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With Bradford and the Rams marching down the field with a no-huddle offense in the first quarter, a couple of Giants players -- Deon Grant and Jacquian Williams -- clearly flopped on the field, faking injuries, in order to stop the clock.
Here's the video, where it's pretty obvious:
The Rams appeared to be en route to a touchdown but when the Giants went down they were able to get the right personnel on the field and held the Rams to a field goal. The final score was 28-16 so an extra four points would have made it a one-score game.
As Pro Football Talk points out, the league is in a tough place during the game because they can't reasonably ask the refs to determine whether a player is faking an injury. The league can look over what happened and determine their own punishment if they do determine that, indeed, the Giants faked injuries.
Monday Night Football didn't exactly feature a high volume of fantastic execution, but the St. Louis Rams and New York Giants still did their best to make things entertaining. After throwing an abysmal interception in the first quarter, Eli Manning recovered to throw a couple of touchdown passes, though both were much more the work of his receivers than him. Going the other way, Sam Bradford didn't get a whole long of help from his receivers, save for one great touchdown catch. Oh, and there was diving. Here are the video highlights from Monday Night's game.
The Giants didn't play their best, but won't complain about a much needed win. The NFC East is sure to be tight this year, with none of the four teams looking like total duds. The NFC West is going to be competitive for an entirely different reason - everyone is trash - so the Rams are still very much in the playoff race after starting 0-2. Sam Bradford sure could do with his skill players getting healthy, though.
The New York Giants started the season 0-1 and in the competitive NFC East that can get you in a whole early. The Washington Redskins currently lead the NFC East, 2-0, while both the Dallas Cowboys and Philadelphia Eagles both sit at 1-1.
The Giants beat the St. Louis Rams on Monday Night Football, 28-16, which was a big win, even this early in the season. If the Giants have any shot early this year, they have to beat the teams they're supposed to, like the Rams. Giants defensive lineman Justin Tuck emphasized that a win is a win, regardless of how the game looked.
"There's no such thing as an ugly win--a win is a win. With all the parity in this league, they are a part of the comeback. We'll take a win any way they come. Obviously there are things we need to correct and get better at, but we're still proud with how we played tonight."
Giants head coach Tom Coughlin talked after the game of the importance of keeping the pace in the division.
"Importance is obviously watching everybody else play this weekend. To be one and one, to have Dallas one and one, to have Philadelphia one and one, to have Washington in the lead at 2-0, it was important for us to keep the pace."
The division battles don't stop as the Giants will play the Philadelphia Eagles next week. That, like the Cowboys-Redskins game next week, will be a big one in the division.
Check out a long list of post-game quotes over at SB Nation's Big Blue View.
Domenik Hixon missed the entire 2010 season with a torn ACL in his right knee, so it was nerve-wracking to see him hobble off the field Monday after scoring a second-quarter touchdown against the Rams. Initial reports confirmed fears that he re-injured the knee, and his return was officially dubbed "questionable."
Fortunately, the injury doesn't appear to be serious. Hixon made a brief attempt to return in the second half, appearing in a handful of plays, but with the score well in hand the Giants opted against taking unnecessary risks. And as he clarified to reporters after the game, it wasn't his knee at all, but rather tightness in his calf, that forced him out.
"They asked me if I felt 100 percent," Hixon said. "I was honest and told them no."
It's not yet clear if Hixon will miss additional time with the injury. He finished the game with two catches and 29 yards.
The injury occurred as Hixon fell awkwardly while juggling a 22-yard strike from Eli Manning (video). Hixon ultimately caught the ball -- while lying on his back in the end zone -- but not before tipping it to himself twice. After the game, he couldn't explain why he had so much difficulty making the play.
"It happened so fast, I don’t know if it him in arm or hit me in the shoulder," Hixon said. "Until I see the replay, I won’t be able to tell you. At the end of the day we always say, catch the ball. I didn’t want to get fined by the receivers for not catching it."
Giants wide receiver Mario Manningham missed the entire second half of Monday's game with the Rams, and the team's explanation at the time was that he suffered a concussion. But after the game, Manningham dismissed the diagnosis.
"My neck stiffened up, man," Manningham said. "But I'll be good."
He added that he received a massage and expects to practice Wednesday. It looks like Manningham dodged a bullet, right? Maybe not. Despite Manningham's denial, the Giants insist their initial diagnosis was correct. From Jeff Roberts, Giants beat reporter for the Bergen Record:
It's not surprising the Giants are being cautious, since this is at least the second concussion Manningham has suffered in just less than a year. And just like the first one, the team can't pinpoint one specific play in which Manningham was hurt. He tumbled along the sideline after juggling a catch late in the second quarter, but he didn't appear to hit his head very hard on the turf.
"Evidently it was right at the end of the first half," Coughlin said, according to ESPN. "He bobbled that ball, the big play ball. I guess when he came in he was kind of dizzy at that point in time."
