Giants outlast Dolphins to move into three-way tie for first in NFC East


Giants close out a game, not out of playoff hunt

Jon Gruden and Mike Tirico break down the Giants' 31-24 win over the Dolphins and evaluate their playoff chances.

MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. -- 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, and his 87-percent completion percentage was a career high.

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, which extends their postseason drought to a franchise-record seven consecutive seasons.

"Obviously, this is not where we want to be, but here we are," quarterback Ryan Tannehill said.

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, who had seven catches for 166 yards and the game's final two scores. Monday night marked his sixth 100-yard game 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 he didn't let that slow him down. 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 Beckham sprinted to the end zone for his 12th touchdown this season.

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, which he didn't," Jones said.

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, and that made the score 24-all. Beckham's 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."

In the final two minutes of the first half, Manning led a touchdown drive of 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. Tannehill also 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 he carried only 12 times.

Game notes

Injuries took a toll on the Giants. LT Ereck Flowers hurt his ankle on the long touchdown pass to Beckham and missed the rest of the game. DT Markus Kuhn left in the third quarter with a knee injury. DE George Selvie was evaluated for a concussion in the fourth quarter and didn't return. ... Giants coach Tom Coughlin took a tumble when Giants CB Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie ran into him along the sideline. "Actually, it helped," Coughlin said. "It snapped my neck." ... Dolphins CB Bobby McCain went into the concussion protocol. He briefly lay motionless when he was injured while covering the kickoff to start the second half, but he walked off the field. ... Giants safety 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.