GLENDALE, AZ - OCTOBER 02: Eli Manning #10 of the New York Giants points at the Arizona Cardinals secondary at University of Phoenix Stadium on October 2, 2011 in Glendale, Arizona. (Photo by Norm Hall/Getty Images)
Eli Manning and company escaped the desert with a win after a controversial call gave the Giants quarterback a chance to find Hakeem Nicks for the game-winning touchdown.
Eli Manning brought his New York Giants back in the fourth quarter for a 31-27 win over the Arizona Cardinals in the desert. But it was a controversial call late in the game that will linger on Arizona coach Ken Whisenhunt's mind in the coming days.
Referees ruled that Victor Cruz gave himself up on a catch that gave the Giants a first down late in the fourth quarter, rendering a possible fumble after Cruz fell to the ground null. And referees told Whisenhunt he couldn't challenge it, giving the Giants the ball deep enough in Arizona territory for Manning to find Hakeem Nicks for the game-winning touchdown pass.
Nicks had 10 catches for 162 yards, and Manning threw for 321 yards and two scores in the New York victory, which came despite Beanie Wells' 138 yards and three touchdowns on the ground for the Cardinals. Kevin Kolb threw for 237 yards for the Cardinals in the loss, and Larry Fitzgerald snared eight of those catches for 102 yards.