Tex­ans dig Gi­ant hole

Man­ning’s nearly per­fect day makes Hous­ton 0-3 for 1st time since 2008.

Austin American-Statesman - - SPORTS - By Kristie Rieken

Eli Man­ning threw for 297 yards and two touch­downs and rookie Saquon Barkley added a score as the New York Giants got their first win with a 27-22 vic­tory over the strug­gling Hous­ton Tex­ans on Sun­day.

The Giants (1-2) were up by 14 at half­time but had trou­ble mov­ing the

ball in the sec­ond half and the Tex­ans (0-3) cut the lead to five be­fore Man­ning threw a 7-yard touch­down pass to Ster­ling Shep­ard with about two min­utes left to ice the win.

“I al­ways knew they had great re­solve,

but (Sun­day) we just made enough plays to win,” coach Pat Shur­mur said. “We went from be­ing ‘al­most’ in a lot

of ar­eas to fin­ish­ing it.”

De­shaun Wat­son threw a 4-yard touch­down pass to La­mar Miller with 1 sec­ond left to cut the lead to 27-22, but New York re­cov­ered the on­side kick.

Wat­son threw for 385 yards and two scores, but his in­ter­cep­tion was one of two sec­ond-half turnovers by the Tex­ans, off to their worst start since drop­ping their first four games of 2008.

“I just try to think of ways to get us out of this,” coach Bill O’Brien said. “I know that it starts with me ... I’ve got to fig­ure out how to do a bet­ter job. It’s as sim­ple as that.”

Odell Beck­ham Jr., had nine re­cep­tions for 109 yards and Barkley fin­ished with 82 yards rush­ing as the Giants came one point shy of match­ing their points to­tal from their first two games com­bined.

A 54-yard field goal got Hous­ton within 20-9 in the third quar­ter. The Tex­ans forced a punt and were driv­ing again when Miller caught a short pass and fum­bled af­ter a hit by Donte Deayon. The Giants re­cov­ered but couldn’t move the ball and had to punt af­ter a drive that fea­tured a sack by J.J. Watt.

But the Tex­ans turned over the ball again, this time when Wat­son was in­ter-

cepted in the end zone by Alec Ogletree.

Hous­ton cut the lead to 20-15 when Will Fuller grabbed a 6-yard pass from Wat­son with about 7½ min­utes re­main­ing, but the 2-point con­ver­sion failed.

Af­ter lead­ing the NFL in yards rush­ing through the first two games, the Tex­ans couldn’t get any­thing go­ing on the ground. They fin­ished with 59 yards rush­ing, and Miller man­aged just 10 yards on as many car­ries.

The Tex­ans led 3-0 af­ter a 23-yard field goal by Ka’imi Fair­bairn on their first drive. The Giants took their first lead this sea­son when Barkley shed mul­ti­ple tack­les on a 15-yard run that made it 7-3.

New York added two field goals be­fore Man­ning con­nected with Rhett El­li­son on a 16-yard touch­down to push the ad­van­tage to 20-3 late in the sec­ond quar­ter.

Watt had a strip sack on third down to make the Giants set­tle for the sec­ond field goal. Watt hadn’t had a sack since Sept. 18, 2016 be­fore tak­ing Man­ning down on that play.

Hous­ton cut the lead to 20-6 at half­time af­ter a 28-yard field goal.

In­jury re­port: New York tight end Evan Engram (knee) left in the sec­ond quar­ter . ... Giants CB An­to­nio Hamil­ton in­jured his groin in the first quar­ter and didn’t re­turn . ... Hous­ton WR Bruce Elling­ton in­jured his ham­string in the first quar­ter and didn’t re­turn . ... Tex­ans G Se­nio Kelemete (knee) left in the sec­ond quar­ter.

BOB LEVEY / GETTY IM­AGES

Giants de­fend­ers Da­mon Har­ri­son (98) and B.W. Webb (right) smother Tex­ans run­ning back La­mar Miller in the first quar­ter Sun­day in Hous­ton. Miller was held to 10 yards on 10 car­ries in Hous­ton’s loss.

TIM WARNER / GETTY IM­AGES

Eli Man­ning com­pleted 25 of 29 passes for 297 yards and two scores with­out an in­ter­cep­tion to get the New York Giants in the win col­umn Sun­day in Hous­ton.

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