The New York Giants needed their overtime win far more than the Kansas City Chiefs did theirs, but both teams came away with victories past regulation today. In the Giants' case, their 34-31 win over the Atlanta Falcons ended a four-game losing streak that had them in third place in the NFC East, and at risk of missing the playoffs if they didn't turn it around. It wasn't pretty -- Eli Manning(notes) looked a bit off at times and New York's formerly dominant rushing attack couldn't put anything together with consistency -- but the G-men rode Mario Manningham's(notes) six receptions for 126 yards to the close win.
New York's defense raised considerable question marks by allowing two touchdowns from third-string running back Jason Snelling(notes), and Matt Ryan(notes) didn't throw an interception for the first time since Week 3. The Falcons were allowed to erase a two-touchdown lead in the fourth quarter to tie the game. But the Giants made it academic in the extra period by driving 49 yards on eight plays, setting up Lawrence Tynes'(notes) 36-yard field goal.
As for the Chiefs, coming into their game against the Pittsburgh Steelers with a 2-7 record meant that any win would be nothing more than a feel-good story. But KC held up tough, exploiting Pittsburgh's weaknesses for a 27-24 win the extra frame. This game was the eighth straight in which Pittsburgh allowed a return touchdown, giving up a 97-yard kickoff run from Jamaal Charles(notes) on the opening play. There was also a 94-yard interception return of a Ben Roethlisberger(notes) pass in the end zone by linebacker Andy Studebaker(notes), but that wasn't a score. The Steelers have now gone more than 100 carries without a touchdown from their running backs, and the constant attacks on Roethlisberger finally caught up when Big Ben was kicked in the head in overtime and came off the field with what coach Mike Tomlin later classified as a "concussion-oriented thing".
Backup Charlie Batch(notes) couldn't seal the deal in OT, and the Steelers gave up some big passing plays in the second half without Troy Polamalu(notes) to cover deep. It was Matt Cassel's(notes) 61-yard play to Chris Chambers(notes) that put Ryan Succop(notes) in position to win the game with a 22-yard field goal. The only good news for the Steelers is that the Ravens also lost, which keeps Pittsburgh a game ahead of Baltimore at 6-4. The Steelers and Ravens go at it for the first time this season next Sunday night.