09/23 17:37 CDT Manning throws 2 TDs as Giants beat Texans 27-22 for 1st win
Manning throws 2 TDs as Giants beat Texans 27-22 for 1st win
By KRISTIE RIEKEN
AP Sports Writer
HOUSTON (AP) --- After two difficult losses, Odell Beckham Jr. saw a different
energy in the New York Giants on Sunday.
"We came out and played like we loved the game of football and we were kids
just having fun," the star receiver said. "It wasn't like: 'We're down 0-2 and
we've got to win.' It was like: 'Let's go out and have fun today.' That's what
we did, and we got the win."
Eli Manning threw for 297 yards and two touchdowns and rookie Saquon Barkley
added a score as the Giants got a 27-22 victory over the struggling Houston
The Giants (1-2) were up by 14 at halftime but had trouble moving the ball in
the second half. The Texans (0-3) had cut the lead to five before Manning threw
a 7-yard touchdown pass to Sterling Shepard with about two minutes left.
"I always knew they had great resolve, but (Sunday) we just made enough plays
to win," coach Pat Shurmur said. "We went from being 'almost' in a lot of areas
to finishing it."
Deshaun Watson threw a 4-yard touchdown pass to Lamar Miller with 1 second left
to cut the lead to 27-22, but New York recovered the onside kick.
Watson threw for 385 yards and two scores, but his interception was one of two
second-half turnovers by the Texans, off to their worst start since dropping
their first four games of 2008.
"I just try to think of ways to get us out of this," coach Bill O'Brien said.
"I know that it starts with me ... I've got to figure out how to do a better
job. It's as simple as that."
Beckham had nine receptions for 109 yards and Barkley finished with 82 yards
rushing as the Giants came one point shy of matching their points total from
their first two games combined.
A 54-yard field goal got Houston within 20-9 in the third quarter. The Texans
forced a punt and were driving again when Miller caught a short pass and
fumbled after a hit by Donte Deayon. The Giants recovered but couldn't move the
ball and had to punt after a drive that featured a sack by J.J. Watt.
But the Texans turned over the ball again, this time when Watson was
intercepted in the end zone by Alec Ogletree.
Houston cut the lead to 20-15 when Will Fuller grabbed a 6-yard pass from
Watson with about 7 1/2 minutes remaining, but the 2-point conversion failed.
After leading the NFL in yards rushing through the first three games, the
Texans couldn't get anything going on the ground. They finished with 59 yards
rushing, and Miller managed just 10 yards on as many carries.
The Texans led 3-0 after a 23-yard field goal by Ka'imi Fairbairn on their
first drive. The Giants took their first lead this season when Barkley shed
multiple tackles on a 15-yard run that made it 7-3.
New York added two field goals before Manning connected with Rhett Ellison on a
16-yard touchdown to push the advantage to 20-3 late in the second quarter.
Watt had a strip sack on third down to make the Giants settle for the second
field goal. Watt hadn't had a sack since Sept. 18, 2016 before taking Manning
down on that play.
Houston cut the lead to 20-6 at halftime after a 28-yard field goal.
New York tight end Evan Engram (knee) left in the second quarter. ... Giants CB
Antonio Hamilton injured his groin in the first quarter and didn't return. ...
Houston WR Bruce Ellington injured his hamstring in the first quarter and
didn't return. ... Texans G Senio Kelemete (knee) left in the second quarter.
Watt, who played just eight games in the 2016-17 seasons because of injuries,
finished with three sacks, three tackles for losses, four quarterback hits and
a forced fumble. The three-time NFL Defensive Player of the Year said he's
feeling progressively better every week and is glad to be contributing again.
"It's good to finally end such a long drought in that type of way," he said.
"But ... personal stats don't matter at all in a loss."
SPREADING IT AROUND
Manning did a good job of spreading the ball around, completing at least one
pass to six players and finding three guys five or more times.
"I think you want to get everybody involved," he said. "We got off to a fast
start and needed a big drive at the end to win the game and we were able to do
The Texans are searching for a way to eliminate penalties on offense after
committing several false start and holding penalties. Right tackle Julien
Davenport was the worst offender and had three false start and two holding
"It's the story of penalties, mistakes," Davenport said. "I don't know how many
penalties I had, but way too much. Hurt this team badly. I've got to eliminate
Giants: Host New Orleans next Sunday.
Texans: Visit the Colts next Sunday.
More AP NFL: https://apnews.com/tag/NFL and https://twitter.com/AP_NFL