Tuesday, September 20, 2011
Giants capitalize on Rams' mistakes for win
The New York Giants capitalized on numerous mistakes by the St. Louis Rams and secured their first win of the season Monday night, 28-16.
The Rams had four fumbles, including one on a lateral pass from Sam Bradford to Cadillac Willliams in the second quarter that Williams fumbled. Giants linebacker Michael Boley returned that fumble for a 65-yard touchdown, the first of his career and the first fumble recovery for a touchdown by the Giants since 2009.
The Rams also had a muffed punt that led to a Giants touchdown and several miscues on defense which led to a Eli Manning 31-yard pass to Mario Manningham.
Manning (18-for-29, 200 yards) had two passing touchdowns and an interception. This is Manning's seventh straight regular-season game with an interception, tying the longest such streak of his career. He also threw a pick in seven straight games in 2007.
Bradford threw for 331 yards and a touchdown against the Giants, his second career 300-yard passing game. Bradford has now thrown for over 4,000 yards in his career.
Bradford took advantage of a weakened Giants secondary and was 8 of 13 for 239 yards and a touchdown when passing 15 yards or more downfield. Prior to Monday's game, Bradford had never completed more than four attempts of that length in a single game.
In addition, last season, Bradford completed the lowest percentage of throws over 15 yards among all qualified NFL quarterbacks (30.9).
Bradford entered the game averaging 6.4 air yards per pass attempt with his single-game high being 7.9 air yards per attempt. Monday night, Bradford averaged 9.1 air yards per attempt.
While the Giants secondary struggled, their pass rushing was strong throughout the night. Bradford was under duress (either forced from the pocket, altered his throwing motion due to pressure or a defender had a clear path in his line of sight) on 14 of his 49 dropbacks.
The pressure worked as intended, as Bradford went 0-11 and was hit five times while throwing. In comparison, he was 22-35 for 331 yards and a touchdown when not under duress.
The Giants didn’t record an interception against Bradford, but they were able to defend eight Bradford passes. Prior to Monday night, Bradford had eight or more passes intercepted or defended only once in his career, in Week 15 last season against the Kansas City Chiefs (10).
Brandon Jacobs (16 rush, 50 rush yards) picked up his 50th career rushing touchdown. He is now second on the all-time Giants rush touchdown list behind Tiki Barber (55).
The Giants have taken the last five meetings in this series after the Rams won the previous five. Under Tom Coughlin, the Giants are 3-0 versus the Rams, previously beating them 44-24 in 2005 and 41-13 in 2008.
Trevor Ebaugh, John McTigue and Dan Riccio contributed to this story.