EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP) — Two-time Super Bowl MVP Eli Manning threw two touchdowns in what might have been his final home start for the Giants and New York snapped a franchise record-tying nine-game losing streak with a 36-20 victory over the Miami Dolphins on Sunday.
Saquon Barkley ran for 112 yards and scored two walk-in touchdowns and New York’s much-maligned defense added a safety as the Giants (3-11) handed the Dolphins (3-11) their second loss in as many weeks at MetLife Stadium.
Manning, who lost his starting job to Daniel Jones in Week 3 and got it back last week when the rookie sprained an ankle, threw a 51-yard scoring pass to Golden Tate in the second quarter and a go-ahead 5-yarder to Darius Slayton on the opening series of the second half. The 38-year-old also threw three interceptions, two of which set up by field goals by Dolphins kicker Jason Sanders.
With 1:50 left in the game, Manning (20 of 28 for 283 yards) was taken out by coach Pat Shurmur and replaced by Alex Tanney, drawing his second standing ovation from those left in the crowd. He walked to the sideline and was congratulated by teammates while the crowd chanted “Eli Manning.″ He even smiled.
Ryan Fitzpatrick, whose game slipped after taking a big hit on a third-quarter scramble, threw two touchdowns to DaVante Parker, the second one with the game out of reach.
Buck Allen added a late 1-yard TD run in the Giants’ biggest offensive output of the season.
This was a game between teams with among the worst records in the league and Manning’s start gave it some meaning, especially for the locals who had seen him run the team since the middle of the 2004 season.
With his contract set to expire after this season, the Giants made sure his name was announced when the offense took the field for the second series of the game and he got a standing ovation. Some fans in the stands held up signs: “Thank You, Eli″ one read.
Manning stole the show in the second half, leading the Giants to three touchdowns on their first five possessions. His pass to Slayton wiped out a 10-7 deficit and Barkley, who had not run for 100 yards in the previous seven games, added TD runs of 1 and 10 yards.
The Dolphins took a 10-7 halftime lead on a 20-yard touchdown pass from Fitzpatrick to Parker and a 24-yard field goal by Sanders.
Manning and Tate combined on a 51-yard catch and run to tie the game 7-all just 62 seconds after the Parker catch.
Dolphins: LB Raekwon McMillam pulled a hamsting in the second half. Giants: CB DeAndre Baker left in second half with a knee injury. He returned.
Dolphins: Host Cincinnati in final home game on Sunday.
Giants: at Washington on Sunday.