Did he hit his head after falling, or did he bobble the ball because he was already dizzy? Right now it's hard to say -- especially if Manningham continues to downplay the injury. The Giants should have a better handle on his status for Week 3 later this week.
The Giants scored on the ground, through the air and with their defense in their 28-16 win against the Rams on Monday Night Football. In the end, it was too much for St. Louis, which repeatedly settled for field goals in the first half when it could have had touchdowns.
The game turned in the Giants' favor when linebacker Michael Boley picked up a botched lateral and returned it to the house to put New York up 14-6 in the second quarter. More importantly, Boley celebrated by pegging the football into the face of an innocent bystander, the indisputable highlight of the game.
Domenik Hixon put the game away for all intents and purposes with a ridiculous, circus TD catch (video) that he bobbled in the end zone. Of course, he was injured on the play. The Giants also lost WR Mario Manningham to a concussion, and depth at wide receiver could be a problem going forward.
For the Rams, Sam Bradford threw for 331 yards and a touchdown, but he completed just 22 of 46 passes (47 percent). In addition to a sub-par receiving corps, Bradford clearly missed the presence of stud running back Steven Jackson, who was inactive due to a strained quadriceps suffered in Week 1. Starting in his place, Cadillac Williams tallied just 36 yards on 13 carries. For more stats, visit the Rams vs. Giants box score.
Finally, the Rams get into the end zone for a score against the Giants. After settling for field goals in the red zone throughout the night, Sam Bradford found Danario Alexander from 19 yards out to pull the Rams within 12 points, 28-16.
The Rams receiving corps is not made up of household names, but Alexander has three catches for 122 yards and a touchdown now. Of course, it helps to have Sam Bradford, who has already thrown for 321 (!) yards.
It's a two possession game early in the fourth quarter. Now if the Rams defense could just slow down Eli Manning and the Giants running game, this could be a contest.
The Giants are winning, but Eli Manning is losing targets -- fast. Domenik Hixon is questionable to return after tweaking his knee while scoring a touchdown just before halftime, and now the team has announced that Mario Manningham is done for the night. From the team's official Twitter account:
Manningham apparently suffered the concussion after making the 31-yard catch just before halftime that set up Hixon's score. He juggled the catch, and while reaching to secure the ball, he lost his balance and tumbled. Had he stayed on his feet, he easily could have scored -- there was nothing but green grass between him and the end zone.
Instead, he goes down, and Hixon hurts himself on the following play. It put points on the board for the Giants, but at what cost? We'll have to wait and see, but one thing is for sure: he's out for the rest of the game.
Things are getting a little too easy for the New York Giants, who extended their lead to 28-9 following a nine-yard touchdown run by Brandon Jacobs. The Rams are doing their best to answer every time the Giants score, but so far they're settling for field goals while the Giants are going all the way.
In any case, Ahmad Bradshaw did most of the damage on New York's 10-play, 81-yard scoring drive. He was essentially stuffed on a couple of runs, but he caught two passes for a combined 30 yards. The last one put the ball on the nine-yard line, at which point Jacobs entered the game and vultured the TD.
All is not lost for Bradshaw's fantasy owners: he's just five total yards shy of the century mark (50 rushing, 45 receiving). Jacobs, meanwhile, has 31 yards on seven carries.
Domenik Hixon will not return to this Monday Night Football contest after the Giants wide receiver suffered an injury to his right knee. Hixon put the Giants ahead of the Rams by a score of 21-6, making a circus touchdown catch in which he juggled the ball several times in the end zone.
Hixon injured his right knee on the touchdown catch. Last season he injured the same knee, and missed last season with a torn ACL.
Hixon's injury, along with a concussion to WR Mario Manningham, leaves the Giants very thin at wide receiver. Right now they're going with Hakeem Nicks (who was listed pregame as questionable), Brandon Stokley and Victor Cruz.
Eli Manning found Domenik Hixon in the end zone from 22 yards out just before halftime, putting the Giants ahead 21-6. Hixon made it look a lot harder than it had to be, juggling the catch by tipping it to himself not once but twice before finally hauling it in while laying on his back for the score. I'd complement him on his concentration, but he probably could have hauled it in the first time.
The funny thing is that Manning should have had a touchdown on the previous play -- he found Mario Manningham streaking along the sideline for a 31-yard reception. But like Hixon, Manningham bobbled the catch, eventually securing it but not before losing his footing and tumbling. Had he made the catch in stride, he had a clear path to the end zone and would have easily scored.
In the end, the result is the same: the Giants scored and enter halftime with a suddenly comfortable lead. But Manning's receivers aren't making this easy for him.
Boley delivered a blow to the Rams when he returned a fumble to the house off a botched lateral in the first half to put New York up 14-6 in this NFL Week 2 Monday Night Football contest. How did he celebrate? Why, by throwing the football as hard as he could of course. Sorry, dude in a backpack standing in the way.
So which was the more impressive feat: the touchdown or the celebration?
Well, the 65-yard fumble return touchdown was the longest defensive touchdown by the Giants since Osi Umenyiora, 75 yard fumble return TD, on Oct. 21, 2007, according to the venerable Michael Signora, NFL Vice President of Football Communications.
