Final

Cardinals 24

(4-2, 3-0 away)

Giants 17

(5-2, 2-1 home)

Coverage: NBC

8:20 PM ET, October 25, 2009

Giants Stadium, East Rutherford, NJ 

1 2 3 4 T
ARI 0 10 14 024
NYG 0 14 0 317

Top Performers

Passing: E. Manning (NYG) - 243 YDS, 1 TD, 3 INT

Rushing: B. Jacobs (NYG) - 13 CAR, 76 YDS, 1 TD

Receiving: L. Fitzgerald (ARI) - 6 REC, 83 YDS

Cardinals force four turnovers, harass Manning in road victory

Associated Press

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- The Arizona Cardinals conquered their House of Horrors with a new approach: scary defense.

A team built around the passing of Kurt Warner and receiving of Larry Fitzgerald and Anquan Boldin could be downright dominant with a stingy defense. And it sure wasn't the offense that carried the Cardinals to just their third win in 18 visits to the Meadowlands, 24-17 over the New York Giants on Sunday night.

Chadiha: Giant questions

The New York Giants need to be extremely concerned about what happened on Sunday night. They didn't just lose, they also revealed some sizable flaws, writes Jeffri Chadiha. Story

"Tonight," Warner said, "we definitely fed off our defense."

In its final visit to Giants Stadium, Arizona forced four turnovers and bewildered Eli Manning with its blitzes. The Cardinals finished 3-15 at the Meadowlands, but this win lifted the defending NFC champions into first place in the West Division at 4-2 with their third straight victory.

"We feel like we've got one of the best defenses in the league," Boldin said. "It's tough for teams to move the ball on them, let alone score on them."

Eli, Giants shrinking

After leading the Giants to a 5-0 start, Eli Manning and New York are 0-2 in their last two games. Manning struggled Sunday night against the Cardinals one week after falling to the Saints.

Manning in 2009
First 5 gms Last 2 gms
Comp pct 64.4 48.5
Yards/gm 242.4 210.5
TD-Int 10-2 2-4
Passer rtg 111.7 53.6

-- ESPN Stats and Information

Safety Adrian Wilson had an interception and a fumble recovery, Antrel Rolle picked off Manning to clinch it, and less-heralded Cardinals Jason Wright, Tim Hightower and rookie Beanie Wells found the end zone.

"Our game plan was to get [Manning] rattled, make him make quick decisions and quick throws," linebacker Gerald Hayes said. "He made some plays, but they came up short."

Fast Facts

• Kurt Warner was 20 for 36 for 231 yards, a touchdown and an interception in the Cardinals' third straight victory. Warner has 7 TDs and 2 INTs in the Cards' four wins.

• Eli Manning was 19 for 37 for 243 yards with a touchdown and 3 INTs. It's the sixth time in his career he's had at least three picks in a game.

• The Giants lost consecutive regular-season games for the first time since December of last season.

• Arizona won three straight regular-season games for the first time since last November and back-to-back road games for the first time since 2001.

• Rapid Reaction

-- ESPN Stats & Information

The Giants (5-2) lost their second straight and were let down by, of all people, their normally solid punter. Jeff Feagles struggled, helping give the Cardinals a solid edge in field position for much of the prime-time matchup.

Feagles said he used the wrong kicking angles trying to keep the ball away from returner Steve Breaston.

Wilson, Rolle and Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, who left late in the third quarter with an ankle injury -- X-rays were negative -- in the Arizona secondary benefited from the confusion the defense caused for Manning, who was 19 for 37 and threw three interceptions.

"We played team defense," Rodgers-Cromartie said. "Everybody stepped up. When we had interception opportunities, we made them."

And they made the Giants look puzzled on offense.

"They are constantly moving around and flipping safeties and they did a good job with that," center Shaun O'Hara said. "Sometimes we caught them and sometimes they caught us."

Rodgers-Cromartie was the featured character in two noteworthy first-half plays that both wound up in the end zone. He ran stride for stride with Domenik Hixon, then leaped to wrestle the ball away from the receiver in Arizona's end zone in the first quarter.

He went from hero to villain in the second period on a bizarre play. In man coverage against Mario Manningham, Rodgers-Cromartie used another acrobatic leap. But he deflected the ball with his left hand about 15 yards downfield, where Hakeem Nicks caught it in stride and sped to his fourth touchdown in as many games. That 62-yarder put New York ahead 14-7.

"Weird," Rodgers-Cromartie said.

