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Neil Best leaves no stone unturned in the world of sports media.

Eli won last meaningless finale

The last time the Giants finished their season with a meaningless game was my last game on the beat - against the Cowboys on national TV on Jan. 2, 2005.

Even though the Giants were out of it after eight losses in a row, they did manage one of the more remarkable finishes in Giants Stadium history.

Trailing 24-21 with less than two minutes left, rookie Eli Manning had driven his team to a first down at the 3-yard line with 16 seconds on the clock.

That left plenty of time to take three shots into the end zone before trying a tying field goal, but it also meant there would be no chance for Tiki Barber to break Joe Morris' team single-season rushing record.

Barber trailed, 1,516-1,515, but with no timeouts left the Giants could not risk a running play that would cause the clock to run out.

Then, shockingly, Manning surveyed the defense and checked out of the passing play that was called, taking the risk of handing the ball to Barber. He scored up the middle against the Cowboys' spread-out defense with 11 seconds left.

Barber set the team rushing record with 1,518 yards, and Manning had his first NFL victory.

Tags: Giants

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