EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- There won't be another 0-6 start for the New York Giants, thanks in large part to some old-time football.
Rashad Jennings ran for a career-high 176 yards and a touchdown and Eli Manning threw two TD passes as the Giants overcame some early mistakes and beat the suddenly error-prone Houston Texans 30-17 on Sunday. The victory not only put some life back into the Giants (1-2) after two disappointing efforts, it also ended any chance of a second straight horrible start for Tom Coughlin's team. The Giants got a lot of contributions. Victor Cruz made a 26-yard touchdown catch, his first since Game 4 of last season, and danced the salsa. The defense intercepted three of Ryan Fitzpatrick's passes, and the special teams blocked a punt, setting up Manning's second TD.
Fitzpatrick threw a 44-yard scoring pass to Damaris Johnson and ran for another score for the Texans (2-1), who played without halfback Arian Foster (hamstring). Manning was 21 of 28 for 234 yards and no interceptions. Houston came in tied for the league lead with a plus-5 turnover differential. The Giants were at the other end of the spectrum at minus-6 with no takeaways.
On Sunday, the Giants won the turnover battle, got pressure from their front four and dominated the Texans' defensive front in rushing for 193 yards in a much-needed win. New York outgained Houston 262-83 in the first half in taking a 14-0 lead on the touchdown pass to Cruz and a 1-yard run by Jennings, which was set up by Antrel Rolle's 25-yard interception return to the Texans 2. The lead should have been a larger. Tight end Larry Donnell fumbled at the Texans 4-yard line in the first quarter after a reception, and Pro Bowl long snapper Zak DeOssie rolled one past holder Steve Weatherford on a short field goal attempt in the second.
Houston added to its woes early in the third quarter, going for a first down on a fourth-and-1 from its own 46 and failing. Brown hit a 39-yard field goal to make it 17-0 before Houston rallied behind Fitzpatrick, who was 20 of 34 for 289 yards. Three passes to DeAndre Hopkins set up a field goal, and Johnson's TD closed the gap to 17-10 with 2:13 left in the quarter. Jennings, who carried 34 times, had three rushes for 28 yards as the Giants drove for a field goal to extend the lead to 20-10 early in the fourth.
Damontre Moore blocked Shane Lechler's punt to give New York the ball at the Houston 29, and Manning and Fells hooked up for touchdown for the second straight week. Dominique Rodgers-Cromaratie intercepted Fitzpatrick on the next series, setting up Brown's final field goal. ---
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