Both teams trotted out stellar receiving cores and intimidating defensive fronts but the Giants found the early momentum and found a way to ride that wave to victory.
Both teams seemed evenly matched as the first quarter came and went without a single point on the board. With 2:25 left on the clock in the first half, Eli Manning found wide receiver Plaxico Burress for a 20-yard score to put the Giants up 7-0. After getting the ball back from the Rams, the Giants were able to strike one more time before the break as Manning connected with Odell Beckham Jr. from seven yards out. The G-Men carried that lead into the second half and managed to build on it with an Aldrick Rosas field goal halfway through the third.
With 90 seconds left in the third, running back Marshall Faulk, who finished the game with 95 rushing yards, found the end zone on an 11-yard scamper to bring the score to 17-7.
Rosas knocked another field goal through the uprights early in the fourth to move Rams further ahead 21-7. Faulk shouldered the load once again, ripping off a 20-yard score with four minutes remaining in the game to bring the Rams within a score at 20-14. Rosas gave the Giants a little more breathing room after he connected for the third time on the day from 49 yards out. Facing a two score game with 2:30 left on the clock, quarterback Kurt Warner worked his way down the field and found wideout Isaac Bruce for a nine-yard score.
The Rams unfortunately didn’t score with enough time on the clock and wound-up kicking the ball back to the Rams with 25 seconds remaining. Even with all their timeouts left, the Giants ran out the clock to walk off victorious, 23-21.
Warner finished with 232 yards and a touchdown pass on 17-of-21 passing. Faulk finished with two scores on the ground and the aforementioned pair of scores. Bruce led the team in receiving with 118 yards on eight catches. Henry Ellard was second on the team with four catches and 71 yards. Thomas Fears chipped in three catches for another 29 yards.
The Rams defense held the Giants’ Saquon Barkley to 22 rushing yards on 10 carries but allowed Burress to torch them for 150 yards and a touchdown on six catches. Amani Toomer also caught four passes for 106 yards.
The final four teams left that will play tonight to decide the championship are the Green Bay Packers, New England Patriots, New York Giants, and Pittsburgh Steelers. Catch the games at Bleacher Report’s Twitch stream here.