Sunday's tilt was a physical and often borderline-dirty affair, as the Giants escaped St. Louis with a 37-27 win.
Led by a precise Eli Manning and a fired-up Odell Beckham Jr., the Giants (6-9) efficiently executed their game plan on both sides of the ball.
If not for some garish tactics from the Rams -- and the officials lacking some in control -- Big Blue would've likely put the game out of reach in the first half. But as a Fisher-coached team is accustomed to doing, they pushed the right buttons, played close to the edge of dirtiness, and baited the Giants into playing their style of ball.
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The Giants obliged and nearly turned the game into a lawless "Thunderdome" atmosphere. But thankfully for Big Blue, order was restored when Manning connected with Beckham on an 80-yard touchdown play towards the end of the third quarter, giving them a 34-20 lead, and allowing them to finally wrest control of the game.
Tempers were hot from the opening kickoff until the final whistle, but that was to be expected whenever a Coughlin-led team faces a squad spearheaded by Fisher. The two tough-guy coaches have history stemming almost 15 years, dating back to their old AFC rivalry when the former led the Jacksonville Jaguars and the latter coached the Tennessee Titans.
The Giants were forced so out of character that they nearly amassed a league-high in penalty yards in the first half. Their staggering 124 yards of penalties on nine infractions almost surpassed the league-high of 163 in just the first two quarters of actions.
Both teams were extra aggressive, as there were three ejections in the first half -- two by the Giants (wideout Preston Parker and defensive end Damontre Moore) and one by the Rams (defensive tackle William Hayes) -- following a sideline melee involving Rams' linebacker Alec Ogletree and Beckham, who was hit out of bounds by the former.
As menacing and physical as Fisher wanted his team to be, his vaunted pass rush was feeble and passive, as the patchwork Giants' offensive line neutralized everyone. St. Louis is usually led by Robert Quinn and rookie Aaron Donald, but neither were much of a factor. Quinn, who led the league with 19 sacks last season, and tallied 10 1/2 entering today's game, could only muster five tackles. Donald, a second-round steal who may be on his way to Defensive Rookie of the Year, was also stymied, as he didn't even register a single tackle.
The Rams' defense entered the game ranked 11th-overall, but after the Giants hung 514 points on them -- the most allowed by St. Louis in over three years -- their lofty ranking will undoubtedly take a huge hit.
Thanks to that massive effort by Manning's protectors, the signal-caller was barely touched. Manning connected on 25-of-32 for 391 yards and three touchdowns, including the game-icing hookup with Beckham late in the third quarter.
Beckham finished with game-highs in yards (148) and touchdowns (two) to go with eight catches, but he wasn't alone in scorching the Rams' secondary, as Rueben Randle added six receptions for 132 yards and a touchdown.
Rookie running back Andre Williams added a game-high 110 yards for good measure. It was the first time since Oct. 25, 2010 that the Giants had a running back over 100 yards and two receivers with 100 apiece as well. This was arguably the most efficient offensive game from Manning and Co., considering the defensive front they were facing, the amount of time given for long downfield attempts, and the clean running lanes for Williams.