The celebratory toss into a fans' head was the first in recent memory, according to me.
The Rams were able to pick up another field goal after Hakeem Nicks' touchdown grab, but they completely bungled their next possession. Sam Bradford dropped back to throw a lateral screen pass to Cadillac Williams, but the ball glanced off his finger tips. Instead of making an attempt to recover the ball, Williams just stood in place, clearly frustrated.
Giants linebacker Michael Boley, meanwhile, realized it was still a live ball, scooping it up and returning it 64 yards for a touchdown. By the time any of the Rams reacted, Boley was already off to the races -- and unlike Ray Edwards in the Sunday Night Football game (or even better, Vince Wolfork in the Patriots' game earlier in the day), Boley never lost steam, easily scoring to extend New York's lead, 14-6.
Bad news, American football fans. Sports' flopping pandemic, which has spread from the world's football to our shores [via basketball] has finally reached our nation's most manly athletic league.
It looked like Giants safety Deon Grant cramped up during the first quarter against the Rams on Monday Night Football. He fell to the ground, perhaps worn down by St. Louis' hurry-up offense, which had already hustled the Rams down the field for a pair of field goals. And after seeing the replay, it's clear the Rams offense caused Grant to hit the turf. ... But not because he cramped up or injured himself. He just needed a breather.
Gamesmanship or unsportsmanlike? Click the image below to check out the animated GIF and decide for yourself.
Hakeem Nicks had fantasy owners worried all week, but not only is he active tonight, he's making huge plays. he put to rest any concerns that he'd be playing at half strength early in Monday's game against the Rams. He just made an outstanding one-handed grab in the end zone. It was only a three-yard gain, but it puts the Giants ahead, 7-3. So much for the bum knee.
Sam Bradford threw the longest pass of his career -- a 68-yard bomb to Danario Alexander -- to put the Rams on the one-yard line. (Bradford owes Alexander for adding yards to the play -- he made a diving catch along the sideline but was untouched as he fell to the turf. He quickly got back up and added a bunch more yards before he was finally tackled.)
Unfortunately for St. Louis, they clearly miss Steven Jackson. Instead of punching it in for an easy score, Bradford threw an incomplete pass on first down, Cadillac Williams lost a yard on the ground on second down and Bradford threw another incomplete pass on third. Enter Josh Brown, who made the most of it by kicking a 21-yard chip shot to put the Rams up 3-0.
Both were supposed to be game-time decisions for tonight's Monday Night Football matchup against the St. Louis Rams, but the Ram's official Twitter account has confirmed that New York's leading receiver and two-time Pro Bowl defensive end will be active.
Last Tuesday, Tuck said his neck felt better and he was confident he would play against the Rams. Mike Garafolo of the Newark Star-Ledger, who watched the Giants warm up, reports that Nicks looks fine:
Nicks looked just fine in warmups, running well and getting downfield as normal on a deep ball from Eli Manning. Tuck was not on the field before inactives were announced. He will take part in the team stretch. After practicing all of last week, including in Thursday's full-pads session, he should be fine.
It's official: Steven Jackson is inactive for the St. Louis Rams for tonight's Monday Night Football game. Just hours ago the running back was still holding out hope that he might return to action, but the Rams opted to give him at least another week of rest. The Rams announced on their official Twitter account that Cadillac Williams will start in Jackson's place.
Jackson has been sidelined since the Rams' first offensive play from scrimmage in Week 1, straining his right quadriceps while breaking off a 47-yard touchdown run against the Eagles. After he left that game, Williams shouldered the load, carrying the ball 19 times for 91 yards. Expect Williams to see a similar load tonight against the New York Giants.
St. Louis Rams running back Steven Jackson took to Twitter on Monday to announce that he remains uncertain for Monday Night Football against the New York Giants. Jackson tweeted that he was headed to the stadium to test out his quad. At that point we'll likely get some sort of announcement from the St. Louis Rams.
If you've rolled the dice on Steven Jackson playing tonight, you'll basically just have to wait until the Rams and Giants announce their inactive lists at approximately 7:30pm eastern time. Of course, it is also possible the Rams keep Jackson active if he thinks he could go but not in a starting role. If you have both Jackson and Cadillac Williams that would leave you in a bit of a pickle.
If you've only got Cadillac he remains a start because even if Jackson decides he can play Cadillac will likely get a decent number of carries. Of course, given that it's Monday Night Football, you likely don't have a choice to make unless you have both Jackson and Cadillac. I'd imagine Cadillac will be the play, but we'll see what the Rams announce over the next hour and a half.
The line on Monday Night Football's Giants-Rams game favors New York by seven, and the conventional wisdom holds that New York should win. But look closer, and the Rams could make things interesting.
All content courtesy of SB Nation's Odds partners at OddsShark.com.
The St. Louis Rams take on the New York Giants in a battle of wounded squads trying to avoid 0-2 starts.
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