The New York Football Giants took to the field at MetLife Stadium last night, a place where Big Blue hopes to end the their season next February. New York started quickly and promptly drove down to the Colts' eight-yard line, but Indianapolis stiffened. Running back Andre Brown was held to no gain on fourth-and-one, and the G-men came away empty. The drive was aided by a 40-yard pass interference call on the Colts' Greg Toler against Victor Cruz on an underthrown post pattern.
On the drive, however, Giants' starting center David Baas was rolled up on and suffered an apparent knee injury. In addition, Cruz injured his foot on the same drive and had to get X-rays as well.
Neither player returned, but the Giants confirmed that both sets of X-rays came back negative.
On the ensuing three downs, the Colts lost a yard and were forced to punt. Pat MacAfee launched a 56-yard punt that Jayron Hosley returned 11-yards to the Colts' 49-yard line. Eli Manning then hit Hakeem Nicks for 20 yards, and that quickly the Giants were in the red zone again. Unfortunately, the momentum ended on third down, when Manning had a slant pass go off of Kevin Hardy's hands, and New York had to settle for a 25-yard field goal attempt by Josh Brown. Brown nailed it, and the G-men took a 3-0 lead.
The Colts then drove 81 yards, aided by a 14 yard catch and carry by Darius Heyward-Bey on third down and an offsides penalty by Linval Joseph, that gave Indianapolis another first down. Luck escaped Giants' pocket pressure for a 14 yard gain and another first down.
Then Luck got lucky when his underthrown pass was batted into the air by cornerback Aaron Ross, and Reggie Wayne temporarily juggled his good fortune before securing the 28-yard touchdown pass; giving Indianapolis a 7-3 lead.
On the ensuing possession, a Manning pass to Nicks was intercepted by the Colts' Greg Toler and returned to the Giants' 41-yard line. But Indianapolis couldn't get anything going, and settled for a 52-yard Adam Vinateri field goal and a 10-3 lead as the first quarter expired.
After a Giants' punt, Indy took over on its own 40-yard line and drove 18 yards for a score. On their first play from Scrimmage, a 5-yard catch by Wayne was aided by a fifteen-yard facemask penalty by Aaron Ross, putting the Colts in Giants' territory yet again.
Three plays later, TY Hilton hauled in a perfect Luck pass over the outstretched arm of cornerback Jayron Hosley for the TD. Luck continually went after the Giants' left cornerbacks, victimizing both Hosley and Ross throughout the first and second quarters.
New York answered back with a 15-play 62-yard drive that culminated in a Josh Brown field from 27 yards that cut the Colts lead to 17-6 with 4:06 remaining in the first half. Andre Brown ran eight yards on fourth down to get the G-men to first and goal on Indianapolis' five-yard line, but a four yard loss by Wilson, an incomplete pass to Ramses Barden and a Manning to Brandon Myers incomplete pass stalled the drive.
Initially, the pass to Barden in the end zone was ruled pass interference, but referee Ed Hoculi ruled that it was incidental contact and the call was reversed.
Veteran quarterback Matt Hasselbeck came in for Luck and drove the Colts into Giants' territory until he made an ill advised pass to Donald Brown that was intercepted by Jayron Hosley down to Indianapolis' 40-yard line. An 11-yard gain by Brown and two David Carr completions to Barden got New York down to the Colts' 13-yard line. But a fifteen-yard unsportsmanlike conduct penalty on head coach Tom Coughlin pushed the Giants to the 27 yard line, where Brown ended the half with a 45-yard field goal, cutting New York's deficit to 17-9.
After the teams exchanged punts to start the second half, the Colts got on the board when they drove 26 yards on six plays that ended with a Brendan McManus 50-yard field boosting Indy's lead to 20-9.
The Giants offense sputtered throughout the third quarter, Carr was knocked down and hurried, and his statistics showed it.
In the fourth quarter, a couple of Giants' rookies got a chance to shine. After a holding penalty pushed New York back to their own 37 yard line, Ryan Nassib connected with Michael Cox on a 28-yard screen pass. Cox showed good strength and speed as he took the pass at the line of scrimmage and sprinted up the left side.
A few plays later, Nassib showed poise and a nice touch on another screen pass to Cox that netted 20 yards and set up a 46-yard field goal attempt by Brown that he converted. The Giants still trailed 20-12 with 8:48 remaining.
The teams traded punts, and with 2:58 remaining, New York took over at their own 12 yard line. Nassib was sacked for a four yard loss; Cox ran up the middle for four yards; Nassib overthrew Hardy and Big Blue's evening was over. The Colts ran out the clock and secured a 20-12 victory that evened both team's records at 1-1.