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Giants top Texans: Postgame notes and stats

HOUSTON – Notes and statistics from the Giants’ 27-22 victory against the Houston Texans in NRG Stadium:

*The Giants improved to 1-2 and won for the first time under head coach Pat Shurmur.

*The Giants’ 27 points is their highest total since a 34-29 loss to Philadelphia on Dec, 17, 2017, and their highest total in a victory since a 27-13 triumph in Cleveland on Nov. 27, 2016.

*Houston rushed for only 59 yards, the lowest total allowed by the Giants since last Oct. 15, when Denver ran for 46 yards in the Giants’ first victory of the 2017 season. Lamar Miller, the Texans’ leading rusher, gained only 10 yards on 10 carries.

*The Texans trailed most of the game and threw 40 passes. Their 368 net passing yards was the

highest total allowed by the Giants since the Jets threw for 373 yards on Dec. 6, 2015.

*For the third time in as many games, the Giants won the coin toss and deferred taking possession of the ball until the start of the second half. This was the first time they deferred and won since Nov. 19, 2017 vs. Kansas City. Since 2003, the Giants are 9-21 when they defer, including 1-2 this season.

*After holding the Texans to a field goal, the Giants scored a touchdown on their first offensive possession when Saquon Barkley scored on a 15-yard run. It was their first opening-possession touchdown since the 2017 season finale, when Orleans Darkwa scored on a 75-yard run against Washington.

*This was the first time the Giants scored an opening-possession touchdown on the road since Nov. 1, 2015, when Eli Manning threw a two-yard scoring pass to Odell Beckham, Jr. in what became a 52-49 loss to the Saints. Their previous six first-series scores had been in MetLife Stadium.

*Barkley’s early touchdown gave the Giants their first lead of the season.

*The Giants led at halftime, 20-6. It was their highest-scoring first half since they scored 23 points against the Eagles on Dec. 17, 2017, and their largest halftime lead since they were ahead of Denver, 17-3, last Oct. 15.

*Eli Manning completed 25 of 29 passes for 297 yards, two touchdowns and no interceptions. His 86.2 completion percentage was the second-highest of his career. In the only game in which he had a higher percentage, he also threw four incompletions. On Dec. 14, 2015 in Miami, Manning completed 87.1 percent of his passes (27 of 31) in a 31-24 defeat of the Dolphins.

*Manning’s 132.3 passer rating was his highest since he had a 151.5 rating in the game in Miami three years ago.

*Manning had last played in Houston eight years ago on Oct. 10, 2010 – when he also threw for 297 yards.

*Manning’s touchdown throws were to Rhett Ellison and Sterling Shepard, the latter his first to a wide receiver this season.

*Manning’s two touchdown passes increased his career total to 342, tying him with Pro Football Hall of Famer Fran Tarkenton for seventh on the NFL’s all-time list.

*Barkley rushed for 82 yards on 17 carries and caught five passes for 35 yards to give him 117 yards from scrimmage. He is the first player in Giants history with more than 100 scrimmage yards in each of his first three career games.

*Odell Beckham, Jr. led the Giants with nine receptions for 109 yards, his second 100-yard outing in three games and the 21st of his career. That is one less than franchise record-holder Amani Toomer’s 22 100-yard games. The Giants are 8-13 when Beckham has at least 100 receiving yards.

*Shepard caught six passes for 80 yards and scored his first touchdown since Dec. 17, 2017 vs. Philadelphia. Ellison had three receptions for 39 yards and scored for the first time since Dec. 10, 2017 against Dallas.

*Both Beckham and Shepard played in a Giants’ victory for the first time since Jan. 1, 2017 at Washington. They were sidelined with injuries for the three Giants’ victories in 2017.

*Chad Wheeler started at right tackle in place of Ereck Flowers, the 2015 first-round draft choice who had started all 49 regular-season and postseason games for which he had been active since his rookie season. Flowers missed two games due to injuries, one in his rookie season and the 2017 finale. Flowers moved from left to right tackle this year and started the season’s first two games. He was limited to blocking on extra points and field goals in Houston.

Wheeler, a second-year pro from USC, started five games last year as a rookie free agent: three at right tackle (most recently at Oakland on Dec.3), one as an extra lineman, and the final game vs. Washington at left tackle.

