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Eli Manning sends the Dolphins to another loss

Miami Dolphins v New York Giants Getty Images

The Dolphins didn’t blow their lead in the final minute this week.

They got it out of the way a bit earlier when Eli Manning found Victor Cruz for a 25-yard touchdown pass that provided the Giants with their margin of victory in a 20-17 victory at the Meadowlands. The Dolphins had a chance to make a bid at their own comeback when Steve Slaton returned a kick to about midfield, but two sacks of Matt Moore spelled the end of that chance. Miami got the ball back once more, but the Giants defense, awakened once the Dolphins got desperate, sacked him twice more before Corey Webster picked off a last ditch toss to seal the victory.

Manning finished the game 31-of-45 for 349 yards, numbers that would have been much bigger if not for a slew of drops by his receivers. His two touchdowns came at the end of the first half and near the end of the fourth quarter, two big plays that erased an afternoon that his teammates made far more difficult than it should have been with sloppy performances everywhere you look. That’s pretty much been the story of the Giants’ season thus far. Sloppy play that Manning has overcome to lead them to wins five times. That doesn’t seem like it will be enough to get it done against a tough schedule over the final nine weeks of the season, but the Giants are in the position they need to be to make a playoff push.

It also won’t help if they don’t have Hakeem Nicks. The receiver left the game early with a hamstring injury, although a foot injury suffered by Ahmad Bradshaw didn’t seem too serious since Bradshaw returned to the game after getting x-rays in the third quarter.

One of thoseĀ  aforementioned drops seemed to be incorrectly ruled on the field to be a catch by Mario Manningham on the last play of the third quarter. Tony Sparano, who used his job status to beg for a review last week, didn’t challenge the play, though, and the Giants got a third-and-nine instead of a third-and-15 out of the play. The Dolphins had just one timeout remaining because Moore had to burn two of them during the third quarter, but with so much on the line it was odd to see Sparano pass on throwing the red flag. Manning hit Cruz to convert the first down and the Giants got a field goal out of the drive.

The Dolphins also got another painful call against them in the fourth quarter. Moore hit Brandon Marshall for 26 yards on a rare big second-half offensive play for Miami, but the play was waved off on an offensive pass interference call. Marshall’s reputation for pushing off must have been on the mind of the official, because there wasn’t much in the way of contact on the play.

That’s not why the Dolphins lost, but it was a break they could have used. This was a game winnable game for them, but they couldn’t make enough plays down the stretch to earn their first victory. The team clearly hasn’t quit on Sparano, but they might not need to in order to secure Andrew Luck when all is said and done.

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19 Responses to “Eli Manning sends the Dolphins to another loss”
  1. edmazeing1 says: Oct 30, 2011 4:16 PM

    Miami is a game closer, to having a chance to pick whats his name!!!

  2. oldhamletman says: Oct 30, 2011 4:16 PM

    and then there were two… in the suck4luck race with STL blowing out the Saints…

    no surprise as the Phins show only about 1 quarter of good play like usual, it was just 1st q this time.

    the Phins fans that are rooting suck4luck were sweating it all game… who knows they might win one, even a blind squirrel finds a nut…

    but for now it’s down to the winless Colts and Phins ….

    Go Phins!

  3. jc327 says: Oct 30, 2011 4:19 PM

    3rd and 13 – and we ran Bush up the middle. The coaches once again gave up – with a lead. The Giants scored on the next possession and from then on it was blood in the water.

    Sad.

  4. gcsuk says: Oct 30, 2011 4:21 PM

    I’ll agree about the bad call on Marshall. It’s was marginal at BEST. that being said, Eli had another great game. Looked at ease in the pocket, looked accurate downfield, and threw it away when he needed to.

    Now, can BOTH Brandons (Marshall and Jacobs) shut up? Dolphins lose, and Jacobs looked pretty pathetic.

  5. arlingtonassasin says: Oct 30, 2011 4:22 PM

    Wow……the guy couldnt write the article without throwing Luck in there. Anybody else tired of hearing that name? What if Luck is the next Leaf?

