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Giants vs. Cardinals: Postgame stats and notes

Posted Dec 24, 2017

Postgame stats and notes from the Giants' Week 16 matchup in Arizona:  


GLENDALE, Ariz. – Notes and statistics from the Giants’ 23-0 loss to the Arizona Cardinals in University of Phoenix Stadium:

*The Giants lost their fifth consecutive game and fell to 2-13, a franchise single-season record for losses. The previous mark of 12 defeats was set in 1966 (1-12-1), 1974 (2-12), 1980 (4-12), 1983 (3-12-1) and 2003 (4-12).

>> WATCH GIANTS VS. CARDINALS HIGHLIGHTS

*The Giants finished 1-7 on the road, their worst record in a non-strike season since 1978, when they were also 1-7. They were 1-6 in the strike-shortened 1987 season, but one of those defeats was a 6-3 overtime loss in Buffalo played by strike-replacement players.

*The Giants fell to 0-11 in games vs. NFC opponents for the first time in their history.

*The Giants are 0-3 under interim head coach Steve Spagnuolo, They conclude their season against Washington at home next week, when they will try to win their first NFC East game of the season.

*The Giants suffered their first shutout loss since Oct. 12, 2004, a 27-0 defeat in Philadelphia. Arizona blanked an opponent for the first time since Dec. 12, 1992, and the opponent then was the Giants, who lost, 19-0, in Sun Devil Stadium.

*The Giants outgained the Cardinals, 293-289. But Arizona owned the time of possession advantage, 33:13-26:47.


*The Giants converted only one of 14 third-down opportunities (7%). They last succeeded on just one third-down try on Dec. 27, 2015 at Minnesota (11 attempts). The Giants most recently had one conversion with at least 14 attempts on Sept. 29, 2013, when they were one-for-14 in a loss at Kansas City. The Giants were also one-for-four on fourth-down conversion attempts.

*The Giants’ 12 first downs tied for their second-lowest total of the season; they had 12 in their victory at Denver on Oct. 15. The Giants had a season-low seven first downs at Washington on Nov. 23.

*The Giants rushed for 43 yards, their lowest total since they ran for 35 in an opening-night loss in Dallas. They averaged 2.2 yards a carry. Rookie Wayne Gallman had team-high totals of 10 carries and 18 yards.

*The Giants tied their season-high with 10 accepted penalties (also at Philadelphia on Sept. 24, and vs. the Chargers on Oct. 8.). Their 101 penalty yards was their second-highest total of the season, exceeded only by their 137 yards against the Eagles three months ago.

*Eli Manning completed 27 of 45 passes for 263 yards and two interceptions. He increased his career yardage total to 51,550 yards. That moved him past Pro Football Hall of Famer John Elway (51,475) and into sixth place on the NFL’s alltime list.

*Gallman led the Giants with six catches for 44 yards. Sterling Shepard had five catches for 45 yards but left the game in the fourth quarter with a neck injury.


*Rookie tight end Evan Engram, the Giants’ leading receiver, suffered a rib injury late in the first quarter and did not return. Engram caught just one pass for 12 yards before leaving the game. Rhett Ellison and Jerell Adams were the tight ends in Engram’s absence. Ellison had four receptions for a team-high 60 yards.

*Wide receiver Hunter Sharp made his Giants debut with two receptions for 25 yards. He also returned three punts for 19 yards, and one kickoff for 19 yards. Sharp was signed off Denver’s practice squad on Dec 12. He played in one game for the Broncos this season, Oct. 22 at the Los Angeles Chargers. He did not have a reception.

*Chad Wheeler, who started three games earlier this season, was on the field for the first play as an extra offensive lineman, a role he reprised several times.

*Cornerback Ross Cockrell intercepted two Drew Stanton passes. The first was intended for Larry Fitzgerald in the end zone with 47 seconds remaining in the third quarter. Cockrell’s interception was the first by the Giants since Nov. 23, when Janoris Jenkins picked off Kirk Cousins at Washington and returned it 53 yards for a touchdown.

