Giants drop Texans for first win of season

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The Giants improved to 1-2 on the season, avoiding the dreaded 0-3 start in which teams rarely recover and qualify for the postseason.

Quarterback Eli Manning (25-of-29 for 297 yards and two touchdowns — a QBR of 132.3) threw the ball with some authority and zip and shut some of his critics up with a solid day despite being sacked four times.

Running back Saquon Barkley ran for 82 yards on 17 carries highlighted by a 15-yard touchdown run in the first quarter. He did not have a target in the passing game in the first half, but caught all five of his targets for 35 yards, including a key third down completion to keep the game-sealing drive live in the fourth quarter.

Wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. caught nine of 10 targets for 109 yards and continues to show the world why the Giants forked over $90 million for his services. Sterling Shepard had a nice day himself with six catches for 80 yards and the Giants’ final touchdown.

Chad Wheeler started at right tackle and had the unenviable task of trying to block All-World defensive end J.J. Watt, who had three of the Texans’ four sacks.

The Giants defense bent but didn’t break making the early 20-6 stand up before scoring the game-sealing touchdown. They forced two turnovers deep in their own territory. Kerry Wynn, who started at outside linebacker, had a stellar game, highlighted by a forced fumble on Texans running back Lamar Miller recovered by cornerback Donte Deayon. Wynn had five tackles and batted a pass.

Then, quarterback Deshaun Watson tried to sneak a pass to Miller in the end zone but it was picked off by Giants inside linebacker Alec Ogletree.

The Texans were their own worst enemy all day with penalties and miscues on offense. They committed seven penalties for 50 yards, but many of them came at inopportune times.

The Giants held the football for 35:30, winning the time of possession, a rare feat for them the past few seasons.