Twickenham, the home of English rugby, a place that’s seen its fair share of kicking and territorial battles through the years, witnessed another, as the New York Giants and Los Angeles faced off in a game that ended 17-10 Giants, but totalled a tally of 15 punts, 8 for the Giants and 7 for the Rams. Although a home game for the Rams, it quickly became apparent that Big Blue held the house.
The Giants arrived in London early Friday morning and they certainly started like they were still jet lagged from the trip over. The offense set off in much the same fashion as the previous week, with a fumble from Larry Donnell on the first passing play for Big Blue. The Rams were able to take full advantage of the turnover as Case Keenum found Tavon Austin in the endzone from 10 yards out.
Two consecutive 3 and outs for the Giants offense followed, with 2 incompletions to Victor Cruz on both 3rd and 7’s. The first quarter ended 10-0 Rams, as a Greg Zuerlien field goal was made in between the 2 unproductive drives for the Giants.
Rookie running back, Paul Perkins, ignited the Giants offense with some nice runs, aided by blocks from both young tackles, Ereck Flowers and Bobby Hart. A field-goal from new recruit Robbie Gould was all the Giants could muster, to keep pace with the Rams, 10-3.
The rain of picks starts to fall
Hard-hitting safety, Landon Collins fired up the Twickenham crowd, after picking off Case Keenum and taking it home for the touchdown. Collins juked and danced his way past oncoming tacklers as he ran the ball right and then left across the turf, before being bundled into the endzone following some excellent blocking by the Giants defense. On reflection, the ball was thrown beautifully by Keenum, bouncing into the air off the hands of Tavon Austin. 10-10.
The Giants defense were certainly off the plane. The same could not be said for the offense, as they finished the half in similar ways to how they started it. Sluggish and uninspiring. A backwards swing pass/run to Bobby Rainey on 1st down inside 2 minutes the most puzzling play, in a half where the offensive play calling was once again confusing at times.
Punt Fest, Pick Fest
The 2nd half started with 2 back to back punts from each team, with the Giants penned inside the 5 on each of their 2 series. Some excellent punting from both Johnny Hekker and Brad Wing the highlight of most of the 3rd quarter, rivalled only by a wonderful sideline grab from Odell Beckham Jr, whose name and number could be seen in every corner of the stadium.
Olivier Vernon and Jason Pierre-Paul were able to get pressure all game long for the Giants, assisting in 2 sacks for defensive tackles, Jay Bromley and Damon Harrison. QB pressure continued to haunt Keenum, as early in the 4th, he forces a throw in the heat of a blitz from the Giants. Linebacker Keenan Robinson tipped the horribly thrown pass, into the once again welcoming arms of Landon Collins.
The Giants offense finally able to march downfield, and 3 consecutive run plays from Rashad Jennings on the goal line winds up with a touchdown. Odell Beckham was influential on this drive, hauling in a 3rd down catch from Eli Manning, which help set up the Jennings touchdown. 17-10 Giants.
Keenum makes the Case for Goff
Keenum nicely drives the Rams offense into scoring range, before inadvertently lobbing the ball into the back of the endzone for an easy pick for Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie. The Giants offense was then unable to run the clock down, and Keenum was handed the ball back with 3 minutes to go. Once again Keenum drove the offense downfield, but an horrendous miscommunication on a route between Keenum and Brain Quick ends fatally for the Rams, with DRC once again picking the ball off in the endzone.
Final; Giants 17-10 Rams
Eli Manning kneels and the Giants go back home victorious. At times it wasn’t pretty, especially on offense, but the Giants defense looked very impressive. Landon Collins will get the headlines, but the play from Keenan Robinson, Damon Harrison and the entire Giants secondary were the main reasons the Giants got the win.
The Giants head home for a their bye week and will host the high flying Eagles in week 9 on Sunday November 6.