The NFL couldn’t have scripted a better ending to their first nationally televised Monday Night Football contest, even if it was just a preseason game. New York Giants rookie Tommie Hill returned a fumble 18 yards for a touchdown with 0:00 on the clock to break a deadlocked game and give his team a 24-17 victory over the Carolina Panthers in NFL preseason action at The Meadowlands.
Carolina’s fourth string QB Hunter Cantwell was in a position where he just had to take a knee and run out the clock on first and 10 from his eighteen yard line. Instead, he tried to throw a pass only to have his arm hit forcing a fumble. Hill grabbed the loose ball and headed to the endzone for the shockingly bizarre finish and a Giants victory.
Afterwards, Hill spoke about his game winning touchdown return:
“I’ve never seen a game end like that, not that way. I’m just a rookie trying to make the team. Anything like that that helps the team win in turn helps me. It was just a fortunate situation and I made the most of it.”
Hill, an undrafted rookie out of Colorado State had already become a favorite of Giants fans due to his tenacious, high impact playmaking.
Carolina coach John Fox sounded bemused at his teams unusual loss:
“Kind of an interesting ending. Both sides have a lot of work, but we have time. We have three weeks to do it
Giants QB Eli Manning, who recently became the NFLs highest paid player, put a positive spin on his short night of work:
“We ran the ball really well, hit a couple passes and we got a touchdown. That is always the goal. We did a nice job with it, so I thought we were effective as the first group.”
Carolina will travel to Miami for a game next Saturday against the Dolphins. The Giants will head to Chicago to face Jay Cutler and the Bears. The Panthers will kick off the NFL regular season hosting the Philadelphia Eagles at home on Sunday, September 13th while the Giants will start their NFL campaign with a big divisional grudge match against the Washington Redskins.
Ross Everett is a freelance sports writer and respected authority on baseball betting. His writing has appeared on a variety of sports sites including sportsbooks and sportsbook directory sites. He lives in Las Vegas with three Jack Russell Terriers and a kangaroo. He is currently working on an autobiography of former interior secretary James Watt.