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Huge rally in fourth quarter lifts Giants past Colts

AP

Ryan Nassib finally showed the New York Giants how this new offense should look.

Crisp, efficient and potent.

After three quarters of bumbling around in Indianapolis, the second-year quarterback led New York to two touchdowns in the final four minutes Saturday night.

The second came on a 4-yard TD pass to Corey Washington with 55 seconds left —to give the Giants an improbable 27-26 victory against the Indianapolis Colts.

“It was definitely a strange game in that way, but it shows that we have some perseverance,” Nassib said. “We’ll play until the game’s over.”

For three quarters, the Giants stumbled around.

Two-time Super Bowl MVP Eli Manning finished 1 of 7 for 6 yards and was fortunate to have an interception wiped out by a Colts penalty.

Backup Curtis Painter, the one-time Indy starter, completed one pass during a first half that the Giants managed only 48 yards and wound up 6 of 15 for 64 yards and one TD.

The defense allowed 177 yards in the first two quarters, struggling to force punts, and kickoff returner Quintin Demps even lost a fumble.

“Whatever words you want to use to describe it, there was no production,” coach Tom Coughlin said when asked about the offense. “There’s nothing to look at from a production standpoint and that’s disappointing.”

Things looked so bleak that when Painter finally got the Giants (3-0) on the scoreboard with 10:16 left in the fourth quarter, on a 3-yard TD pass to Kellen Davis, the smattering of fans left at Lucas Oil Stadium thought it was more of a gimme than the start of a comeback.

Sixteen seconds later, though, Spencer Adkins recovered a fumble in the Colts’ end zone to make it 26-14, and then Nassib started working his late-game magic.

He led the Giants on a 92-yard drive, capped by Michael Cox’s 2-yard TD run, and then found Washington in the back corner of the end zone. Washington has caught a TD pass in each of the Giants three preseason games, including the winning scores each of the past two weeks.

Texans 32, Falcons 7: In Houston, Jadeveon Clowney made big hits behind the line on consecutive plays and Ryan Fitzpatrick threw a touchdown pass to DeVier Posey in the Texans’ win over Atlanta.

Clowney, the top overall pick in the draft, smacked down the Falcons’ Antone Smith for a 2-yard loss and then sacked starting quarterback Matt Ryan on Atlanta’s second series.

Steelers 19, Bills 16: In Pittsburgh, Ben Roethlisberger threw two touchdown passes in less than a half of work and Pittsburgh beat Buffalo.

Roethlisberger hit Antonio Brown for a 76-yard score on Pittsburgh’s second play from scrimmage and found Markus Wheaton for a 16-yard strike to help the Steelers won a preseason game for the first time in nearly two years.

Packers 21, Rams 7: In St. Louis, Aaron Rodgers and Sam Bradford each threw a touchdown pass in their preseason debuts and played into the second quarter in Green Bay’s victory over the Rams.

Michael Sam played in the second half and got his first sack of the preseason, dropping Matt Flynn for a 10-yard loss in the fourth quarter to force a 49-yard field goal by Mason Crosby. Sam had a tackle earlier in that series.

Jets 25, Bengals 17: In Cincinnati, quarterback Andy Dalton completed all eight of his passes and led the Bengals to a pair of touchdowns and a field goal during three impressive series before New York’s reserves rallied for a preseason victory.

Dalton went 8-for-8 for 144 yards, one touchdown and a perfect passer rating of 158.3. The Bengals rolled up 173 yards while he was in the game.

Ravens 37, Cowboys 30: In Arlington, Texas, Deonte Thompson returned a kickoff 108 yards for a score after Dallas’ Tony Romo threw a touchdown pass in his first game since back surgery last season. Joe Flacco also led three scoring drives in Baltimore’s preseason victory.

Dolphins 20, Buccaneers 14: In Tampa, backup quarterback Matt Moore led Miami on two touchdown drives in a preseason victory over the Bucs.

Moore drove the Dolphins 71 yards to a touchdown in the final 1:41 of the first half, completing 6 of 8 passes including a 9-yard touchdown pass to Rishard Matthews that gave Miami a 10-7 lead over the Bucs with 8 seconds left in the half.

Vikings 30, Cardinals 28: In Minneapolis Teddy Bridgewater gave the giddy fans chanting his first name a pair of go-ahead touchdown throws to cheer for in the fourth quarter, giving the Vikings a victory over Arizona.

Bridgewater floated a back-shoulder fade pass from 2 yards out to Rodney Smith with 18 seconds remaining for the lead, after the Cardinals had gone ahead on a bizarre fourth-down score about a minute earlier.

On that final drive, Bridgewater completed six of seven passes for 77 yards.