RB Ron Dayne, the 5-foot-10, 240-pounder who just doesn't have the knack for that inside power running game, was tried again and again. Head coach Tom Coughlin seems determined to exert his will on Dayne and make him be what he isn't. So on third-and-one (actually, less than one), in came Dayne, and it was a failed attempt at a first down.
That brought in PK Steve Christie for the shortest possible FG under NFL rules and dimensions, 19 yards, and it was good.
Later, at the end of the second quarter, the Giants moved downfield again (something they had little trouble doing, gaining 325 total net yards for the day) and earned a first down at the Lions 11 with 0:52 remaining. QB Kurt Warner faded back and there was WR Amani Toomer, in the open at the left corner of the back line of the end zone.
And then there was Toomer racing across the end zone, clear in the middle, clear near the right corner, being pursued by CB Chris Cash. When Warner did finally throw -- and it was a dangerous high floater -- Toomer was almost out of bounds. So, too, was Cash, but somehow he made an acrobatic catch, keeping his feet in bounds, and it turned into the second interception of the season for Warner.
It also turned into another red-zone flop.
"Had we scored in close, it might have been a different story today," said Coughlin, "but we didn't, and you just have to say that the Lions had the answers. My expectations for this team are far better than the way we played today."
Coughlin grew acidic when a reporter wondered whether the next time he had a third-and-inches in the red zone if he might try RB Mike Cloud (5-10, 205) instead of Dayne. The coach fixed him with a hard stare and said: "I'll think about that. Thank you for that tip."
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