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Giants 28, Rams 16

Giants pounce on Rams

The Giants’ Domenik Hixon takes a tumble but holds on to make a spectacular 22-yard TD reception with just 21 seconds left in the first half. The Giants’ Domenik Hixon takes a tumble but holds on to make a spectacular 22-yard TD reception with just 21 seconds left in the first half. (Nick Laham/Getty Images)
By Tom Canavan
Associated Press / September 20, 2011

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EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. - Steve Spagnuolo and the St. Louis Rams came to the Meadowlands bearing gifts and the New York Giants readily accepted them.

Eli Manning threw two touchdown passes and linebacker Michael Boley scored on a 65-yard fumble return to lead New York to a 28-16 victory over the mistake-prone Rams last in the first matchup between Giants coach Tom Coughlin and Spagnuolo, his former defensive coordinator.

“It seemed when they gave us a little opening, we jumped in there and got points and scored touchdowns and didn’t settle for field goals,’’ said Manning, who completed 18 of 29 passes for 200 yards and one interception.

This one was ugly, with mistakes by the Rams (0-2) giving New York (1-1) a crucial win after a disappointing loss to Washington in the season opener.

“It’s a little bit of the same story as last week, we shot ourselves in the foot,’’ said Spagnuolo, who kept the media waiting 25 minutes after the game before talking. “It’s difficult enough to beat any football team in this league without doing that, when you kind of beat yourself.’’

All four of New York’s touchdowns resulted directly from St. Louis mistakes.

Manning hit Hakeem Nicks with a 3-yard TD pass after a muffed punt and Domenik Hixon made a spectacular juggling grab on a 22-yard score after a busted coverage late in the first half.

Sam Bradford threw a touchdown pass and Josh Brown kicked three short field goals for the Rams, who moved up and down the field except in the red zone.

Bradford, who was 22 of 46 for 331 yards, might have made the biggest mistakes, throwing a pass backward and seeing Boley run it into the end zone.

Two-time Pro Bowl defensive end Justin Tuck played for the Giants after missing the opener with a neck injury and had five tackles and 1 1/2 sacks.

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