Inside The Game

<b>What went right</b> <ul> <li>The Giants began with a pair of efficient 80-yard touchdown drives to take a 14-3 lead in the second quarter. </li>

  • The first consumed 6:35, gained 40 yards passing and 40 rushing and ground out five first downs before Kurt Warner found Jeremy Shockey for a 2-yard touchdown with 3:38 to play in the first quarter. Warner completed all four passes in the drive.
  • After throwing two interceptions and losing two fumbles against the Bears, Warner did not commit a turnover.
  • Tiki Barber had another big day, gaining 108 yards on 21 carries with a touchdown. It was his sixth 100-yard game of the season. He gained 80 in the first half, including 40 on four carries and a 2-yard score to cap their second 80-yard scoring drive in the second quarter. He also surpassed 12,000 all-purpose career yards (12,137).
  • Ron Dayne showed great energy gaining 19 yards on three carries, including a nine-yard gain in the first half.

What went wrong

  • The offense shut down after scoring two touchdowns in the first 21 minutes, gaining only 148 yards the rest of the way.
  • After Jeremy Shockey scored their first touchdown, Carlos Emmons cut the Cardinals an immediate break by being called for roughing the passer, leading to Arizona's first points.
  • For the second straight week an opponent had a four-sack game. Bertrand Berry reprised the performance of the Bears' Alex Brown. The first two sacks cut short their third possession of the first half and got the Cardinals moving. Defensive penalties on Brent Alexander and Will Peterson, a 22-yard pass interference, set up Smith's 2-yard run with 40 seconds to play in the half.
  • Steve Christie's 44-yard field goal attempt was partially blocked by Ronald McKinnon with 8:01 to play in the third, his first miss in nine kicks dating to the win in Green Bay Oct. 3 when he missed all three attempts.

Fast facts
Giants record: 5-4
This time last year: 4-5
Time of game: 3:02
Attendance: 42.297

Stat worth noting: After converting three-of-four third-down opportunities in the first half, New York could only manage to move the sticks once in nine third-down tries after halftime.

Stat worth noting II: On the rare occasion New York succeeded in the short-yardage game, it's because they tried someone new. Kurt Warner twice successfully pushed forward on QB sneaks, once on third down and once on fourth.

Turning point: The Giants were leading the Cardinals, 14-10, with 4:16 to play in the third quarter when on second-and-10 from the Giants 26 rookie linebacker Reggie Torbor dropped Josh McCown for a 12-yard loss, the first sack of Torbor's career. But Giants cornerback Will Peterson was called for illegal use of the hands on the play, negating the sack and the resulting third-and-22. Instead, the Cardinals got the ball first-and-10 on the Giants 21. Four plays later, Emmitt Smith scored his second touchdown from the 3 to give the Cardinals their 17-14 lead and the victory.

Play to remember: The Giants rediscovered one of their favorite plays, a 2-yard Kurt Warner fade into the end zone to Jeremy Shockey with 3:38 to play in the opening quarter that gave them a 7-0 lead.

Play to forget: Ron Dayne's 12-yard run early in the third quarter moved New York to the Cardinals 25, but only for a second. Shaun O'Hara was flagged for holding, bringing the ball all the way back near midfield.

By the numbers

  • 0 Combined tackles from Michael Strahan and Barrett Green, two key sidelined Giants defenders
  • 10 Number of penalties Giants committed; with 73 flags through nine games, New York is the NFL's third-most penalized team
  • 24 Times Kurt Warner has been sacked in New York's last four games
  • 41 Total yards gained by the Giants in the fourth quarter, when they were desperately trying to catch Arizona

What they said

"It was like we could do anything we wanted to, then what happened? I don't know what happened. I don't know why we couldn't do it the rest of the game." - Giants QB Kurt Warner

"We knew that (Warner) tends to hold the ball quite a bit, a little bit longer than most quarterbacks." - Cardinals DE Bertrand Berry

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