Stat worth noting: The Giants came into this game thinking they could rush the ball. They were right. The three-headed monster rolled up 200 yards on the ground, averaging a gaudy 6.5 yards per carry.
Stat worth noting II: While the Giants posted 200 yards on the ground, the Rams were only able to total 201 total yards. Hence the 41-13 final score.
Turning Point: Plaxico Burress was involved in two huge plays during New York's monumental 97-yard third-quarter drive that extended Big Blue out to a 20-6 lead. First Burress caught a 14-yard pass to convert a third-and-6 from the Giants 7-yard line. Then, six plays later, an apparent Burress fumble at the Rams 10 was challenged by Tom Coughlin and overturned. Amani Toomer caught a 10-yard TD pass on the next play.
Play to Remember: Eli Manning continues to get better and better at play-action. On New York's first touchdown, Manning's handiwork worked like a charm, as he got the Rams safeties to bite hard and come up. That left Plaxico Burress in man coverage with Oshiomogho Atogwe, a matchup that Burress won with ease. He caught Manning's post pattern pass and waltzed into the end zone for a 7-0 lead.
Play to Forget: Rookie Kenny Phillips received his official initiation into the NFL when Torry Holt stole the ball from him for a 45-yard TD in the fourth quarter. Phillips had just come into the contest after Michael Johnson suffered a burner. The Rams wasted no time going after the Giants top pick, who had great coverage on Holt. But with the two players battling for the ball, it was Holt who came away with the pigskin.
What Went Right
The Giants were able to run the ball and set the tempo. When you average 6.5 yards per carry, chances are you're going to be churning up a lot of clock and moving the sticks as well. New York finished with a 25-13 edge in first downs.
As usual, the Giants were able to pressure the passer early and often. Who needs Michael Strahan and Osi Umenyiora when you have Justin Tuck (two sacks), Fred Robbins (two) and Jay Alford? Antonio Pierce also chipped in with a QB bag.
The defense also did a number on St. Louis' one-man show, Steven Jackson. The D limited Jackson to only 90 total yards, 53 on the ground.
Jackson looked to be on his way to a 66-yard touchdown run in the first quarter, before he tripped himself up after only a 15-yard gain. While Corey Webster was credited with the tackle, replays showed that Jackson actually got his feet tangled and brought himself down.
Role players like Domenik Hixon and Ahmad Bradshaw stepped up in a big way, proving once again the depth of New York's roster.
What Went Wrong
While Justin Tuck will certainly take the sack he was awarded, his 15-yard facemask penalty on Rams QB Marc Bulger cost the Giants as it converted a third-and-16 for St. Louis. Needless to say, that was about the only thing Tuck did wrong all game long.
In one of its very few slip-ups, the Giants defense allowed Steven Jackson to gain 22 yards after a short reception and convert a third-and-17.
As usual the Giants moved with relative ease in their hurry-up offense right before the half, but a Chris Snee holding penalty stalled the drive, which ended with a 33-yard John Carney field goal and a 13-6 halftime lead.
For the second straight week, the Giants committed seven penalties, this time for 69 yards. Tom Coughlin obviously wants that number to come down.
Only one of John Carney's eight kickoffs reached the end zone.
Obviously we're nitpicking at this point, but the Giants converted on only four of their nine third-down opportunities.
12 – Consecutive games the Giants have won away from Giants Stadium.
54 – Josh Brown's lucky number. The Rams kicker drilled two field goals from that distance, which was the first time in seven years that a Ram had connected from that long.
131.4 – Eli Manning's passer rating. Three TDs and zero INTs works just fine.
"We knew that we would have to hang in there and battle. We kept battling and battling and then took advantage of some opportunities." – Giants coach Tom Coughlin
"The bottom line is that we can't expect to win games playing the way we are playing." – Rams coach Scott Linehan
Game Story: Giants 41, Rams 13
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