Stat worth noting: Domenik Hixon gained a total of 269 yards – 180 on three kickoff returns, 57 on six catches, 21 on two punt returns and 11 on one rush.
Stat worth noting II: Eli Manning completed 26 of his 33 passes in Arizona.
Turning point: After a second-quarter exchange of field goals left the Cardinals with a 12-10 lead, Eli Manning went right to work. As usual, Manning very effectively led a two-minute drill, marching the Giants 32 yards in six plays after a 68-yard Domenik Hixon kickoff return. Facing a third-and-seven from the Cards 12, Manning calmly and coolly waited for Amani Toomer to get free on a crossing route. Manning then connected with number 81 for Toomer's third TD of the season. That gave New York a 17-12 lead it would not relinquish.
Play to remember: Eli Manning showed his toughness by standing tall in the pocket and delivering an absolutely beautiful pass on which Steve Smith made a great adjustment to reel in the ball. Manning was leveled by Chike Okeafor immediately after launching the pass. Smith's clutch grab gave the Giants the ball at the Arizona 2-yard line. On the next play, Big Blue scored to a take a 24-12 advantage.
to forget: It was almost comical the way the officials flagged Aaron Ross repeatedly for very questionable infractions during a third-quarter
Cardinals drive. The march was kept alive via a 21-yard pass interference
penalty on Ross that converted a third-and-five from the Arizona 15-yard
line. Ross was then flagged for illegal use of hands, perhaps the only
of the three infractions that was warranted. The Cards then scored after
a ridiculous pass interference call on – you, guessed it – Ross
gave Arizona a first-and-goal from the Giants 1.
What went right
Turnover free was the way to be for New York. Eli Manning played a very patient, smart game and the Giants offense did not commit even one turnover. On the flip side, New York's two defensive takeaways were critical to the victory.
Domenik Hixon was New York's multi-purpose star. He was a threat on both special teams and in the offense. With Plaxico Burress out of the game due to injury, the speedy Hixon was New York's leading receiver, grabbing six passes for 57 yards.
While the Giants only sacked Kurt Warner once, they got to him on numerous occasions and beat him up pretty good. While Warner got his yards (351) he was unable to knock off his former club.
Justin Tuck turned in a classic strip in the third quarter, with Mathias Kiwanuka
emerging from the bottom of the pile with the ball. Tuck came from behind
and slapped the ball right out of Warner's right hand. That spectacular
play set up a Madison Hedgecock touchdown catch that gave New York a
What went wrong
After just a few snaps, Plaxico Burress had to leave the game. He dressed despite his hamstring injury, but was unable to contribute at all against the Cardinals.
At least Burress did get on the field for one series. Brandon Jacobs was deactivated as the Giants didn't want him to risk further injuring his knee. The Giants suffered multiple injuries during the game, most significantly to DT Fred Robbins' shoulder, but none of the players were expected to miss any time.
Granted some of the calls were questionable to say the least, but New York again committed too many penalties. All told, the Giants were flagged nine times for 76 yards in losses.
The Cardinals were able to move the ball pretty well during the contest. Arizona was able to convert eight of its 14 third-down opportunities.
three of John Carney's field goals were good, as usual, but none of
his eight kickoffs even reached the end zone. It was surprising to see
Carney as the lone kicker one week after Tom Coughlin allowed Lawrence Tynes to handle all the kicking chores.
6 – Consecutive victories by the defending Super Bowl champs
– Eli Manning's astronomical QB rating against the Cardinals
"We had two of our normal starters out of the game tonight but the guys rose up and played well tonight." – Giants coach Tom Coughlin
"There's no mystery why they're 10-1 right now. They're playing at a high level and we just didn't make enough plays." – Cardinals DE Bertrand Berry