The New York Giants offense finally showed signs of life in Week 3 in their trip to Houston to take on the Texans, the performance leading the Giants to come up victorious for the first time this season with a 27-22 victory on Sunday. The Giants generated a hefty lead early, with a 20-6 halftime advantage marked by scores on every first-half drive. The Texans threatened, but never quite caught up, despite New York’s offense and defense both struggling in quarters three and four. While it was a tale of two halves for the Giants, it did not end up costing them in the end.
“That felt a lot better than the first two weeks,” said Giants coach Pat Shurmur. “Great team victory. I told the team, I’ve always known they’re tough. I always knew they were gritty. I always knew they had great resolve, but today we just made enough plays to win. We went from being ‘almost’ in a lot of areas to finishing it.:
Eli Manning wasn’t spared from the Texans’ pass rush, with John Greco filling it at center for the injured Jon Halapio and right tackle Ereck Flowers benched in favor of Chad Wheeler. Manning was sacked four times — three times by J.J. Watt — and hit five times, but he still had a good day, completing 25 of his 29 passes for 297 yards and two touchdowns with no turnovers.
“I thought Eli (Manning) played a good game. I should say damn good game. Twenty-five for 29 for almost 300 yards and two touchdowns. Pretty fair day at the office, I might say to myself,” Shurmur said.
Odell Beckham, Jr. had his 21st game with more than 100 receiving yards, with nine catches on 10 targets for 109 yards. Sterling Shepard had six catches on seven targets for 80 yards and a touchdown. Tight end Rhett Ellison, with an expanded role after Evan Engram was ruled out with a knee injury, had a 16-yard touchdown in the second quarter and totaled three catches for 39 yards on the day. Saquon Barkley led the Giants’ ground game with 17 carries for 82 yards and a touchdown. He also caught five passes for 35 yards.
On defense, the Giants came away with two takeaways. Defensive end Kerry Wynn forced a fumble on a Lamar Miller carry which was recovered by cornerback Donte Deayon, and linebacker Alec Ogletree picked off Deshaun Watson in the end zone to open the fourth quarter. None, however, resulted in Giants points.
Meanwhile, it was Houston’s offense that looked anemic early, with just 160 yards of offense in the first two quarters. However, the second half saw the Texans focus on passing the ball with positive results, including a six-yard touchdown pass from Watson to receiver Will Fuller in the fourth quarter that cut New York’s lead to five points. Watson completed 24 of his 40 passes for 385 yards, two touchdowns, one interception and three sacks. DeAndre Hopkins had six catches on 10 targets for 86 yards. Fuller had five receptions on 12 targets for 101 yards and a score. Watson was the team’s leading rusher, with 36 yards.
Moments that mattered
First-half dominance: The Giants scored on all four of their first-half possessions, which included two Aldrick Rosas field goals and two touchdowns. The first was a 15-yard run by Barkley and the second, Ellison’s 16-yard touchdown grab.
Houston’s stumbles: The Texans went three-and-out in three out of five first-half possessions.
Rosas still perfect: Rosas converted all two of his field goal attempts and made all of his three extra point tries. He remains perfect on the season, going seven-for-seven in field goals and four-for-four in extra points.
Wynning: Defensive end Kerry Wynn had a big game, with six tackles (one for a loss) and, most importantly, a forced fumble on Houston’s Miller, which was recovered by cornerback Donte Deayon.
Ogletree I-N-T: The Texans had a promising late third-quarter drive that threatened to result in their first touchdown of the game. However, that was ended thanks to Ogletree’s interception in the end zone on a pass intended for Lamar Miller. Defensive end B.J. Hill also recorded a sack on the drive.
Shepard seals it: The Texans gave the Giants a scare late, coming within five points. But Sterling Shepard’s 6-yard touchdown catch in the fourth quarter sealed New York’s win.
The Giants play host to the New Orleans Saints next Sunday. Kickoff is set for 4:25 p.m. ET.
The Giants lead 20-6 at halftime. We will take you home in our second-half open thread. When the game ends check back for our complete post-game coverage.
Giants take 20-3 lead with 1:20 left in the half. They have scored on all four of their possessions.
Evan Engram (knee) hurt on 19-yard pass reception. He is out for the rest of the game.
Injury Update: Evan Engram (knee) is OUT for the remainder of the game. #NYGvssHOU— New York Giants (@Giants) September 23, 2018
A 15-yard run by Saquon Barkley gives the Giants their first lead of the season, 7-3, with 4:10 left in the first quarter.
The Giants have already suffered an injury.
Injury Update: CB Antonio Hamilton (groin) is out for the remainder of the game. #NYGvsHOU— New York Giants (@Giants) September 23, 2018
Join Big Blue View fans in discussing the game in our first-half live thread.
Here are your Giants inactives:
CB Eli Apple
LB Olivier Vernon
WR Kaelin Clay
QB Kyle Lauletta
S Kamrin Moore
CB Mike Jordan
C Evan Brown
Clay being inactive means that the Giants will likely use either Odell Beckham Jr. or newly-signed Stacy Coley to return punts. This also means that newly-signed fullback Elijhaa Penny will dress.
The Giants have arrived.
The Giants are reportedly benching right tackle Ereck Flowers in favor of Chad Wheeler, who gets the “honor” of lining up against three-time AP Defensive Player of the Year J.J. Watt.
What: Giants at Houston Texans
When: Sunday, Sept. 23
Where: NRG Stadium
Game time: 1 p.m. ET
Announcers: Kevin Albert, Ronde Barber, Meghan Olivi
Radio: Sports Radio 610 (AM), 100.3 (FM); Sirius — 133, XM 229, SiriusXM 383, Internet 822; Giants Radio Network — WCBS-880-AM and local affiliates (Bob Papa, Carl Banks, Howard Cross); Giants Spanish Radio — Que Buena 92.7-FM (Nestor Rosario, Frances Adames)
Prediction: Odds Shark predicts a 28-13 Texans victory
Online Stream: Viewers in the U.S. can use the NFL Mobile app if they have a Verizon subscription. Anyone else can use the NFL Game Pass subscription service to watch the game.
Weather: 81 degrees at kickoff, mostly cloudy [NFL Weather]
SB Nation Texans website: Battle Red Blog
Check the @BigBlueView Twitter account for in-game updates. As always, there will first and second-half threads for you to comment in. There will be plenty of post-game coverage as well, so make sure you don’t miss any of that.
Week 4 (Sept. 30): vs. New Orleans Saints (4:25 p.m. | CBS)
Week 5 (Oct. 7): @ Carolina Panthers (1 p.m. | FOX)
Week 6 (Oct. 11): vs. Philadelphia Eagles (8:25 p.m. | FOX, NFL Network, Amazon Prime)
Week 7 (Oct. 22): @ Atlanta Falcons (8:15 p.m. | ESPN)
Week 8 (Oct. 28): vs. Washington Redskins (1 p.m. | FOX)
Week 9: BYE
Week 10 (Nov. 12): @ San Francisco 49ers (8:15 p.m. | ESPN)
Week 11 (Nov. 18): vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (1 p.m. | FOX)
Week 12 (Nov. 25): @ Philadelphia Eagles (1 p.m. | FOX)
Week 13 (Dec. 2): vs. Chicago Bears (1 p.m. | FOX)
Week 14 (Dec. 9): @ Washington Redskins (1 p.m. | FOX)
Week 15 (Dec. 16): vs. Tennessee Titans (1 p.m. | CBS)
Week 16 (TBD): @ Indianapolis Colts (TBD)
Week 17: Dec. 30): vs. Dallas Cowboys (1 p.m. | FOX)