Giants (3-2) 34, Texans (3-2) 10
What went right ...
1 Shut it down — Perry Fewell’s defense dominated again, this time against the league’s No. 2 offense. Corey Webster got first pick of the season off Texans quarterback Matt Schaub in the first quarter and Giants’ front held the NFL’s leading rusher Arian Foster to just 25 yards.
2 Biggest star in Texas — Hakeem Nicks abused the atrocious Texans secondary from the get-go, catching five balls for 71 yards and a touchdown in the first quarter alone. Eli Manning’s favorite target finished with 130 yards on 12 receptions and two scores against the league's worst secondary. Heading into the game Texans wideout Andre Johnson was rightfully the talk of the receivers but it was Nicks’s star that shined the brightest, as Johnson was shut out in the first half.
3 In a rush — The Giants registered three sacks, including two from Osi Umenyiora. Both sacks came early in each half and led to Matt Schaub fumbles. “We just got our butt kicked,” said Houston coach Gary Kubiak. The loss of Mathias Kiwanuka (neck injury) hasn’t hindered the Giants’ pass rush, as they’ve racked up 13 sacks in the past two weeks.
What went wrong:
1. Nothing special -- As if on auto-pilot, New York’s special teams was again ineffective, as Darius Reynaud was nearly useless. Reynaud, who was specifically brought over from Minnesota to return kicks, muffed a punt on New York’s own 15-yard line early in the first quarter. And if not for Chase Blackburn’s heads-up play in recovering the ball, the Giants’ fast start wouldn’t have ever happened.
2. Wounded -- Injuries along the offensive line were again prevalent, as left tackle David Diehl was seen hobbling off the field at the end of the first half. Although Diehl did return to start the second half, the big man was never the same. To further try and protect Diehl, the Giants made it a point to slide protection to his side with chip-blocks from backs and tight ends. Diehl was already struggling when healthy but any more injuries to a unit that was already missing center Shaun O’Hara [ankle/Achilles] could cripple production.
3. Houston hanging around -- In a way, the Giants didn’t keep their foot on the throat of the Texans when they reached a double-digit lead to start the second half. Manning was intercepted twice in the third quarter, Johnson did record a 43-yard reception, former Giant running back Derrick Ward scored and Ahmad Bradshaw fumbled again – although it was recovered by the Giants. If New York wants to be considered elite, it'll need to put teams away when they have the chance.