Dec 15, 2015 12:44 AM
Beckham scores 2 TDs to help Giants beat Dolphins 31-24
The Associated Press
MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. (AP) With the score tied in the fourth quarter, Odell Beckham Jr. somehow slipped 5 yards behind the secondary.
That turned out to be the winning margin for the New York Giants.
Beckham's 84-yard touchdown reception put the Giants ahead to stay with 11 minutes to go, and they forged a three-way tie atop the NFC East by beating the Miami Dolphins 31-24 on Monday night.
New York's Eli Manning went 27 for 31 for 337 yards and four scores. His passer rating of 151.5 was his highest since 2009.
The Giants (6-7) broke a three-game losing streak and are tied with the Redskins and Eagles for the lead in their woeful division.
"It's a must-win, a playoff game for us," Beckham said. "They're all playoff games."
The Dolphins (5-8) were mathematically eliminated from the playoff race, extending their postseason drought to a franchise-record seven consecutive years.
"Obviously this is not where we want to be," quarterback Ryan Tannehill said, "but here we are."
In celebration of the franchise's 50th season, the Dolphins introduced their 50 greatest players at halftime. The not-so-great 2015 Dolphins topped 20 points for the first time since October, but couldn't keep up with Beckham.
He had seven catches for 166 yards and the game's final two scores. The 100-yard game was his sixth in a row, a Giants record.
"They got it to a star player, and he made plays for them," Dolphins defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh said.
Beckham missed one series when he went to the locker room due to cramps in both calves, but didn't let that slow him down. And with the score 24-all, he took advantage of broken coverage to score the go-ahead touchdown.
Cornerback Jamar Taylor and seldom-used safety Shamiel Gary were the closest defenders, but Manning hit Beckham in stride at midfield and he sprinted to the end zone for his 12th TD this year.
The Giants plotted the play at the team hotel before the game.
"We got the coverage we wanted," Manning said. "We thought it would be a big play, but I didn't think he would be that open."
Miami safety Reshad Jones blamed miscommunication.
"The corner was supposed to follow up and go over the top," Jones said, "which he didn't."
Beckham outplayed his close friend and former LSU teammate, Miami's Jarvis Landry, who made 11 catches for 99 yards but was flagged for a costly personal foul penalty with his team trailing in the fourth quarter.
Beckham made a 45-yard reception to set up a touchdown and had a 6-yard scoring catch. The latter pass was initially ruled incomplete because Beckham was out of bounds, but the decision was overturned by a replay review that made the score 24-all.
His final catch, a diving grab on third down at midfield, sealed the victory with less than two minutes left.
"Obviously his performance is something we all expect," Landry said. "He's just continuing to do what he does."
Manning led a touchdown drive in the final two minutes of the first half covering 80 yards, including 45 on a long pass to Beckham, to make it 17-all. The receiver on the 5-yard pass for the tie: Will Tye.
Tannehill threw for 236 yards and burned a blitz by throwing deep to Kenny Stills for a 47-yard score that put Miami ahead 24-17. But Tannehill overthrew an open Landry behind the Giants' secondary with his team trailing and less than five minutes to go.
"Those are the ones you've got to make," Tannehill said.
The Dolphins were hurt by 12 penalties and seemed reluctant to run the ball, as has been the case most of the year. Lamar Miller rushed for 89 yards, including a darting 38-yard touchdown run after making Jason Pierre-Paul miss, but carried only 12 times.
NOTES: Giants LT Ereck Flowers hurt his ankle on the long touchdown pass to Beckham and missed the rest of the game. ... Giants DT Markus Kuhn left in the third quarter with a knee injury. ... Giants DE George Selvie was evaluated for concussion in fourth quarter and didn't return. ... Dolphins CB Bobby McCain went into the concussion protocol. He briefly lay motionless when he was injured covering the kickoff to start the second half, but walked off the field. ... The Giants' Cooper Taylor lost his helmet covering a kickoff and still made the tackle. ... The Dolphins fell to 41-41 on Monday Night Football. ... With Miami's loss, New England clinched the AFC East title.
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