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