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Giants execute in all three phases; win 36-7

NASHVILLE – This time, the Giants finished what they started, and in the end celebrated their first victory in two months. 


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For the second game in a row, the Giants took a big early lead in a road game against a team with fewer wins than they have. Last week in Jacksonville, the Giants committed too many second-half mistakes and suffered a tough one-point loss to the Jaguars.

Sunday in LP Field, they jumped out to an early 17-0 lead and never let up on their way to a 36-7 rout of the Tennessee Titans. The Giants ended a seven-game losing streak and improved their record to 4-9.

"It's very nice to win, it's very nice, again, to have that kind of feeling," coach Tom Coughlin said.

The end of November had been particularly difficult for the Giants, who had lost their previous three games by a total of 10 points, including a one-point defeat in Jacksonville in a game they led early, 21-0.

In Tennessee, they stormed to a 17-0 lead after one quarter, 23-0 at halftime and 30-0 before the Titans scored their only points of the game on an interception return. But the Giants were not going to let this one slip away. They tacked on the last six points of the game and kept Tennessee far from the end zone as they savored a triumph for the first time since Oct. 5.

"It's been a while," safety Antrel Rolle said. "I've been dreaming about this win for about seven weeks now. I'm just glad that we came out here and did what we knew we were capable of, which is go out here and start a game fast and finish even faster. It's a great team win."

"We're obviously excited that we were able to put four quarters together and get the win," quarterback Eli Manning said. "I think we got off to another fast

start, which we've been doing the past few weeks and then were able to come out in the second half and finish the game."

Last week, the Giants owned a 21-3 halftime lead before they were outscored in the second half, 22-3. When they left the field after two quarters with a sizable advantage against the Titans, that unpleasant memory was fuel to keep their fire burning.


]("At halftime I had an occasion to mention that," Coughlin said.

"I know coming into the locker room guys were saying, 'Don't let up,'" defensive lineman Cullen Jenkins said. "That's been our thing - we have to finish. Don't let up, keep your foot on the gas. We definitely had that in our mind."

It was another big day for the Giants' rookies. Andre Williams had 24 carries for 131 yards, including a 50-yard touchdown early in the third quarter. "The play was blocked up perfectly," Williams said. "We called three runs in a row and I could tell that the defense was getting gassed. I was a little gassed as well, but they blocked it up perfectly. I kind of fumbled the toss a little bit, because I was looking ahead to see if I had to slow down and make a cut back. But it worked out great."

Odell Beckham Jr. caught 11 passes – tying the second-highest total ever for a Giants rookie – for 130 yards and a touchdown. This is the first time in their history the Giants had rookies with 100 rushing yards and 100 receiving yards in the same game.

Beckham continued his extraordinary debut season by becoming the first rookie in NFL history with six consecutive games with at least 90 receiving yards.

"As a guy who likes to get the ball and is a playmaker, you like getting chances to make plays for your team," Beckham said. "The offensive line did a really good job of blocking and giving Eli time to throw the ball and to be able to take those shots down the field. It's cliché, but it really does all start up front."

On the defensive side, rookie linebacker Devon Kennard had two of the team's eight sacks. It was his second consecutive two-sack game.

"I think overall we've been playing pretty well for a while and just not finishing, not finishing games and not finishing in clutch situations," Kennard said. "Today, we had an opportunity and we went out and we played a complete game defensively. We've known we were capable. We finished the game the way we needed to finish it."

The Giants scored in both conventional and unconventional fashion. The former included Williams' run (the longest by the Giants this season), Manning's 15-yard pass to Beckham and Josh Brown's career high-tying five field goals, including a 52-yarder. The unconventional included Markus Kuhn's 26-yard return of a fumble by Zach Mettenberger, who lost the ball when he was sacked by Kennard. hand out their game balls after the Giants defeat the Titans

It was the Giants' first defensive touchdown of the season and the first of Kuhn's career.

"If you're a fan of the game, you think it would be cool one day to score," Kuhn said. "I'm glad I accomplished that."

Kuhn, who grew up in Germany, said he is that country's first native to score an NFL touchdown.

"(My teammates) were excited," he said. "'They even let the German score now.' People were excited for me."

The Giants' most glaring mistake was made by Manning, whose third-quarter pass for Larry Donnell was intercepted by Marqueston Huff and returned 23 yards for a touchdown. But before the quarter ended Brown had kicked his 52-yard field goal and the lead was a healthy 33-7.

Tennessee played with a depleted offense. The Titans were missing their starting tackles, two best wide receivers (one of whom was placed on injured reserve last week) and second-leading rusher. Tennessee had only three wideouts in uniform.

The absences surely didn't help the Titans' cause. But a determined Giants team ravenous for a victory was not going to be denied on Sunday.

View the best photos from the game vs. the Titans

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