  6. east96st says: Oct 30, 2011 4:34 PM

    Sorry Miami fans. Yours was the better team today. The rookie CB killed you guys. Once NY got the lead, it seems to me your O line gave up a little. That kind of pressure didn’t happen for the first three quarters plus. It felt like your O lineman didn’t dig deep to give Moore enough space to run out of trouble like he had all game long. Unfortunate, because Miami played harder and better than the Giants for 90% of the game.

  7. promickey says: Oct 30, 2011 4:49 PM

    The Giants game planned during the game to change the outcome. When the Giants needed it they came with a rush that Miami does not have. The call against Marshall was a terrible call. Sparano should have been jumping up and down telling the officials that the bad call would get him fired…………Well I guess Tony has accepted his fate.

  8. skins23 says: Oct 30, 2011 4:51 PM

    Hey look – Giants got the benefit of another blown call in their favor. Real nice call there on the offensive “interference” on Marshall in the 4th quarter.

    Yeah, you’re not lucky at all Brandon Jacobs. Nice 10 yard game, punk.

  9. bigblue86 says: Oct 30, 2011 4:52 PM

    This was a good post, until the last sentence. The ‘Suck for Luck’ stuff is BS. Teams are never going to give up so they can get a draft pick, and if they do they don’t deserve to be in the NFL.

  10. hillzmickelzon says: Oct 30, 2011 4:55 PM

    Reggie bush 103 yards on 15 carries..Show dome luv

  11. eigglesnosuperbowls says: Oct 30, 2011 5:14 PM

    If they let Elijah drop back 50 times a game these contest wouldn’t even be close ! Forget the run !

  12. atchick says: Oct 30, 2011 5:18 PM

    Game after abye week is always tough for the Giants. However, I love how the write-up puts the focus where is should be. Eli is a great QB…..his receivers have a tendancy to let him down. So take that interception count and toss it out the window. Eli gets it down, but he needs someone else to step up.

  13. baldingerspinky says: Oct 30, 2011 5:30 PM

    I swear in every giants game this season the refs make a terrible call or miss a bunch of holding calls on the giants o line. Eli has had a ton of time because his right guard an tackle hold their opponents. It’s ok tommy touchdown an the pats will beat next week unless the referees see fit to give them another game. Poor officiating ruins football.

  14. mikehockhurtz says: Oct 30, 2011 6:01 PM

    Playing from behind as the Giants have a few times this season won’t be so easy come December when the schedule gets rough. That being said, they are getting it done.

  15. tatum064 says: Oct 30, 2011 6:21 PM

    Bush got a 100, so he doesnt stink v. the Giants.
    2nd 100 yd game of his career…both v Big Blue.

  16. FinFan68 says: Oct 30, 2011 6:59 PM

    The Dolphins played better than they have all season–for 45-50 minutes. They still fold up during the last 5 minutes of each half. This was another example of Sparano’s HORRIBLE clock management. He called their final time-out with 3:47 left, down by only 3 with the Giants backed up looking at at 4th and 8. No timeouts and 3:47 is NOT better than 3:07 with 1 timeout. I can’t remember the last time the Dolphins managed the final few minutes well. The defense gives 15 yard cushions on 3rd and 7, nobody covers the middle, the offense runs an off tackle run with Bush on 3rd and long and throws a checkdown to another RB on 3rd and a mile (that play is when/how they should us Bush, but, nope, not even on the field). The coaching has been horrible this year. Embarrassing.

  17. cmb79 says: Oct 30, 2011 7:53 PM

    Bottom line, I’ll take whatever win the Giants can get, but I wish their assertiveness holds for EVERY opponent and not just the big dogs. That said, I don’t think focus will be a problem from now on with what’s ahead.

  18. 1westcoastphinfan says: Oct 31, 2011 1:50 PM

    Once again the no fun league instructs its referees to make the home town calls for the New Yawk teams. This time it is goodell who should be investigated and fined. what a poor call on brendan marshall. you offiicials should be ashamed of yourselves.

  19. Mr. Wright 212 says: Oct 31, 2011 9:37 PM

    1westcoastphinfan says: Oct 31, 2011 1:50 PM

    Once again the no fun league instructs its referees to make the home town calls for the New Yawk teams. This time it is goodell who should be investigated and fined. what a poor call on brendan marshall. you offiicials should be ashamed of yourselves.
    ———–

    You’ve lost it. The Fins got way more calls.

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