In fourth quarter, Cockrell intercepted a Stanton pass intended for J.J. Nelson. Cockrell was the first Giants defender with two interceptions in a game since Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie twice picked off Cousins in Washington on New Year’s Day.

The interceptions increased Cockrell’s career total to four. His first pick was on Oct. 1, 2015, when he played for Pittsburgh vs. Baltimore. The second was on Nov. 8 of that season against Oakland.

*The Cardinals also had a defensive back intercept two passes. Antoine Bethea twice picked off Manning, returning the ball a total of 14 yards. He was the first Giants opponent to accomplish the feat since Philadelphia’s Malcolm Jenkins (2-34) on Dec. 22, 2016 in a 24-19 Giants loss.


*Defensive ends Jason Pierre-Paul and Olivier Vernon each sacked Stanton, and the latter also forced a fumble (that was recovered by the Cardinals).

*Linebacker Kelvin Sheppard led the Giants with nine unassisted tackles. Defensive tackle Damon Harrison and safety Andrew Adams each had five solo stops.

*The Cardinals scored their final points on the first play of the fourth quarter, when Deonne Bucannon sacked Manning and forced a fumbled. The ball was scooped up by reserve lineman Robert Nkemdiche, who returned it 21 yards for a touchdown.

It was the first touchdown against the Giants by an opposing defensive player since Philadelphia’s Jenkins intercepted a Manning pass and returned it 34 yards for a scored on Dec. 22, 2016. The previous opposing touchdown via fumble return was by another Eagle, Walter Thurmond, who brought back a Manning miscue 83 yards in MetLife Stadium on Jan. 3, 2016.

*Larry Fitzgerald, the third-most productive receiver in NFL History (in yardage and catches) had game-high totals of nine receptions for 119 yards, including a 13-yard touchdown (just his second in seven games vs. the Giants).

Fitzgerald was the fourth opposing player with at least 100 receiving yards this season, joining Dallas running back Rod Smith (113), Washington wide receiver Jamison Crowder (141, Kansas City tight end Travis Kelce (109) and Denver wideout Demaryius Thomas (133).

*Fitzgerald also completed a 21-yard pass to fellow wideout Jaron Brown. He was the first opposing wide receiver to complete a pass vs. the Giants since Nov. 30, 2008, when Washington’s Antwaan Randle El threw a 17-yard strike to tight end Chris Cooley for 17 yards. On the next play, Jason Campbell’s pass to Randle El was intercepted by Aaron Ross.

*The Giants fell to 3-1 in University of Phoenix Stadium, after winning Super Bowl XLII here 10 years ago and regular-season games in 2008 and 2011.

*Aldrick Rosas missed a 33-yard field goal attempt wide left in the second quarter that would have tied the game at 3-3. It was Rosas’ seventh miss in 23 field goal attempts this year. He is the first Giants kicker to miss at least seven field goal attempts in a season since Jay Feely in 2005 (7). Feely finished that season 35-for-42.

*Each team won a replay challenge. With four seconds remaining in the first quarter, Manning threw a four-yard pass to Roger Lewis, Jr., who gained six yards before he was hit by Bucannon and fumbled. Lewis recovered the ball for no gain. Arizona coach Bruce Arians challenged the ruling of a catch, and the call was overturned to an incompletion and thus … no gain. Exactly what the Cards had prior to the challenge. After taking a delay of game penalty, the Giants punted on the final play of the quarter.

*Spagnuolo won his challenge with 5:06 remaining in the third quarter. On third-and-eight, Stanton threw what was first ruled a nine-yard completion to Fitzgerald, which would have given Arizona a first down. Spagnuolo challenged, saying the ball hit the ground before Fitzgerald caught it. After review, referee John Parry announced the ruling on the field was reversed, and the Cards punted.

*The Giants’ inactive players were linebacker B.J. Goodson (ankle), wide receivers Tavarres King (concussion) and Kalif Raymond, defensive ends Avery Moss and Romeo Okwara, offensive lineman Damien Mama, and quarterback Davis Webb.

*The Giants lead the alltime series, 80-44-2.