EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. — A couple of comeback kids helped the New York Giants continue their winning streak.
Terrell Thomas returned an interception 65 yards to set up a go-ahead 1-yard touchdown run by Andre Brown, and the Giants won their third straight game, 24-20 over the Oakland Raiders on Sunday.
It was appropriate that Thomas and Brown combined to maintain the Giants’ hopes of overcoming an 0-6 start. Thomas missed the past two seasons with major knee injuries.
Brown missed the first eight games this season after breaking his left leg in the last preseason game, his second break in nine months.
‘‘When I scored off his interception return, I went back over there and I said, ‘Good job,’ ’’ said Brown, who ran for 115 yards on 30 carries.
‘‘[Thomas is] another guy that showed perseverance. He knows how to deal with adversity. Guys like that, you feed off of. I want to make sure I’m a guy that they can feed off me.’’
The error-prone Giants (3-6) did. They also fed off their defense, which limited a banged-up Terrelle Pryor and the Raiders to 213 total yards.
Even more importantly they forced Oakland (3-6) to settle for a field goal on the opening possession of the second half after getting a first-and-goal at the 1. Instead of a 24-14 deficit, the margin was 20-14.
‘‘That was huge,’’ middle linebacker Jon Beason said. ‘‘Any time you can go out there with your backs against the wall, it’s a good thing.’’
Thomas’s interception was even bigger, and it turned the momentum a final time.
After a three-and-out by New York, Oakland got the ball back at the New York 48 following a 27-yard punt by Steve Weatherford into a stiff breeze. On a third-and-9 from the 33, Pryor tried to hit Denarius Moore on a slant. Thomas, who was the NFC defensive player of the week two weeks ago, was waiting in the slant route.
‘‘It was a route they have run a lot and I was waiting on it the whole game,’’ Thomas said. ‘‘
Thomas ran toward the gaping end zone, avoiding a tackle attempt by Pryor inside the 20 before being tackled by Andre Holmes.
Brown gave the Giants the lead from the 1 following a pass interference call, taking time to kneel in the end zone and stretch his hands to the sky.
Despite throwing another pick-6, Eli Manning threw a 5-yard touchdown pass to Rueben Randle, and Cooper Taylor scored on a 21-yard return of a blocked punt. Josh Brown added a field goal.
Pryor scored on a 1-yard run and Tracy Porter on a 43-yard interception return for Oakland. Sebastian Janikowski kicked two field goals.
‘‘We just have to go back to work and stick with each other,’’ said Pryor, who was 11 of 26 for 122 yards playing with a sore hamstring.
‘‘A lot of fingers can be pointed at me. That’s all right, I understand that. The next time we get in this situation we have to know how to react.’’
Coming off a 49-20 loss to the Eagles, the Raiders were in a position to win this game.
Porter’s interception return put them ahead, 17-14, at the half and Janikowski’s 24-yard field goal that capped an eight-minute drive stretched the lead to 20-14.