Nightmare fourth quarter haunts slow-starting Giants
By Larry Fine
EAST RUTHERFORD New Jersey (Reuters) - A wave of good feeling quickly turned to horror for the New York Giants on Sunday as a fourth-quarter lead over the Arizona Cardinals vanished in a nightmare sequence of mistakes in a 25-14 defeat.
The loss left the Giants 0-2 for the new season and by the closing minutes, nearly all of the 80,000 fans who had packed MetLife Stadium had already filed out, no doubt experiencing flashbacks to last year's 0-6 start.
"Dropped balls, punt returns, kickoff return fumbled, fumbled the ball without anybody hitting us over on the 17-yard line when we had a chance to score," lamented befuddled New York coach Tom Coughlin.
"We take the lead, 14-13, and from there it was a nightmare."
The game had appeared winnable against a Cardinals team (2-0) without sore shouldered starting quarterback Carson Palmer.
But in the span of less than six minutes an encouraging New York performance turned sour against a Cardinals team steered by back-up quarterback Drew Stanton, who had last thrown an NFL pass in December 2010.
With New York holding a 14-13 lead with 10 minutes to play, a dropped third-down pass to Victor Cruz led to a punt, which was returned for 71 yards and a touchdown by Ted Ginn, who avoided a point-blank tackle by Zack Bowman at the start of the return.
Quintin Demps fumbled the ensuing kickoff leading to an Arizona field goal, and when the Giants drove down the field with a chance to tie it with a touchdown and two-point conversion, running back Rashad Jennings caught a short pass and slipped, fell and fumbled away the ball, ending their last good chance. Continued...