Giants snap 7-game skid, beat Titans 36-7
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Tom Coughlin is proud his Giants finally ended their painful skid by finishing off a big lead.
Even if their win came at the expense of a Tennessee team with more problems than New York.
Eli Manning threw for 260 yards and a touchdown, and New York snapped a seven-game losing streak by routing the Titans 36-7 Sunday.
“I don’t want to use that word relief,” Coughlin said. “We work hard for that outcome, and we didn’t get it. We finally got a win after many weeks of starving. We feel good about that. We’re going to smile a little bit about the win before we get started on Washington. That’ll be about 10 minutes from now.”
The Giants (4-9) won for the first time since Oct. 5 with two rookies having big games. Odell Beckham Jr. set a team rookie record with his fourth game with 100 yards receiving this season: 11 catches for 130 yards and a TD. Andre Williams ran for a season-high 131 yards, including a 50-yard TD.
Tennessee (2-11) lost its seventh straight and for the 11th time in 12 games with a performance that had fans booing and even a handful wearing paper bags over their heads. This is the franchise’s longest slide since losing 11 straight in 1994 as the then-Houston Oilers.
The Titans’ loss became even more painful with rookie quarterback Zach Mettenberger hurting his sprained right shoulder in the fourth quarter, and he did not return. Mettenberger said his shoulder hurt after the game, and he will have an MRI exam Monday.
“Obviously, it was a tough day today,” Titans coach Ken Whisenhunt said. “It’s not fun, but we’re working. The only thing is our guys, they’re trying, they’re working hard, and we’ll keep working and come out of it.”
The Giants came in with an NFL-high 19 players on injured reserve but relatively healthy on offense, even with running back Rashad Jennings not starting because of a sore ankle that kept him out of practice. With Manning and Beckham connecting early and often, they helped the Giants dominate with a 402-207 edge in total offense.
Manning was excited they got the win a week after blowing a 21-0 lead in losing to the Jaguars.
“We got off to the fast start which we’ve been doing the last few weeks, but we came out in the second half and finished the game,” Manning said.
Giants cornerback Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, who played on this field in college at Tennessee State, had a 36-yard TD off an interception wiped out by a personal foul on Damontre Moore for a hit on Mettenberger. Josh Brown kicked his fifth field goal for a 36-7 lead.
With plenty of fans in New York blue on hand, the Giants dominated the first quarter, taking a 17-0 lead with a 151-6 edge in total offense. Beckham notched his seventh game with at least 90 yards receiving and a TD in the first 11 minutes. Devon Kennard sacked Mettenberger, with the rookie fumbling, and Markus Kuhn ran the recovery 26 yards for a TD.
Beckham also got to throw his first pass attempt, a heave that went about 60 yards, falling incomplete in the end zone after a handoff from Manning.
“We were just a little short,” said Beckham, the first rookie with at least 90 yards receiving in six straight games.
The Giants were up 23-0 at halftime. The lead that would have been even bigger if not for the Titans at least forcing them to settle for three field goals from Brown, two when New York had first-and-goal.
For Tennessee, the patchwork effect on offense showed. The Titans had only four players that started the season at their positions with left tackle Taylor Lewan and right tackle Michael Oher missing their second straight starts because of injuries. When right tackle Byron Stingily went down, Tennessee finished with a tackle signed Tuesday.
The Titans’ only points came when Marqueston Huff returned an interception 23 yards for a TD. The Titans couldn’t even run out the final seconds of the first half properly, drawing a penalty for an illegal snap that prompted boos from fans still paying attention.
NOTES: Beckham’s club record topped the mark set by Byron Williams in 1983. ... This was only the second time a Giants running back topped 100 yards this season. Jennings had 176 on Sept. 21 vs Houston. ... Williams’ TD run was the longest this season for the Giants, topping a 23-yarder by Jennings. ... New York snapped a five-game skid in this series vs. the Titans.
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