Oct 23, 2016 2:40 PM
Giants' 4 interceptions key in 17-10 win over Rams in London
The Associated Press
LONDON (AP) — The New York Giants capitalized on four interceptions of Case Keenum to defeat the Los Angeles Rams 17-10 Sunday in the first NFL game played at London's home of English rugby, a sold-out and raucous Twickenham Stadium.
Keenum, coming off the best start of his career, had the Rams at the Giants' 15-yard line with 50 seconds left when he lobbed a pass in the left corner of the end zone that Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie easily picked off. Keenum's intended target, Brian Quick, failed to get the quarterback's audible and cut off his route early.
Keenum, who finished 32 of 53 for 291 yards and one touchdown, has thrown an interception on the Rams' final offensive play of the last three games. That likely will fuel debate on a potential quarterback change to overall No. 1 draft pick Jared Goff.
Fisher said he had no intention of switching quarterbacks during the bye week.
"The windows are tight and the throws have to be more precise," Fisher said of Keenum's throws. "I'll make changes at receiver before I make a change at quarterback."
The win kept the Giants (4-3) in good shape in the ultra-competitive NFC East, where no one has a losing record. The Rams (3-4) lost their third straight.
The Giants entered Sunday with the worst turnover differential in the NFC at minus-10. Then tight end Larry Donnell coughed up the ball on the Giants 35, leading to the Rams' lone touchdown, a 10-yard grab by Tavon Austin.
But the Rams were unable to build on that early edge and instead hit the self-destruct button. Keenum threw two interceptions, both off high-sailing deflections, to safety Landon Collins, and two more in the end zone to cornerback Rodgers-Cromartie. RB Todd Gurley struggled, carrying 15 times for 57 yards, his longest run an 8-yarder.
Collins returned his first pick 44 yards for a second-quarter touchdown, making several Rams miss tackles before he bowled over center Tim Barnes to draw the Giants even.
"I must have run at least 100 yards on that play," said a beaming Collins, who until Sunday had only one interception in his two-year career.
Collins' second pick set up the winning drive, which featured a 22-yard catch by Odell Beckman Jr. to the Rams 6. Rashad Jennings scored from the 1 for the Giants' only offensive touchdown.
Eli Manning had a pedestrian day, going 24 of 37 for 196 yards and no touchdowns. The Rams managed 20 first downs to the Giants' 13.
Manning said the pass rush and multiple coverage looks meant it was "tough to get into a great rhythm and hit a bunch of big plays."
"It's not one that we're necessarily going to put on our highlight tape of how we're supposed to win games, but it's a team game," Jennings said. "The defense bailed us out."
The Rams' final two possessions ended in the end-zone interceptions by Rodgers-Cromartie, the pro-Giants crowd of more than 74,000 roaring their approval.
Los Angeles was the home team, but officials struggled to whip up a pro-Rams environment at Twickenham, where the big-screen TVs advised "Quiet please, offense at work" when the Rams had the ball — and the crowd kept up a deafening din during the Rams' two doomed final drives.
The Giants took the field looking jet-lagged, Rams the savvy travelers. That perhaps reflected the fact Los Angeles chose to fly overnight from Detroit the previous Sunday for a full week in England, while the Giants did most of their preparations at home before arriving Friday in London.
The Giants gained a single first down in the first quarter on an 11-yard completion to Sterling Shepard. The Rams, by contrast, controlled 11:36 of the first-quarter clock, gained seven first downs with a balanced attack, and scored on their first two drives to lead 10-0 with less than 10 minutes gone.
GIANTS RUNNING WOES
New York struggled for a seventh straight week to move the ball on the ground and Giants finished with 36 yards rushing on 20 carries for a paltry 1.8 average.
New Giants kicker Robbie Gould made a 29-yard field goal in his only attempt and converted two extra points. He replaced Josh Brown, who was placed on the NFL's commissioner exemption list after more information surfaced about his abusive behavior toward his then-wife.
Gould, cut by the Bears in September, got the surprise recruitment call Thursday as he was taking his 3-year-old son swimming. Their first question: Did he have a valid passport?
"Getting a fresh start and being in a place like New York and playing for the Giants, as one of the charter franchises, is something special," he said.
Giants kick returner Dwayne Harris suffered what looked like a serious injury when returning the final punt of the first half. He lay still on the ground for several minutes, was immobilized and carted off the field as teammates prayed. But he returned to field the first punt of the fourth quarter. Neither team reported any other serious injuries.
Associated Press reporter Zac Boyer contributed to this story.
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