The New York Giants took advantage of some stumbling and bumbling by the St Louis Rams to post a 28-16 victory in the National Football League on Monday.
Eli Manning made Greg Salas pay for a fumbled punt return in the first quarter, the Giants quarterback throwing a three-yard touchdown pass to Hakeem Nicks after Rams cornerback Bradley Fletcher had been called for pass interference on Nicks two plays earlier.
The Giants stretched their lead to 14-6 in the second quarter following a blunder in the backfield by the Rams.
Quarterback Sam Bradford fired a quick pass through the hands of Carnell “Cadillac” Williams that was deemed a fumbled lateral since Williams was a step behind Bradford.
Giants linebacker Michael Boley scooped up the ball and ran down the sideline for a 65-yard touchdown.
The Rams, meanwhile, twice drove inside the Giants’ 10-yard line but failed to convert the opportunities to touchdowns as the New York defense stiffened and held them to field goals.
Manning got off to a sluggish start and threw an interception on their opening drive while missing on nine of his first 11 passes.
However, he started clicking with his offense towards the end of the first half and led the Giants to a more conventional touchdown at the end of the first half.
The former Super Bowl MVP connected on six-for-six on an eight-play, 86-yard drive that culminated in a juggling, 22-yard catch by Domenik Hixon in the end zone.
The highlight reel grab made it 21-6 with 21 seconds left before half-time and virtually made the game safe for the Giants.
Manning completed 18-of-29 passes for 200 yards, including two touchdowns and one interception. Bradford was 22-for-46 passing for 331 yards, including a 19-yard touchdown to Danario Alexander in the third quarter.
Defensive captain Justin Tuck said that the Giants had room to improve, but they were relieved to win.
Both squads were hampered by injuries, with the Rams missing their leading rusher Steven Jackson and wide receiver Danny Amendola, among others.
The Giants were missing pass-rushing defensive end Osi Umenyiora and tight end Travis Beckum, while wide receivers Hixon (calf) and Mario Manningham (concussion) were sent to the sidelines during the game.
The Giants (1-1) visit Philadelphia to face division rivals the Eagles (1-1) next week, while the Rams (0-2) host the Baltimore Ravens (1-1) in St Louis.