Giants 7

(2-2, 1-1 away)

Cardinals 21

(2-2, 1-1 home)

Coverage: FOX

4:05 PM ET, September 29, 2002


1 2 3 4 T
NYG 7 0 0 07
ARI 0 7 0 1421

Mistakes sink erratic Giants

TEMPE, Ariz. (AP) -- The Arizona Cardinals were supposed to be in trouble at running back, with no experience behind Thomas Jones. They have some experience now.

Allen's Analysis
Eric Allen
Question on the Giants: Is today indicative of how their season will go?
I thought they would win today, but only time will tell whether this game is indicative of their season. The key for the Giants is the consistency (or lack thereof) of QB Kerry Collins. His interception today before halftime was huge, and it swung momentum to the Cards.

Question on the Cardinals: Even in victory, Plummer was shaky: How can the Cards get him playing consistently?
This is who Jake is -- he's a streaky player. He'll give you some great comebacks but he'll also make some poor decisions and lose some games. The Cards have committed to Plummer, and because they have, when you tune in to see an Arizona game, you never know what will happen.

Eric Allen played 14 seasons in the NFL for the Eagles, Saints and Raiders.

Marcel Shipp, who never had an NFL carry before the second game of this season, ran 10 yards for one fourth-quarter touchdown and caught a 7-yard pass from Jake Plummer for another Sunday as the Cardinals (2-2) beat the bumbling New York Giants 21-7.

"I grew up watching these guys,'' said Shipp, who's from Patterson, N.J., "and it just feels great to come out here and play the way I did.''

Shipp, who gained 5,383 yards at Division I-AA Massachusetts but was not drafted last year, played because Thomas Jones had a sore left ankle. Shipp ran for 92 yards on 17 carries and caught five passes for 39 yards.

"There was a lot of motivation for me in the offseason, because they questioned the backup running back spot,'' Shipp said. "I had to prove a lot of people wrong, and I came in today and did that.''

"I've got no reservations about Marcel Shipp,'' Cardinals coach Dave McGinnis said. "He's a football player. I felt like that all along, or I wouldn't have kept him on this team last year. He is a gamer.''

Shipp sprained his left knee two plays before his touchdown run, leaving Arizona with "two gimpy backs,'' McGinnis said.

On their first possession, the Giants (2-2) got a 6-yard TD run from Tiki Barber, then they were shut down by their own miscues and Arizona's young defense.

"Our defense won this game,'' Plummer said.

Justin Lucas intercepted Kerry Collins' ill-advised sideline pass to the sidelines and returned it 38 yards for the game-tying touchdown with 4 seconds left in the first half.

In a brief halftime television interview, Giants coach Jim Fassel said, "I'll never be that stupid again in my lifetime.'' After the game, Fassel said that he didn't call the pass play but did give it the green light.

"The last thing I said was `Be careful, get the ball down the field,''' Fassel said. "We throw it on the flat, and it will never happen again. It's supposed to go down the field.''

Collins said he went on the field intending to take a knee and go to halftime with a 7-0 lead, but he got a message through his headset to change the play.

"I was looking for something on the sidelines. They were in a prevent. I was just trying hit Tiki in the flat,'' Collins said. "I didn't see the guy (Lucas) and obviously didn't throw it the way I needed to throw it.''

Plummer, booed heartily by the crowd after two costly interceptions last week in a 23-15 loss to San Diego, completed 23 of 32 passes for 168 yards and a touchdown. He was not intercepted.

The Giants were penalized 10 times for 110 yards, including a roughing-the-passer call against Michael Strahan on third-and-10 at the Arizona 33 that got the Cardinals' go-ahead drive started.

"It doesn't matter what I think. He threw the flag,'' Strahan said. "We just didn't play smart today, and when you don't play smart, you don't win.'' ``

Plummer threw 14 yards to Brian Gilmore to the New York 35, Gilmore's first NFL catch. Shipp rambled 25 yards to the 10. On third-and-goal at the 7, Plummer scrambled to his left and found Shipp in the end zone to put Arizona up 14-7 with 10:35 to play. The pass was intended for Frank Sanders in the back of the end zone, but Shipp reached up to catch it.

The Cardinals sealed the victory with a 12-play, 78-yard drive that ended with Shipp's scoring run through a wide hole with 2:13 to play. Arizona's offensive players said the Giants' defenders wore down in the desert heat.

"They didn't have much left,'' tackle L.J. Shelton said.

The Giants had a 76-yard touchdown pass from Collins to Ron Dixon called back by a holding penalty against Mike Rosenthal on the last play of the third quarter.

At the end of the game, McGinnis climbed into the stands to shake hands with fans in the sparse crowd of 30,014.

The Giants struggled again on the ground, managing just 67 yards. Collins was 19-for-36 for 199 yards and was intercepted twice.

"Our whole offense is to blame for the whole game,'' Fassel said. "Out offense is not scoring enough points for us to win.''

Game notes

Game-time temperature was 90 degrees, 10 degrees cooler than last Sunday. ... Giants punter Matt Allen took off on his own after a bad snap and misjudged where the first down line was. "He didn't realize he had that far to go,'' Fassel said. ... New York center Dan Zeigler suited up for the first time after coming back from knee surgery in January, but he did not play. ... Arizona guard Chris Dishman left the game in the first quarter with a concussion.

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


Scoring Summary

Drive info: 1 plays, 24 yds, 0:00
Drive info: 1 plays, 24 yds, 0:00
Drive info: 8 plays, 67 yds, 2:38
nygTD9:00Tiki Barber, 6 yd run
Drive info: 8 plays, 46 yds, 4:00
Drive info: 8 plays, 67 yds, 2:38
Drive info: 8 plays, 46 yds, 4:00
ariTD2:18Marcel Shipp, 10 yd run
Drive info: 12 plays, 78 yds, 5:33
Drive info: 12 plays, 78 yds, 5:33