Well, that was unexpected.
Last week, Ben McAdoo insisted fans who made the trek to MetLife Stadium on Sunday would be treated to a “great show.” Though the show may not have been great, the result was — at least for fans who aren’t pining for the top pick in the draft.
The Giants pulled off a stunning overtime victory, 12-9, over the Chiefs to improve to 2-8 on the season and 7-0 all-time against Kansas City at home.
Without wide receiver Sterling Shepard, inactive due to migraines, the Giants offense struggled to get going, but made plays when it mattered. On fourth-and-5 from the Chiefs’ 36 with just over two minutes left in OT, wide receiver Roger Lewis made a spectacular catch near the goal line, despite being interfered with.
The reception set up Aldrick Rosas for the game-winning 23-yard field goal with 1:57 left in overtime.
Eli Manning finished 18-for-34 for 171 yards and reached another milestone by making his 209th consecutive start, moving past his brother, Peyton, for the second longest consecutive-starts streak by a quarterback in NFL history.
Cornerback Janoris Jenkins — under fire for his lackluster effort last week — came up big when he picked off Alex Smith leading to a Rosas field goal that gave the Giants a 9-6 advantage with less than two minutes remaining in regulation.
Smith responded, however, by leading the Chiefs 69 yards in nine plays to set up a game-tying Harrison Butker kick that sent it to overtime. Jenkins appeared to pick off another pass on the first play of that drive, but was flagged for pass interference.
With the exception of that drive, however, the Giants defense shined. Having surrendered 82 combined points in their previous two outings, most expected the Giants would be torched by a high-powered K.C. unit. That was far from the case.
On the first play of the game, Smith hit tight end Travis Kelce for a 22-yard gain, and it looked like the Giants defense was going to pick up right where it left off in San Francisco.
But the drive stalled around midfield, and a fantastic tackle by Landon Collins on third down forced a punt.
Facing a fourth-and-1 from their own 41 on their opening possession, McAdoo sent out the punting unit, prompting boos from the crowd. But a direct snap to safety Nat Berhe was converted into a first down.
After moving the ball into Chiefs territory, the Giants tried some more trickery. From the Chiefs’ 18, running back Shane Vereen took a pitch and then attempted to throw to tight end Evan Engram in the end zone, but it was intercepted near the goal line by safety Daniel Sorensen.
The Giants defense returned the favor soon after, when a Smith shovel pass intended for Kelce was picked off by defensive tackle Damon Harrison after Jason Pierre-Paul had drilled Kelce as the ball arrived. Manning took over right outside the red zone, and with help from a pass interference call, Big Blue grabbed a 6-0 lead (Rosas missed the extra point) on a 1-yard Orleans Darkwa touchdown run with 13:26 remaining in the half.
On their ensuing drive, the Chiefs opted to go for it on fourth-and-5 from the Giants’ 32-yard line and succeeded when Smith scrambled for 6 yards. They added a 31-yard field goal to make it 6-3, which was the score at halftime.
The teams traded punts to open up the third quarter before the Giants orchestrated a long drive into KC territory. On fourth-and-9 from the 33, McAdoo went for it but Manning’s pass attempt for Engram was incomplete.
A 38-yard pass to Tyreek Hill set up the Chiefs at New York’s 16 to open up the final quarter. Butker nailed another field goal to tie the game at 6-6 a few plays later.