*John Greco started at center in place of Jon Halapio, who suffered fractures to his right ankle and lower leg last week in Dallas. It was the 71st start of Greco’s 11-year career, but just his fourth at center. Greco started three games there for Cleveland, once in 2015 and twice in 2016. His most recent start at center had been on Oct. 9, 2016 vs. New England.

*B.W. Webb started at left cornerback in place of Eli Apple, who was inactive with a groin injury. It was his second start of the season after opening the game last week in Dallas as an extra defensive back. The start was the 11th in Webb’s 52-game career.

*The Giants’ defense picked up its first takeaway with 3:47 remaining in the third quarter, when Kerry Wynn knocked the ball out of the hands of Lamar Miller after a six-yard reception – Wynn’s first career forced fumble – and Donte Deayon recovered for his first career fumble recovery.

*After forcing just one turnover in their first two games, the Giants came up with their second vs. the Texans when linebacker Alec Ogletree intercepted Deshaun Watson at the goal line on the second play of the fourth quarter. It was the Giants’ second pick of the season; Janoris Jenkins had one against Jacksonville in the season opener.

It was Ogletree’s seventh career interception and first since Dec. 3, 2017, when, playing for the Los Angeles Rams, he picked off a pass from Arizona’s Blaine Gabbert and returned it 41 yards for a touchdown.

*The Giants, who did not have a sack last week in Dallas, picked up three against the Texans. Rookies Lorenzo Carter and B.J. Hill (on the play immediately preceding Ogletree’s interception) each picked up their first career sack, while Mario Edwards got his first with the Giants. Edwards has 6.5 career sacks.

*Defensive tackle Damon Harrison led the Giants with seven tackles (three solo).

*Michael Thomas, one of the Giants’ six captains, started the game as an extra defensive back. It was his first start since Nov. 26, 2017, when he started at safety for Miami at New England. Thomas started two games for the Dolphins last season and has started 26 of his 59 career games.

*Kicker Aldrick Rosas kicked field goals of 44 and 30 yards and has made all seven of his attempts this season.

*The two players the Giants signed last week each made their debut for the team. Stacy Coley returned two punts for six yards and three kickoffs for 27 yards, and fullback Elijhaa Penny played on special teams.

*The Giants’ inactive players were linebacker Olivier Vernon (ankle), cornerback Eli Apple (groin), wide receiver Kaelin Clay (ankle), offensive lineman Evan Brown, defensive backs Mike Jordan and Kamrin Moore, and quarterback Kyle Lauletta.

Olivier missed his third consecutive game; Apple and Clay sat out their first game of the season.

*Houston’s Ka’imi Fairbairn kicked a 54-yard field goal in the third quarter. It was the longest field goal by a Giants opponent since Sept. 24 2017, when Philadelphia’s Jake Elliott kicked a game-winning 61-yarder as time expired. Elliott’s field goal was the longest ever kicked against the Giants.

*Tight end Evan Engram left the game with a knee injury in the second quarter and did not return.

*Defensive back Antonio Hamilton suffered a groin injury in warmups and left the game early.

*The Giants broke their three-game losing streak in indoor games, including last week in Dallas. They had last won under a roof on Sept. 11, 2016, also against the Cowboys. The Giants are 32-25 in regular-season indoor games.

*The Texans lost a replay challenge with 9:38 remaining in the second quarter. Manning threw a pass to Beckham for a nine-yard completion while Aaron Colvin tried to wrestle the ball from his hands. Bill O’Brien challenged the call, saying Beckham didn’t have possession as he went to the turf. After review, referee Walk Coleman upheld the call on the field.

*With their trips to Dallas and Houston, the Giants played consecutive games in Texas for the first time since 1985. They had essentially the same results this month as they did 33 years ago, losing in Dallas and winning in Houston (against the Oilers).

*The Giants lead their series with the Texans, 4-1. They have won four straight games in the series since losing in Houston in 2002. This was just the Giants’ fifth visit to Houston since they first played there in 1984. They are 4-1 in Houston, beating the Oilers in 1985 and 1994, and the Texans in 2010.

*Shurmur said the Giants will give a game ball to Dave Gettleman, the general manager who did not attend the game. Gettleman’s lymphoma is in remission. Manning presented a second game ball to Shurmur for his first Giants victory.

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