The Philadelphia Eagles kept their playoff hopes alive with an overtime victory against the New York Giants to deny Eli Manning a fairytale return on Monday.
A Zach Ertz touchdown on the opening drive of overtime sealed a 23-17 win for the Eagles, who overturned a 17-3 halftime deficit to stay on target for a place in the postseason.
It was a disappointing night for Giants quarterback Manning, the veteran two-time Super Bowl champion recalled in place of rookie Daniel Jones, who had started the previous 10 games.
Manning had looked to be rolling back the years during a vintage first half display, throwing for two touchdowns and 179 yards at the break.
Manning picked out Darius Slayton for the opening score in the first quarter, the rookie receiver spinning away from his tackler for a 35-yard touchdown to make it 7-0.
After the two teams traded field goals, Manning then hit Slayton again with a 55-yard completion for a touchdown which left the Giants 17-3 ahead.
But the Eagles, who left the field to loud boos from their fans at Lincoln Financial Field, rallied strongly after the interval.
With quarterback Carson Wentz gradually finding his rhythm, the Eagles offense started making inroads into the Giants defense.
Running back Boston Scott went over from two yards for the first Eagles touchdown, and then Wentz led a 14-play 80-yard drive that ended with the quarterback picking out Ertz in the endzone from two yards for a game-tying score.
The Eagles’ winning score was almost a carbon copy of their fourth-quarter touchdown, Wentz advancing the team down the field before connecting with Ertz once again from close range.
The victory leaves the Eagles at 6-7 in the NFC East.
If the Eagles win their remaining three games — against the Dallas Cowboys (6-7), the Washington Redskins (3-10) and the Giants (2-11) — they will clinch the division and advance to the playoffs.