Monday, October 24, 2016

Giants Defense leads G-Men to Victory in London

GIANTS 17 / RAMS 10

The only way the Giants could begin to put the Josh Brown fiasco behind them was to find a way to pull out a win against the Los Angeles Rams in London, England on Sunday morning. Give them credit, for a few hours anyway they succeeded, as Big Blue's defense came to play in a big way, dominating the Rams in a 17-10 win to push New York to 4-3 as they hit the bye week.

Giants defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo, a one-time head coach of the then St. Louis Rams dialed up a game plan that flustered his former team in so many ways, and likely will push current Rams head coach to make a decision on quarterback Case Keenum.

The Giants harassed Keenum all day. First they shut down his star running back Todd Gurley, holding him to just 57 yards on 15 carries, and made speedy receiver Tavon Austin a virtual non-factor with just 57 yards on 10 receptions.

On top of that the Giants made the plays defensively they needed to because they were not getting any help from the offense.

Eli Manning and company had a pretty pedestrian day against the Rams. They only ran for 36 yards on the ground, and Manning threw for 196 yards through the air. At the end of the day the Giants had only one scoring drive that produced points and that was a 14-play 71 yard drive that resulted in a  field goal in the second quarter.

Least of all the offense put Big Blue in a big hole early when Larry Donnell fumbled the football on the second play of the game, handing LA great field position. The Rams cashed in seven plays later when Austin caught a 10-yard pass from Keenum for a touchdown to make it 7-0.

Before the Giants knew it they were down 10-0 for the second straight week after one quarter of play.

Then the defense turned it on. With 7:10 to go before halftime, Landon Collins picked off an overthrow Keenum pass and weaved his way through the Rams offense to the end zone for the score. How determined was Collins to score on the play? When it appeared he was tackled at the two yard line, he used a nice second effort to power over two lineman to get into the end zone for the score to tie the game up at 10.

Fast forward to the fourth quarter and Collins again came up huge when he picked off another Keenum pass and set up shop for the Giants at the Rams 35.  Three plays later, Manning hit Odell Beckham Jr. for a 22-yard gain to the Rams three yard line, before Jennings capped it off with a 1-yard plunge to put the Giants on top 17-10.

Later in the quarter with the Rams driving into Giants territory, Keenum threw his third pick of the day, this time to Dominique Rodgers Cromartie to kill the Rams momentum with a little over four minutes to go.

However, the Giants could run out the clock, giving Keenum and the Rams one last shot at tying the game. Keenum had the Rams moving, getting them all the way to the 15-yard line before he heaved up a meatball into the back of the end zone that Cromartie caught like a fair catch on a punt. Ball game over.

The Giants head into the bye at 4-3, and will face Philadelphia in two weeks.

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