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(Sunday, October 25th)
Final Score: Arizona 24, NY Giants 17
East Rutherford, NJ (Sports Network) - Antrel Rolle intercepted an Eli Manning pass late in the fourth quarter, one of three Manning picks, and Kurt Warner threw for 231 yards and a touchdown as the Arizona Cardinals edged the New York Giants, 24-17, in Week 7 action at Giants Stadium.
Warner, who beat his former team for the first time since being released following the 2004 season, finished 20-of-36 and also threw an interception for the Cardinals (4-2), who won their third straight after a 1-2 start to the season. Chris "Beanie" Wells gained 67 yards and a score on 14 carries while Tim Hightower also found the end zone.
Larry Fitzgerald gained 83 yards on six catches in the win for the Cardinals, who moved to 3-0 on the road for the first time since the strike-shortened season of 1982. The game also marked the first time they've won away games in back-to-back weeks since 2001. Furthermore, the triumph also snaps an 11-game slide on the road to teams from the NFC East.
Arizona cornerback Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, who had an interception, left the game with a left ankle injury and did not return. However, x-rays taken at the stadium were negative.
Manning finished 19-of-37 for 243 yards and a TD for the Giants (5-2), who have dropped two in a row on the heels of a five-game winning streak to start the season. Brandon Jacobs totaled 76 yards and a touchdown on 13 touches, while Hakeem Nicks garnered 80 yards and a score on four grabs. Nicks now has a touchdown catch in four straight games.
"We have to get back to being consistent, find our rhythm and play the way we had been at the start of the season," said Manning. "We haven't hit our big plays that we were hitting earlier in the season."
Trailing by three late in the third, the Giants were deep in their own territory. Facing a 3rd-and-7 from the 22, Manning looked for Jacobs on a short dump to the right side. The ball, however, had other ideas as it bounced off Jacobs and was intercepted by Adrian Wilson. Three plays later, Jason Wright hauled in a six-yard TD pass to give the Cardinals a 24-14 lead.
Then, early in the fourth, New York started at the Arizona 44 following a punt. Jacobs converted a 4th-and-1 with a seven-yard rush to move the ball to the 28. Two plays later, Manning hit Steve Smith for a 17-yard gain and it was 1st-and-10 from the 11.
But the drive stalled there, and Lawrence Tynes kicked a 20-yard field goal.
Arizona then started at its own 31 and drove all the way down to the New York 37 before a sack made it 4th-and-10 from the 44. A punt followed and the Giants started at their own 17. Manning hit Kevin Boss for a gain of 25 yards on first down, but Ahmad Bradshaw fumbled on the next play and the Cardinals recovered.
The visitors were held to a three-and-out and New York got the ball back at its own nine-yard line with 2:52 left to play. A false start on first down moved the ball half the distance to the goal line and Bradshaw was called for unnecessary roughness on the next play, making it 2nd-and-18 from the one. The next play garnered just three yards, but Smith hauled in a 34-yard pass to get the chains moving.
Following a timeout, on second down, Hicks had a 12-yard grab to move the ball to midfield as the clock stopped for the two-minute warning with 1:53 showing. Jacobs eventually moved the ball to the Arizona 39 and the home team called timeout with 80 ticks left. Two plays later, Manning was picked off by Rolle to all but seal the Arizona victory.
"Tonight was as tough as it gets," said Arizona head coach Ken Whisenhunt. "To have the mistakes we had in the first half and still be in the game and still play the way we did, especially coming out and scoring twice in the second half was big."
Neither team put any points on the board in the first quarter, and the Cardinals were driving early in the second. Facing a 3rd-and-11 from his own 24, Warner went over the middle for Fitzgerald but Terrell Thomas stepped in front of the receiver and intercepted the pass.
The Giants took over at the Arizona 29 and the club rode Jacobs all the way to the end zone to take a 7-0 lead.
At about the midway point of the second stanza, the Cardinals started at the Giants' 46-yard line. It took the team seven plays before Wells broke a 13- yard rush off the left end into the end zone to tie it up with 4:18 left.
New York answered on its ensuing touch with an unconventional score. On 3rd- and-8 from his own 38, Manning looked for Mario Manningham down the middle of the field, but a defender broke it up. The ball, though, bounced up in the air and Nicks was in perfect position to grab the carom and take it 62 yards to the end zone, as the Giants assumed a 14-7 advantage.
Arizona then moved to the red zone just before the two-minute warning, but was held to a 30-yard field goal by Neil Rackers, which closed it to 14-10 at the break.
The Giants were held to a three-and-out on the first possession of the second half, and the visitors took advantage. Warner hit Fitzgerald for gains of 26 and 27 yards before the seven-play, 55-yard drive was capped off on Hightower's one-yard TD run, which gave the Cardinals a 17-14 lead with a bit under 10 1/2 minutes left in the third.
"I'm really disappointed in this loss," said Giants head coach Tom Coughlin. "Give credit to the Cardinals, they're a good football team. I think anytime you turn the ball over...you don't have much of a chance to win. We had far too many drives that ended three-and-out, or an inability to create any kind of different field position."
Arizona forced four turnovers...Giants offensive tackle Kareem McKenzie was inactive for the game with a groin injury, which ended the New York line's regular-season streak of 38 consecutive starts together...Manning was 2-0 against the Cardinals coming in...Including the playoffs, the Cardinals haven't allowed an opposing running back to gain 100 yards in 12 straight tests dating back to last season...The Giants hold a 79-42-2 lead in their all-time series with the Cardinals, which dates back to the 1926 season.
10/26 01:05:17 ET
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