored from 1 yard on the second play from scrimmage after a fumble by Jerrel Jernigan on the opening kickoff.
Oakland took a 10-7 lead on a 33-yard field goal by Janikowski. A fumble by running back Peyton Hillis on a short pass set up the score.
Manning got the Giants going in the second quarter with a TD pass to Randle. However, Manning's third pick-6 of the season allowed Porter to skip into the end zone.
The previous time the Giants returned a blocked punt for a TD was by Tom Flynn in 1988. ...Weatherford had a miserable day, averaging 30.4 yards on four punts. Linebacker Sio Moore had nine tackles and a sack to lead Oakland. Safety Antrel Rolle had a game-high 12 tackles and a sack, one of four by New York.
EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - NOVEMBER 10: Rueben Randle #82 of the New York Giants makes the catch for the touchdown in...(Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
Team Stat Comparison
Passing 1st downs
Rushing 1st downs
1st downs from penalties
3rd down efficiency
4th down efficiency
|Yards per play||3.9||4.0|
Yards per pass
Yards per rush
|Red Zone (Made-Att)||1-3||2-3|
|Defensive / Special Teams TDs||1||1|
|TD||14:14||Terrelle Pryor 1 Yard Run (Sebastian Janikowski Kick is Good)|
Drive info: 2 plays, 5 yds, 0:45
|TD||9:33||Cooper Taylor 21 Yard Return of Blocked Punt (Josh Brown Kick is Good)|
Drive info: 6 plays, 21 yds, 3:14
|FG||3:25||Sebastian Janikowski 33 Yard Field Goal is Good|
Drive info: 4 plays, 6 yds, 1:09
|TD||7:43||Rueben Randle 5 Yard Pass From Eli Manning (Josh Brown Kick is Good)|
Drive info: 11 plays, 90 yds, 6:22
|TD||1:28||Tracy Porter 43 Yard Interception Return (Sebastian Janikowski Kick is Good)|
Drive info: 6 plays, 34 yds, 3:27
|FG||7:00||Sebastian Janikowski 24 Yard Field Goal is Good|
Drive info: 14 plays, 74 yds, 8:04
|TD||2:19||Andre Brown 1 Yard Run (Josh Brown Kick is Good)|
Drive info: 2 plays, 5 yds, 0:46
|FG||8:08||Josh Brown 23 Yard Field Goal is Good|
Drive info: 13 plays, 70 yds, 6:56
Andre Brown has a rushing touchdown in six straight games dating back to last season, the longest active streak in the NFL. He is the fifth player in the last four seasons to have a rushing touchdown in six straight games.[+]
The Giants recorded three sacks when sending at least five pass rushers for the second game in a row Sunday. The Giants have recorded a sack 25 percent of the time using such pressure the past two games after recording two sacks on 114 dropbacks with at least five rushers the first seven games (1.8 percent).
Andre Brown rushed for 115 yards Sunday, something the Giants had only done once as a team entering the week. How was Brown so effective? - Brown gained 52 of his rushing yards after initial contact. The Giants hadn't combined for more than 44 rush yards after contact in a game entering the week. - Brown was 5 of 6 converting first downs when the Giants needed 3 yards or less. The Giants were 19th in the NFL converting such rushes entering the week (59 percent). - 5 of Brown's 8 first downs came when we he was contacted prior to the first down marker. The Giants had 16 such first downs entering the week, with only the Saints and Falcons recording fewer (15 each).
Cooper Taylor's 21 yard blocked punt return TD was the first blocked punt return TD by the Giants since 1988 vs the Redskins (Tom Flynn).
Eli Manning's improvement the last two weeks is tied to a trend of shorter passes. Manning has cut more than three yards off his average pass distance the last two weeks, resulting in more completions and no interceptions.[+]
Eli Manning This Season
The Giants' defense is coming off a bye week with confidence after putting together its two best efforts of the season.[+]
Giants Defense - This Season
ESPN Stats & Information
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