The Cardinals played their own style of takeaway on Sunday night at the Meadowlands against the Giants, stunning big blue with a 24-17 win. It’s the third straight win on the road for the Cards, the first time they have done that since they played ball on a full-time basis in St.Louis in 1987. They were 3-15 at the Meadowlands entering Sunday night, but none of that mattered.
They stopped Giants QB Eli Manning all night, forcing four Giants turnovers, including two on their last two possessions as Ahmad Bradshaw fumbled and then Manning threw a pick after the Giants appeared to be driving towards what could have been the tying score.
“Tonight,” Cardinals QB Kurt Warner said, “we definitely fed off our defense.”
Warner was 20-for-36 for 231 yards with a touchdown to running back Jason Wright that put the team up 24-14 with 2:32 left in the third quarter. The Cards were outgained by New York 327 to 288, but the turnovers by Manning helped the birds take advantage of the chances they were given.
Safety Adrian Wilson had an interception and a fumble recovery, Antrel Rolle picked off Manning to seal the win, and Wright, along with Tim Hightower and rookie Beanie Wells all found the end zone. The Cardinals (4-2) scored 17 straight points from the end of the second quarter to late in the third quarter to go up 10 points at 24-14, putting all the pressure on Manning and the Giants offense.
Arizona spent most of the night taking advantage of great field position. They had three touchdown drives that went no farther than 55 yards, taking advantage of field position via poor punting and turnovers. Their drives of 46, 55, and 20 yards were enough to hand the Giants their second straight loss to drop them to 5-2 after a 5-0 start.
Larry Fitzgerald led Arizona with 83 yards on 6 grabs, and Anquan Boldin, who was a question mark entering the game, had 3 catches for 75 yards. Wells ran for 67 yards on 14 carries with a 13-yard touchdown that tied the game at 7 with 4:18 to play in the second quarter.
The Cards are now by themselves in the NFC West, a game up on the 49ers. Next week they host the Carolina Panthers (2-4).