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'This is what I love to do' - Manning silences critics to spark Giants comeback to claim victory

The New York Giants saw off the San Francisco 49ers last night 27-23 at Levi’s Stadium.

Manning shrugged off speculation about his future to triumph
Manning shrugged off speculation about his future to triumph
Image: SIPA USA/PA Images

ELI MANNING SHRUGGED off speculation about his future to lead the New York Giants to a come-from-behind 27-23 victory over the San Francisco 49ers at Levi’s Stadium last night.

Giants quarterback Manning, who has faced mounting calls to be benched in recent weeks, held his nerve to conjure a late game-winning drive and give New York only its second win of the season.

The two-time Super Bowl winner found Sterling Shepard for a three-yard touchdown pass to seal a nine-play 75-yard drive which put the Giants ahead with just 53 seconds remaining.

Manning finished with three touchdowns and 188 yards from 19 completions as the Giants improved to 2-7 in the NFC East. San Francisco fell to 2-8 and remain at the bottom of the NFC West.

“I’m just happy to be playing football,” Manning said afterwards when asked about recent criticism.

“This is what I love to do. I have great team-mates, great support. Hopefully we can keep this feeling going.”

Earlier, Robbie Gould had opened the scoring for the 49ers with a 53-yard field goal before the Giants took the lead near the end of the first quarter when Manning connected with Odell Beckham Jr. for a 10-yard touchdown.

NFL: New York Giants at San Francisco 49ers Source: SIPA USA/PA Images

San Francisco did not have to wait long to regain the lead however, and was back in front in the opening minutes of the second quarter when running back Matt Breida crashed over from three yards out for a touchdown.

Once again however, the Giants offense struggled to turn possession into touchdowns and had to be content with an Aldrick Rosas field goal to tie it at 10-10.

Gould’s second field goal put San Francisco 13-10 ahead at half-time, and the 49ers stretched their lead midway through the third quarter with a second touchdown from Breida.

This time the running back turned receiver, collecting an 11-yard completion from back-up quarterback Nick Mullens to cap a 60-yard drive and make it 20-10.

Giants 49ers Football San Francisco 49ers quarterback Nick Mullens. Source: Tony Avelar

But just when San Francisco appeared to be taking control, the Giants offense finally managed to string a scoring drive together.

Beckham grabbed his second touchdown of the night on a 20-yard pass from Manning and then Rosas added a field goal to tie it at 20-20.

Gould’s third field goal of the night put San Francisco ahead 23-20 with 2:46 remaining, but Manning produced an ice-cold final drive to hand New York the win.

© AFP 2018

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