On a day when the Jets were struggling to get their engines fired up, midway through the fourth quarter S Rontez Miles would be the sparkplug.
Snatching an Eli Manning pass intended for WR Rueben Randle on the Jets' 4-yard line, Miles' first NFL career interception was the play that changed the course of the game in which the Jets ultimately beat the Giants, 23-20 in overtime.
"We were doubling," said Miles during his media scrum. "He ran a pick route, so I jumped the under route. I guess he saw it. [Manning] hesitated and I think [Leger] Douzable added pressure so he had to get rid of the ball anyway earlier than he wanted to. Right place, right time, and it was in my hand."
The Jets were down by 10 points when the Giants decided to take a shot at the end zone or at the very least first-and-goal on fourth-and-2 instead of kicking a Josh Brown field goal that would have given Big Blue a 13-point lead.
"Make them score two touchdowns to beat you," said head coach Tom Coughlin addressing reporters. "By the same token, if we scored there on fourth-and-2, then we push the score up to where maybe they can't beat us with whatever, so we're up 17. I stand by it."
"I thought they would kick the field goal, honestly," said Miles. "I told myself when I saw the screen, 'One more play, fourth-and-2. We can go for it.' Everybody was saying it could change the game. We rallied up together, we held in — it was amazing. Amazing feeling to be a part of that, too."
The Jets' offense, ignited by Miles, capitalized on the turnover by moving 12 plays and 80 yards to a Randy Bullock field goal.
"It was a turning point," said head coach Todd Bowles. "Miles came in, he's been playing great the last two weeks now and we were fortunate to make some plays and the guys didn't get down on themselves, so we finished out."
Miles replaced S Calvin Pryor, who was out for the rest of the game with a stinger. But with Coach Bowles' motto, "Next Man Up," the backup safety out of California, PA, has made the most of his opportunities.
"He stepped up," said veteran DE Muhammad Wilkerson. "Whenever his name has been called this season, whenever he has to be in there and do his job, he's been doing it. That interception was big for us. Can't ask for anything more from a player like him, a practice squad guy, he gets in, gets activated and makes plays for us."
Along with his interception, Miles finished Sunday's matchup with four tackles and one pass defense and was part of a Jets overtime defensive stand that held the Giants scoreless.
"It just speaks volumes of what guys can come in," said CB Antonio Cromartie. "Step in and continue to thrive with each other and just go from there."