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The New York Giants’ victory Sunday night might have done more than just salvage the team’s season. It might have kept the city from a collective leap off the Brooklyn Bridge.

The Sunday night thrashing of the Philadelphia Eagles put the brakes on one of the worst sports weekends in New York fans collective history.

It started Friday night, when the playoff-bound Yankees blew a three-run lead in the ninth and lost their chance to catch Boston in the AL East by losing to the Baltimore Orioles.

On Saturday, Rutgers’ upset loss to Maryland ruined their dreams of an undefeated college football season and, possibly, a top-10 finish.

On Sunday, the Mets completed the biggest collapse in baseball history while the Jets remained winless, falling to 0-4 when they lost to a Buffalo Bills squad that was starting a rookie QB.

But on the final day of regular season in baseball, the football Giants played the role of stopper for their city, raising their record to 2-2 and turning around what looked like a lost season at the Meadowlands.

After an 0-2 start, the Giants have won two straight against NFC East rivals and have given themselves a chance to be in contention for the rest of the season.

And they have done it with their defense. In the first two games, the unit surrendered 80 points; in the last two, they’ve allowed only 20. Their game-ending, goal-line stand preserved last week’s victory over the Washington Redskins, and Sunday night sacked Eagles QB Donovan McNabb 12 times.

The Giants were among several teams this weekend to shake off slow starts.

Two weeks ago, the Kansas City Chiefs had scored just 13 points in two embarrassing losses. On Sunday they improved to 2-2 with their come-from-behind 30-16 victory over the San Diego Chargers and are tied for first in the AFC West.

Tied with them are the Oakland Raiders, who beat the Miami Dolphins to get to 2-2 after being 0-2. It’s the first time they’ve been at .500 after four games since 2004.

Perhaps the biggest surprises this week were the Arizona Cardinals and Cleveland Browns. Both improved to 2-2; the Cardinals by handing the Pittsburgh Steelers their first loss, and the Browns by pushing around the Balitmore Ravens with stunning ease. Cleveland led 24-6 at halftime and the Ravens never mounted much of a challenge.

The league still looks separated into the haves and have-nots; No one was as impressive on Sunday as the still undefeated Indianapolis Colts, Dallas Cowboys and Green Bay Packers.

But a lot can change in just a few weeks.

Instant replay: Get your fill of defensive and special teams scoring when AFN Sports rebroadcasts the Lions-Bears contest Wednesday at 3:30 p.m. Central Europe Time.

The Lions’ surprise victory featured 48 total points in the fourth quarter, the most in NFL history. That included a 64-yard interception return by Detroit DB Kevin Smith, followed immediately by a 97-yard kick return by Chicago’s Devin Hester. The Lions added a kick return of their own later to seal the victory.

Also on Wednesday, watch the Colts outrun the Denver Broncos at 2 p.m. Colts RB Joseph Addai outrushed his Broncos counterpart Travis Henry 136 to 131 on the day, but Peyton Manning’s three touchdown passes provided the real edge.

On Thursday at 2 p.m., watch Green Bay QB Brett Favre set the NFL record for career touchdown passes in the team’s victory over the Minnesota Vikings. Favre spread around the love on the day, connecting with 10 receivers to keep the Packers undefeated alone atop the NFC Central.

MideastGet your fill of defensive and special teams scoring when AFN Sports rebroadcasts the Lions/Bears tilt Wednesday at 5:30 p.m. Bagdad Time (6 p.m. Kabul time).

The Lions' surprise win featured 48 points of combined fourth quarter scoring, the most ever in NFL history. That included a 64-yard interception return by Detroit DB Kevin Smith followed immediately a 97-yard kick return by Chicago return man Devin Hester. The Lions added a kick return of their own later to seal the win.

Also on Wednesday, watch the Colts outrun the Denver Broncos at 4 p.m. Colts RB Joseph Addai outrushed his Denver counterpart Travis Henry 136 to 131 on the day, but Payton Manning's three touchdown passes provided the real edge in the 38-20 win.

On Thursday at 4 p.m., watch Green Bay QB Brett Favre set the new NFL record for career touchdown passes in the team's win over the Minnesota Vikings. Favre spread around the love on the day, connecting with 10 different receivers to keep the Packers undefeated alone atop the NFC Central.

PacificGet your fill of defensive and special teams scoring when AFN Sports rebroadcasts the Lions/Bears tilt Wednesday at 10:30 p.m. Tokyo Time.

The Lions' surprise win featured 48 points of combined fourth quarter scoring, the most ever in NFL history. That included a 64-yard interception return by Detroit DB Kevin Smith followed immediately a 97-yard kick return by Chicago return man Devin Hester. The Lions added a kick return of their own later to seal the win.

Also on Wednesday, watch the Colts outrun the Denver Broncos at 9 p.m. Colts RB Joseph Addai outrushed his Denver counterpart Travis Henry 136 to 131 on the day, but Payton Manning's three touchdown passes provided the real edge in the 38-20 win.

On Thursday at 9 p.m., watch Green Bay QB Brett Favre set the new NFL record for career touchdown passes in the team's win over the Minnesota Vikings. Favre spread around the love on the day, connecting with 10 different receivers to keep the Packers undefeated alone atop the NFC Central.

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