Giants 14

(6-5, 3-3 away)

Texans 16

(3-8, 2-4 home)

Coverage: FOX

4:15 PM ET, November 24, 2002


1 2 3 4 T
NYG 0 7 0 714
HOU 0 5 8 316

Texans survive Hail Mary for third win

HOUSTON (AP) -- The Houston Texans aren't just beating bad teams anymore. They've improved enough to hurt the ones with playoff aspirations -- like the New York Giants.

Allen's Analysis
Eric Allen
Question on the Texans: How can they build on this win?
The Texans are playing decent defense, which is surprising for an expansion team. They have veteran cornerbacks and a good pass rush. Their defense isn't keeping them from winning games. Having a solid D is a great thing to build on for next year, and it's a credit to Dom Capers and his coaching staff. Offensively, the Texans have David Carr, and in the offseason they need to strengthen the O-line and the running game.

Question on the Giants: What does this loss say about their chances in the NFC East?
The Giants let an opportunity slip away. To let it happen against the Texans is even worse. This is a huge, huge loss for New York. It's tough to envision the Giants in the playoffs after seeing them lose to an expansion team. They needed to make a statement. Instead, they continued to struggle.

Eric Allen played cornerback for 14 NFL seasons with the Eagles, Saints and Raiders.

The Texans used a trick play, a big punt return and two field goals by Kris Brown -- the last one a 50-yarder with 6:57 to play -- to defeat the Giants 16-14 Sunday.

"This one is going to sting,'' Giants quarterback Kerry Collins said. "We did not play well enough to win, but we are just going to have to come back and get a win next week.''

Houston (3-8) beat Dallas to open the season and later defeated Jacksonville, but this was the Texans' first victory over a team that entered Sunday's games with a winning record.

"This is great. It should lift everyone's spirit,'' Texans center Steve McKinney said. "It lets all the guys know if we can hang around until the fourth quarter, we'll have a chance to win.

The Giants (6-5) got a look at the new team in the Hall of Fame preseason game on Aug. 5 in Canton, Ohio, and New York won 34-17. But the Texans weren't such an easy mark this time.

"All week long, all I talked about was being ready,'' Giants coach Jim Fassel said. "I know we made mistakes. They were trying to play hard and were playing hard, but we just made mistakes too many times.''

Trailing 14-13 after Collins threw a 31-yard touchdown pass to Amani Toomer with 13:10 to play, the Texans drove 41 yards to the Giants 32-yard line, setting up Brown's game-winner.

"That's why I'm here,'' Brown said. "Anytime I get an opportunity to put points on the board, I've got to make sure I take advantage.''

It still took two late interceptions -- by Matt Stevens with 5:57 to play and by Jeff Posey with 1:19 left -- to preserve the Texans' victory, which snapped a three-game losing streak and ended the Giants' three-game winning streak.

Posey's theft ended New York's next-to-last drive at the Texans 29. New York got the ball back with 22 seconds to play, but a long pass by Collins fell incomplete in the front part of the end zone as time expired.

After a dull first half that ended with the Giants leading 7-5, the Texans enlivened the game with a 39-yard punt return by Jermaine Lewis to the Giants 34, and another of the Texans' trick plays, setting up a 1-yard TD run by Jonathan Wells.

Facing third-and-6 from the New York 30 after the punt return, Carr lateraled across the field to James Allen, who threw the ball back to Carr, who had an open field and ran to the 2-yard line.

After Wells' touchdown, Carr passed to Allen for the 2-point conversion and a 13-7 lead. Allen eluded Giants linebacker Mike Barrow for the two points.

David Carr completed 10 of 23 passes for 103 yards. Collins finished 18-for-41 for 214 yards for the Giants.

A 70-yard run to the Texans 16-yard line by Tiki Barber, and Barber's 2-yard touchdown run, gave the Giants a 7-5 lead in a grueling first half that was filled with miscues.

Barber, who finished with 146 yards, started to his right, reversed his field and broke free of Texans safety Marcus Coleman at the sideline and ran down to the Houston 16 before he was stopped by Coleman.

After Collins completed a 7-yard pass to Toomer, Barber ran three more times, bouncing into the end zone on the last carry.

The Texans had good field position in the first quarter, but all they could manage was a 40-yard field goal by Brown early in the second quarter in a laborious 53-yard drive that took 5:49.

Barber fumbled his first carry, and it was recovered by Houston linebacker Jamie Sharper at the Giants 27. After two incompletions by Carr, Allen fumbled at the Giants 24, and it was recovered by New York's Dhani Jones.

Houston got a safety in the second quarter when deep snapper Bob Jones sent the ball over punter Matt Allen's head. Allen chased the ball down and kicked it into his own end zone. He was penalized for illegally kicking the ball into the end zone, which the Texans declined and took the two points.

"We made enough mistakes to cost us the game: a field goal missed that should have been made, a ball over the punter's head to give them two other points,'' Fassel said. "I'm not happy about that at all.''

Game notes

The loss was the Giants' first ever to a Houston team. They were 5-0 against the former Houston Oilers. ... Giants defensive end Kenny Holmes had three sacks for nine yards in losses. NFL singled season sack record holder Michael Strahan got the other two sacks of Carr. Carr's offensive line last week agreed to pay for his massages if he got sacked more than two times in a game.

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


Scoring Summary

nygSF0:26Giants safety.
Drive info: 0 plays, 41 yds, 0:00
nygTD3:45Tiki Barber, 2 yd run
Drive info: 5 plays, 86 yds, 2:22
Drive info: 5 plays, 86 yds, 2:22
houTD6:57Jonathan Wells, 1 yd run
Drive info: 7 plays, 34 yds, 3:36
nygTD13:18Touchdown(David Carr pass to James Allen for 2pt conversion)
Drive info: 6 plays, 61 yds, 12:02
Drive info: 6 plays, 61 yds, 12:02
houFG7:01Kris Brown 10 yd Field Goal
Drive info: 11 plays, 41 yds, 5:57
houFG12:38Kris Brown 10 yd Field Goal
Drive info: 9 plays, 53 yds, 15:40