Giants defeat Packers, 27-13, for fourth straight win

Jason Pierre-Paul is congratulated by safety Antrel Rolle Jason Pierre-Paul is congratulated by safety Antrel Rolle on his 24-yard interception return for a touchdown against the Green Bay Packers. (Nov. 17, 2013) Photo Credit: Kathleen Malone-Van Dyke

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Guess who's no longer in last place? The Giants! The team that started 0-6, its worst start in nearly four decades.

It may not seem like much for a squad that had such lofty aspirations when the season began, but to be out of the NFC East's cellar for the first time this year on the strength of a fourth straight win -- this latest one 27-13 over the Packers on Sunday -- certainly is progress.

It's still third place-and-long for the Giants' chances at the playoffs, but the pulse of what would be the most impressive comeback in NFL history continues to beat for another week. And what a week it will be.

The win sets up a rematch against the Cowboys (5-5) next week at MetLife Stadium. If the Giants (4-6) win, they'll be tied for second, one game behind the first-place Eagles (6-5), who will have their bye. Philadelphia's win over Washington (3-7) prevented the Giants from playing for a share of first next week.

"We're going to put it on 'em,'' said Jason Pierre-Paul, whose 24-yard interception return for a touchdown late in the game sealed the win. "It's going to be a dogfight. There's going to be some blood spilled out there.''

It still may be the regular season, but Sunday against Dallas will be as close to the playoffs as a November game can get.

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"It's for all the marbles,'' said Jon Beason, who also had an interception. "The winner is going to go on and still have a chance and the loser is probably going to be left for dead.''

The Giants already have been there. They are the second NFL team to follow a start of 0-6 or worse with four straight wins. The 2009 Titans lost their first six and won the next five.

"In this league, at 0-6, you can start shipping your cars home and start planning your vacations,'' Justin Tuck said.

And it seemed for a long time as though their rematch with Dallas would lack the throbbing excitement that usually accompanies the meetings of the NFC East rivals. The banging of the war drums already was echoing through the Giants' locker room Sunday night.

"That means something to our football team,'' Brandon Jacobs said of the high stakes. "We've been on a roll with four straight and we're looking for it to keep going. We know we have a tough Dallas team coming in here next week and they're coming to break that streak. We're going to do what we have to do during the week, during practice, and make it happen.''

The Giants took a 7-0 lead on Eli Manning's 26-yard touchdown pass to Rueben Randle with 5:34 left in the first quarter. But with the score 10-3 and the ball at the Packers' 15, when Manning tried to hit Louis Murphy Jr., he was intercepted for the 17th time this year. Murphy was on the field for Hakeem Nicks, who had gone to the sideline, apparently miffed, after a potential touchdown pass to him was incomplete two snaps earlier.

The Packers (5-5) cut it to 10-6 on Mason Crosby's 57-yard field goal at the end of the first half, the longest ever kicked against the Giants and the longest ever at MetLife Stadium.

The Giants then scored 10 straight points off stops -- Beason's interception led to a field goal and a tackle by Spencer Paysinger and Mark Herzlich on a fake punt set up a drive that ended with a 1-yard TD run by Jacobs -- to go ahead 20-6. But after a 52-yard completion from third-string quarterback Scott Tolzien to Jarrett Boykin, Eddie Lacy scored on a 4-yard run to make it 20-13.

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But when Tolzien tried to hit Andrew Quarless on the first snap of the Packers' next drive, Pierre-Paul stepped in the passing lane and caught the ball cleanly, returning it 24 yards for a 27-13 lead with 10:49 left. The Giants sealed it when Antrel Rolle intercepted Tolzien's long pass with 1:49 left.

Three takeaways in the fourth quarter against the Packers are a lot different from the last time the Giants played Dallas and had six turnovers that led to 24 points. The Giants are vastly different now, having turned the ball over only six times in the four-game winning streak.

"Six turnovers and they barely beat us, plain and simple,'' Terrell Thomas said. "It doesn't matter what we did in Week 1. It matters what happens right now.''

That the Giants have even gotten to the point that "right now'' means anything is remarkable in and of itself.

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