Before Osi Umenyiora made his season debut, Tom Coughlin and the Giants coaching staff penciled him in for 25-35 plays.
But late in the fourth quarter of a tight game, Umenyiora lobbied for a few more plays.
The Giants' staff acquiesced; the team benefited.
With 1:14 left in the fourth quarter, Umenyiora sacked Cardinals quarterback Kevin Kolb for a 10-yard loss on a second-and-one from the Giants' 29. It turned out to be a game-sealing play.
"The game was tight in the fourth quarter and he wanted to go. He wanted to get in there. He was able to lobby out a few more and rightfully so and thank God, he’s like he is. That big sack was huge in knocking them back out of there," Coughlin said.
The sack -- Umenyiora's second of the day -- put the Cardinals at the Giants' 39. Facing a 3rd-and-11 and a fourth-and-2, Arizona could not convert.
Three kneel-downs by Eli Manning and the game was over.
Afterward, Justin Tuck, who sat with neck and groin injuries, said he wasn't surprised Umenyiora made an impact in his first game back.
“We know how capable that guy is," Tuck told reporters on Sunday. "He already has jumped ahead of me with those two sacks. It is awesome having him back.”
Umenyiora missed the first three games while recovering from arthroscopic knee surgery. He finished with two sacks and one forced fumble in 39 total snaps.
On Monday, Giants coach Tom Coughlin said Umenyiora's knee seemed "to come out well."
But not everything came out well for the Giants defense on Sunday. For the second straight week, they gave up major yards on the ground.
The Cardinals ran for 156 yards on Sunday, including 138 for Beanie Wells. The Eagles totaled 177 on the ground in Week 3.
Both Coughlin and linebacker Michael Boley said Monday that the Giants need to improve markedly against the run, as soon as possible.
"The fact of the matter is that has to stop," Coughlin said. "We talked about that this morning. We talked about it last night. We've got to sure this thing up and deny that part of the game."