Giants 14

(5-4, 3-2 away)

Cardinals 17

(4-5, 3-1 home)

4:15 PM ET, November 14, 2004


1 2 3 4 T
NYG 7 7 0 014
ARI 0 10 7 017

Warner sacked six times in Giants' loss

TEMPE, Ariz. (AP) -- Emmitt Smith and Bertrand Berry might be the most significant free agents to sign with the Cardinals since the team moved to Arizona.

Eric Allen's Analysis
Eric Allen

What's happened to the Giants offense over the last month?

The Giants primary problems are on the offensive line and at quarterback. At the beginning of the season, the Giants offensive line played excellent football and kept QB Kurt Warner completely protected. That protection allowed him to make his reads and manage the offense very well. Now with the breakdown of the O-line, all Warner's previous problems are starting to come back into play. He has a problem holding onto the ball too long and avoiding sacks. Also teams are starting to pressure him more and more and are causing fumbles by swiping at his throwing hand because of the loose way he holds the ball.

Even with those issues, I still believe it's too early to yank Warner. Bringing in rookie QB Eli Manning won't help him because he doesn't need to have to handle the obstacle of saving their season this early in his career. Also it wouldn't be a good idea since they might not be able to adequately protect him with the problems the offensive line is facing.

Eric Allen played cornerback for 14 NFL seasons with the Eagles, Saints and Raiders. He's a regular contributor to Insider.

Both proved their value in Arizona's 17-14 victory over the sputtering New York Giants on Sunday. The Giants also pitched in to aid greatly in their own demise.

Smith rushed for a pair of touchdowns for the first time in two seasons and Arizona sacked Kurt Warner six times, including four by Berry, and the revived Cardinals (4-5) handed the Giants (5-4) their third loss in four games.

"You don't win very many games when you only score 17 points," Arizona coach Dennis Green said. "And we didn't get any turnovers, so we had to do it the hard way. We had to slug it out."

After Warner was sacked seven times in a loss to Chicago a week ago, the Cardinals emphasized applying pressure.

"We knew that he tends to hold the ball quite a bit, a little bit longer than most quarterbacks," Berry said.

New York coach Tom Coughlin placed the blame on a lack of protection.

"We worked 70 percent of the time last week against the pressure package, the blitz package, and acted like we never saw it before," Coughlin said.

Then there were the penalties, 10 of them for 97 yards. Infractions by New York aided all three of Arizona's scoring drives.

"As poorly as the offense played, particularly in the second half, I still felt like we had a great chance to win had we not penalized ourselves over and over," Coughlin said.

The Cardinals had three penalties for 15 yards.

The cry in New York to play rookie Eli Manning won't subside after this one. Will Warner start next week?

"I'll think about all those things when I look at the tape," Coughlin said. "But I expect right now the answer is yes."

Smith rushed for 67 yards on 19 carries -- and 30 of those yards came on Arizona's go-ahead touchdown drive. He had scoring runs of 2 and 3 yards en route to passing 18,000 yards rushing in his career.

Arizona won its second straight, improved to 3-1 at home and is just a game back in the weak NFC West.

"We understand that we let a few slip away at the beginning of the season," Berry said, "but we were growing at that point. We're continuing to grow, and this was a big step in that growth process."

New York's Tiki Barber rushed for 108 yards on 21 carries, but had only 28 on nine attempts in the second half.

"They decided to sell out and stop the run, and we weren't able to respond with anything in the pass game," Barber said. "We didn't protect Kurt, and that put us in a bad position as the game went on."

New York's futility included a bizarre fake punt, with punter Jeff Feagles throwing incomplete in an odd formation with players spread out all over the field.

With Arizona trailing 14-10, Karl Williams' best punt return of the season -- 38 yards -- put the Cardinals at the Giants 37. Reggie Taylor sacked Josh McCown for a 12-yard loss, but a hands-to-the-face penalty against Will Peterson negated the play.

Smith's 3-yard burst up the middle put the Cardinals up for the first time, 17-14, with 1:09 left in the third quarter.

He has eight touchdown runs this season, an NFL-record 163 for his career.

"Down there, you have to be cutthroat," Smith said. "There's not enough time for a lot of shake-and-bake. You have to have a nose for the end zone, and I feel like I've had a nose for the end zone for a long time."

New York's hopes for a comeback ended when Karlos Dansby, who had two sacks, deflected Warner's pass on fourth-and-2 at the Giants 33 with 1:04 to play.

The Giants' offensive line pushed the Cardinals around like playground bullies on a pair of 80-yard touchdown drives to start the game.

"It was like we could do anything we wanted to, then what happened?" Warner said. "I don't know what happened. I don't know why we couldn't do it the rest of the game."

Game notes

Berry has nine sacks this season. ... Coughlin thought the Cardinals jumped offside on New York's final offensive play. ... Neither team had a turnover.

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


Scoring Summary

ariTD1:38Emmitt Smith, 3 yd run
Drive info: 7 plays, 37 yds, 3:42
nygTD9:10Tiki Barber, 2 yd run
Drive info: 10 plays, 80 yds, 4:26
Drive info: 7 plays, 37 yds, 3:42
Drive info: 10 plays, 80 yds, 4:26
Drive info: 11 plays, 80 yds, 6:28
Drive info: 11 plays, 80 yds, 6:28
ariFG13:41Neil Rackers 10 yd Field Goal
Drive info: 11 plays, 52 yds, 4:48
ariTD0:44Emmitt Smith, 2 yd run
Drive info: 9 plays, 69 yds, 2:34
Drive info: 9 plays, 69 yds, 2:34