In a wild fourth quarter, Eli Manning rallies the New York Giants from 10 points down in under a minute, connecting with Hakeem Nicks for a 29-yard touchdown to beat the Arizona Cardinals 31-27. The Cardinals once again fail to deliver in the fourth quarter and once again lose a close game. Arizona has not lost its last three games by a total of eight points.
"It kind of goes without saying, I am extremely disappointed," Cardinals coach Ken Whisenhunt said after the game. "I really thought we had the momentum right there at the end of the game but we obviously can't let them god down and get points that quickly like we did."
Despite the frustrating nature of the three losses, the Cardinals players and coaches still believe they are close.
"I know we are learning about ourselves," Cardinals quarterback Kevin Kolb said.
Even Giants coach Tom Coughiln credited the Cardinals, "I'll say this, for a long time it was an absolutely struggle, as you saw. Give them credit. They are a good team."
After struggling in the first half finding pay dirt, Kevin Kolb led the Arizona Cardinals 78 yards down the field before Beanie Wells ran over two defenders to score the touchdown. The drive was marked by another incredible catch by Larry Fitzgerald on a long ball that was under thrown by Kolb. Fitz went up with the defender and won the battle in the air as he's done some many times. The pass went for 47 yards and was the first big offensive play of the game for Arizona.
The momentum continued Arizona's way on their next defensive series. Rookie David Carter overpowered the Giants' center and knocked the ball from Eli Manning and Darnell Dockett recovered at the New York five-yard line. Beanie Wells once again found the end zone on a power run, bulling his way over the goal line to put the Cardinals up 20-10.
From there, things got iffy for Arizona.
They gave up a 13-play, 75-yard drive that ended in in a touchdown for New York and then promptly turned the ball back over. Kolb was picked off trying to find Fitzgerald down the sideline. Former Cardinal's safety Antrel Rolle read the play the entire time and easily jumped in front of the ball.
The defense cleaned up the mess, however, and returned the ball to Kolb with a hold. Kevin did what any smart quarterback should do in a situation like this and gave the ball to Beanie Wells. Wells scampered for 44 yards to put Arizona right back on the doorstep.
After a couple of good runs by Alfonso Smith, Beanie put it into the end zone to make the game 27-17, but the defense didn't hold with five minutes left on the clock.
New York quickly moved down the field and scored a touchdown, as their tight end Jake Ballard made a great catch in the back of the endzone. The drive was seven plays, 80 yards.
The Arizona offense could not move the ball on their next drive, once again failing to move the chains and hold a lead for the third time this season. The possession lasted just 27 seconds with one run, a New York timeout and two incomplete passes.
New York got the ball back with 3:10 on the clock capitalized with a 31 second, 48-yard scoring drive. There was controversy on a play by Victor Cruz in which he put the ball on the ground before getting up and not getting touched, but was ruled he gave himself up, eliminating a review. Hakeen Nicks then beat Patrick Peterson for a 29-yard catch for a touchdown to give the Giants a 31-27 lead.
Whisenhunt clearly disagreed with the call but correctly pointed out that is wasn't the different in the game, "We had a lot of chances. What we have to do is focus on what we're doing, get better at that, not make the mistakes we're making and that will take care of itself."
The Cardinals had the chance for the win, but on fourth down in Giants territory, Corey Webster broke up a pass intended for Larry Fitzgerald.
In a losing effort, Beanie Wells had the best game of his young career, rushing for 138 yards and three touchdowns on 27 carries. Kevin Kolb was 20-34 for 237 yards and an interception. He was flushed out of the pocket on a number of occasions and never really seemed in control of the game.
Fitzgerald set the franchise record for career yards and also the 28th game with over 100 yards. He finished with 102 yards on eight catches. The only record he said he cared about was the team's.
"The only record I'm concerned about is 1-3 and that leaves a bitter taste in my mouth. I know the guys in the locker room feel the same way," Fitzgerald said.
Manning threw for 321 yards and two scores, going 27-40. Hakeem Nicks had 10 receptions for 162 yards and the winning score.
Arizona falls to 1-3 on the season, with the three losses coming by a combined eight points. They avoid last place in he division only because the St. Louis Rams are 0-4 to start the season.
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