Quickly, the Cardinals got some points back. Boldin, questionable for the prime-time game with an ankle injury, beat Bruce Johnson for a 44-yard catch-and-run to the New York 19. Neil Rackers' 30-yard field goal ended the first-half scoring.

The Giants used a replay challenge to thwart Arizona's opening drive. Justin Tuck forced Hightower to lose the ball at the New York 27, but officials ruled Hightower down before the ball came out. Coach Tom Coughlin flung his red flag and the call was overruled.

It was one of New York's few victories all night.

"Anytime you turn the ball over four times, you don't have much of a chance to win," Coughlin said.

That overrule didn't help the Giants much, but another turnover did. Warner threw short of Fitzgerald, who had only two receptions for 14 yards in the opening half. Terrell Thomas got his third career interception, second against Warner, and New York went 29 yards on two runs by Brandon Jacobs, who ran over Wilson for a 4-yard TD.

Wells ran 13 yards for his first NFL touchdown late in the second quarter after mediocre punting by Feagles, the oldest punter in the league at 43. Feagles really struggled in the third quarter, as well, helping the Cardinals. But not as much as team leaders Fitzgerald and Wilson.

Fitzgerald broke free down the middle for 26- and 27-yard completions after Arizona got the ball at its 45 on Feagles' 35-yard punt. Hightower scored from the 1.

Wilson picked off Manning at New York's 20 when defensive end Calais Campbell tipped a pass, and third-string running back Wright scored on a 6-yard middle screen -- the same play the Cardinals used to beat Philadelphia in January's NFC title game -- to make it 24-14.

Game notes


Warner finished 26 of 30 for 231 yards, and Wells rushed for 67 yards ... Fitzgerald finished with six catches for 83 yards ... Rookie Nicks caught four balls for 80 yards ... Wright said he saw a field mouse run onto the field and "wasn't sure if it was a big, old rat." He got plenty of teasing from teammates when he scurried away from the rodent.

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press

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Team Stat Comparison

 
ARI
NYG
1st Downs1515
Passing 1st downs
108
Rushing 1st downs
56
1st downs from penalties
01
3rd down efficiency
3-144-15
4th down efficiency
0-01-1
Total Plays6066
Total Yards288327
Yards per play4.85.0
Total Drives1515
Passing216220
Comp-Att
20-3619-37
Yards per pass
5.75.5
Interceptions thrown
13
Sacks-Yards Lost
2-153-23
Rushing72107
Rushing Attempts
2226
Yards per rush
3.34.1
Red Zone (Made-Att)3-41-2
Penalties7-607-30
Turnovers24
Fumbles lost
11
Interceptions thrown
13
Defensive / Special Teams TDs00
Possession29:4430:16

Passing Leaders

ARIC/ATTYDSAVGTDINTSACKS
Warner20/362316.4112-15
NYGC/ATTYDSAVGTDINTSACKS
Manning19/372436.6133-23

Rushing Leaders

ARICARYDSAVGTDLG
Wells14674.8115
Hightower492.316
NYGCARYDSAVGTDLG
Jacobs13765.8125
Bradshaw12322.7014

Receiving Leaders

ARIRECYDSAVGTDLG
Fitzgerald68313.8027
Boldin37525.0044
NYGRECYDSAVGTDLG
Nicks48020.0162
Smith46917.3034

Scoring Summary

SECOND QUARTERARINYG
nygTD13:34Brandon Jacobs 4 Yard Run (Lawrence Tynes Kick is Good)
Drive info: 3 plays, 29 yds, 0:38
07
ariTD4:31Beanie Wells 13 Yard Run (Neil Rackers Kick is Good)
Drive info: 7 plays, 46 yds, 3:09
77
nygTD2:23Hakeem Nicks 62 Yard Pass From Eli Manning (Lawrence Tynes Kick is Good)
Drive info: 4 plays, 75 yds, 2:09
714
ariFG0:20Neil Rackers 30 Yard Field Goal is Good
Drive info: 5 plays, 51 yds, 1:54
1014
THIRD QUARTERARINYG
ariTD10:23Tim Hightower 1 Yard Run (Neil Rackers Kick is Good)
Drive info: 7 plays, 55 yds, 3:42
1714
ariTD2:40Jason Wright 6 Yard Pass From Kurt Warner (Neil Rackers Kick is Good)
Drive info: 3 plays, 20 yds, 1:37
2414
FOURTH QUARTERARINYG
nygFG8:28Lawrence Tynes 20 Yard Field Goal is Good
Drive info: 10 plays, 42 yds, 4:57
2417