Eli Manning passed for 510 yards as the Super Bowl-champion New York Giants scored 25 fourth-quarter points to rally past the Tampa Bay Buccaneers 41-34 and avoid an 0-2 start to the National Football League season.
The Pittsburgh Steelers defeated the New York Jets 27-10 yesterday to win their 10th straight opening home game, while the New England Patriots’ run of 10 straight victories in home openers ended with a 20-18 loss to the Arizona Cardinals. The San Francisco 49ers beat the Detroit Lions 27-19 to join San Diego, Houston, Arizona and Philadelphia as the NFL’s 2-0 teams.
The Giants erased a 27-16 fourth-quarter deficit at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey, as Manning finished three yards short of Phil Simms’s franchise record for passing yards. New York gained 604 yards of offense, second only to the team’s 609 yards on Dec. 3, 1950.
“As a quarterback you like to throw it,” Manning, who completed 31 of 51 passes, told reporters. “It’s fun when guys are getting open and guys are making plays and you’re seeing things -- you get to fight back.”
The Steelers scored 21 unanswered points in Pittsburgh to pull away from the Jets, whose offense was limited to 219 yards a week after a 48-28 season-opening rout of Buffalo.
The Philadelphia Eagles became the first team in NFL history to win their first two games by one point, beating the Baltimore Ravens 24-23 at home as quarterback Michael Vick scored on a 1-yard run with 1:57 left.
Elsewhere, it was Houston 27, Jacksonville 7; Indianapolis 23, Minnesota 20; Carolina 35, New Orleans 27; Miami 35, Oakland 13; Buffalo 35, Kansas City 17; Cincinnati 34, Cleveland 27; Seattle 27, Dallas 7; San Diego 38, Tennessee 10; and St. Louis 31, Washington 28. On Sept. 13, the Green Bay Packers defeated the Chicago Bears 23-10.
The Week 2 schedule concludes tonight when the Denver Broncos visit the Atlanta Falcons in matchup of 1-0 teams.
At MetLife Stadium, Manning threw two of his three touchdown passes in the final seven minutes to overcome three interceptions that led to 21 Tampa Bay points.
The Giants evened their record at 1-1 after losing their season-opener to the Dallas Cowboys.
“No one wants to start 0-2,” Manning told reporters. “Especially after the first half and playing poorly, and last week not playing well; to get back to that level of playing good football and that second half was really good.”
After Lawrence Tynes kicked his fourth field goal of the game to pull the Giants within 27-19 less than three minutes into the final quarter, Manning hooked up with Victor Cruz for an 80-yard touchdown pass. Andre Brown rushed for the two-point conversion to tie the score 27-27 with 6:48 left.
Manning also tossed a 33-yard touchdown pass to Martellus Bennett, while Brown scored the winning touchdown on a 2-yard run with 31 seconds left. Two plays earlier, Manning completed a 50-yard pass to Hakeem Nicks, who finished with 10 catches for 199 yards and a touchdown. Cruz had 179 receiving yards.
The 1951 Los Angeles Rams were the only other team in NFL history with a 500-yard passer, Norm Van Brocklin, and a pair of 150-yard receivers in Elroy Hirsh and Tom Fears.
At Heinz Field in Pittsburgh, Ben Roethlisberger passed for 275 yards and threw touchdown passes to Heath Miller and Mike Wallace as the Steelers erased a 10-6 deficit against the Jets and rebounded from their season-opening loss in Denver.
The Jets scored a touchdown on their opening possession -- a 14-yard pass from Mark Sanchez to Santonio Holmes -- and then were limited to one field goal the rest of the way. Sanchez completed 10-of-27 passes for 138 yards.
The 49ers beat the Lions (1-1) for the ninth straight time as Alex Smith threw two touchdown passes to Vernon Davis and Frank Gore rushed for 89 yards and a score.
The Patriots dropped to 1-1 after losing for the second time in their past 26 games at Gillette Stadium in Foxboro, Massachusetts. Arizona, which beat the Seahawks last week, had previously lost 13 of 15 games on the road.
While the Patriots were limited to four field goals by Stephen Gostkowski for the first 57 minutes, the Cardinals got two field goals from Jay Feely while Kevin Kolb threw a 2-yard touchdown pass to Andre Roberts and ran for a 5-yard score.
New England pulled within 20-18 with 2:49 to play after quarterback Tom Brady found Rob Gronkowski from five yards for a touchdown. The two-point conversion attempt failed.
The Patriots got the ball back with 1:01 left and drove to the Cardinals’ 24-yard line before Gostkowski missed a 42-yard field goal attempt with one second remaining.
“There’s no one play that lost the game,” said Brady, who passed for 316 yards and was intercepted once. “We did a lot of things that allowed us to lose this game. We had a lot of opportunity out there to make more plays than we did.”