INDIANAPOLIS – Wide receiver Hakeem Nicks showed the Giants starters what they were missing on Saturday night.
Then, Ryan Nassib showed him up. The second-year quarterback rallied the New York Giants for two touchdowns in the final four minutes.
The second came on a 6-yard TD pass to Corey Washington with 55 seconds to go to give New York an improbable 27-26 preseason victory against the Indianapolis Colts.
The Giants had trailed 26-0 with 14:46 to play.
Indianapolis (0-2) had a chance to win it, but Pat McAfee missed a 64-yard field goal wide left in the final seconds.
Nassib rescued the Giants (3-0) from what had been a dismal night.
Eli Manning finished 1 of 7 for 6 yards. He was sacked once and had an interception wiped out by a Colts penalty.
Backup Curtis Painter was 1 of 5 for 7 yards in a poor first half and finished just 6 of 15 for 64 yards and one touchdown.
Nassib, meanwhile, was 11 of 15 for 158 yards and threw the winning TD. The score Saturday came with almost exactly the same time remaining in the game as when former running back Ahmad Bradshaw ran for the winning score in the Giants previous trip to Lucas Oil Stadium – the Super Bowl following the 2011 season.
But the star of the game Saturday was Nicks, the former Giant who signed with the Colts as a free agent in March.
All week, Nicks said all the right things about facing his old team.
On Saturday, he made almost all of the right moves, too, catching five passes for 53 in less than 20 minutes and accounting for most of Andrew Luck’s totals. Luck was 12 of 18 for 89 yards.
There was a little more emphasis on this one, Nicks finally acknowledged during a third-quarter television interview.
He made sure his old teammates knew it, too, with a quick start.
Nicks jump-started the night with a 17-yard catch-and-run.
On the next play, he caught an 11-yard pass near the sideline, waving his hand at linebacker Jacquian Williams.
Two plays later, Luck hooked up with Griff Whalen for a 5-yard TD pass to give the Colts a 7-0 lead.
Two series later, Nicks was back at it. He caught a 36-yard pass on third-and-3, which was called back after he waved his hand at Trumaine McBride while running out of bounds.
That drew a flag for unsportsmanlike conduct negating the play. Nicks made amends with an 8-yard catch for a first down on the next play, then opened the second quarter with 17-yard catch that led to Adam Vinatieri’s second field goal of the night, a 42-yarder to make it 13-0.
After that, Nicks called it a night.
But it wasn’t enough.
After taking a 20-0 halftime lead and making it 26-0 on the first play of the fourth quarter, New York rallied.
Painter, the former Colts quarterback, got New York on the board with a 3-yard TD pass to Kellen Davis.
Sixteen seconds later, Spencer Adkins recovered a Colts fumble in the end zone to make it 26-14. Michael Cox scored on a 2-yard run with 3:59 to go, and Nassib found Washington to win it.