Giants reign in London
National Football League Regular Season
5pm, Sunday 28 October 2007
Wembley Stadium, London
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The Giants made it 6-0 for their current streak to put them in a commanding position for the playoffs, and pile on the misery for Miami who now have the unenviable record of eight straight defeats.
In the first regular season match outside of America, Giants quarterback Eli Manning made the decisive score in the second quarter as he ran home a touchdown, but the London rain did little for the handling of the ball and both sides struggled to pass many yards.
An historic occasion in front of a sellout Wembley crowd, the game will surely provide a great launchpad for NFL this side of the big pond with so many fans eagerly witnessing a highly competitive match for the first time in London.
With flashbulbs still lighting up the night sky inside Wembley, the Dolphins returned the opening kick 18 yards, before gradually working through the pitch with some subtle but persistant offence. Cleo Lemon made a particularly decisive charge when under pressure to earn first down inside the Giants' 40 yard line, although an unsuccessful field-goal attempt from Jay Feely brought the attack to an end.
Plaxico Burress failed to take in ambitious touchdown attempt from 39 yards as Manning sought early points on the board. Jacobs carried the ball to within inches of the goal line but thanks to resolute defence from the Dolphins and two incomplete passes from Manning, the Giants were unable to make the touchdown. Lawrence Tynes made a 20-yard field goal to register the first points on the board.
In slippery conditions Eli Manning would not have been pleased with his early passing, as a number of crucial throws went astray but in the final big play of the first half Manning showed his class to give New York a strong advantage going into the interval.
It was shortly before half-time as Burress was seemingly grounded before catching the ball on a third down, but on further review of the play the umpire reversed the decision giving the Giants first and goal with a minute and nine seconds remaining on the clock for the second quarter.
Manning weighed up his options before driving for the corner and scoring the first touchdown in NFL history outside of the US. An historic moment for the younger brother of Superbowl-winning Peyton, here Eli took control of the game to give the Giants the edge.
The Dolphins looked like creating something as the interval approached, with Chatman showing great hands to cling on as the ball looked to have slipped from his grasp, but from the next snap the ball came out of Clemon's hand at the crucial moment and Davis took the sack and turnover to give Manning another shot at points before the break.
With just seven seconds on the clock Tom Coughlin decided to take the field goal, and Tynes scored his third kick of the match to put Giants up by 13 at the interval.
The third quarter saw a number of flags on plays as the conditions made handling all the more difficult, but rather than react by taking a pragmatic approach both sides continued by playing the majority of the game with passing rather than running as their offensive strategy.
Jessie Chatman made an heroic dash for 22 yards after Manning was severly sacked in the third quarter, setting the Dolpins within goal range. Though a touchdown pass from Lemon was dropped in the endzone by Hagan, Feely put Miami on the board with a 29 yard field goal to reduce their arrears to ten points.
Despite a late flurry by the Dolpins inside the final two minutes, with Ted Ginn jr grabbing his career-first touchdown and putting Miami within three points as the game reached it's climax, the Giants refused to play any offence as Manning took three downs for knee, and secured the victory for New York.
Miami Dolphins: T,79,Alabi, Anthony, DB,32,Allen, Jason, CB,25,Allen, Will, QB,9,Beck, John, RB,20,Booker, Lorenzo, WR,86,Booker, Marty, DB,47,Bryan, Courtney, DT,62,Bryant, Anthony, WR,83,Camarillo, Greg, T,72,Carey, Vernon, RB,28,Chatman, Jesse, RB,38,Cobbs, Patrick, OLB,52,Crowder, Channing, CB,29,Daniels, Travis, DE,92,Denney, John, K,3,Feely, Jay, P,4,Fields, Brandon, DT,60,Fifita, Stiveni, WR,19,Ginn, Ted, CB,21,Goodman, Andre', G,66,Hadnot, Rex, WR,82,Hagan, Derek, TE,80,Halterman, Aaron, DT,91,Holliday, Vonnie, CB,22,Lehan, Michael, T,71,Lekkerkerker, Cory, QB,17,Lemon, Cleo, G,76,Liwienski, Chris, TE,88,Martin, David, FB,45,Mauia, Reagan, LB,50,Miles, Edmond, DE,74,Moses, Quentin, C,63,Mruczkowski, Gene, DE,93,Ninkovich, Rob, TE,87,Peelle, Justin, OLB,56,Pope, Derrick, OLB,55,Porter, Joey, DT,97,Rayburn, Sam, WR,15,Reed, Kerry, DE,75,Robinson, Derreck, DE,98,Roth, Matt, C,64,Satele, Samson, DB,31,Schulters, Lance, T,70,Shelton, L.J., DT,96,Soliai, Paul, OLB,59,Spragan, Donnie, DE,99,Taylor, Jason, MLB,54,Thomas, Zach, SS,26,Tillman, Travares, NT,94,Traylor, Keith, DB,44,Worrell, Cameron, LB,53,Wright, Abraham, DT,90,Wright, Rodrique,
New York Giants: NT,93,Alford, Jay, LB,57,Blackburn, Chase, G,77,Boothe, Kevin, TE,89,Boss, Kevin, RB,44,Bradshaw, Ahmad, WR,17,Burress, Plaxico, SS,37,Butler, James, NT,96,Cofield, Barry, CB,30,Dahl, Craig, DT,99,Davis, Russell, LB,51,DeOssie, Zak, T,66,Diehl, David, DB,35,Dockery, Kevin, RB,22,Droughns, Reuben, P,18,Feagles, Jeff, FB,39,Hedgecock, Madison, WR,87,Hixon, Domenik, RB,27,Jacobs, Brandon, SAF,43,Johnson, Michael, OLB,97,Kiwanuka, Mathias, T,61,Koets, Adam, QB,13,Lorenzen, Jared, CB,29,Madison, Sam, QB,10,Manning, Eli, TE,88,Matthews, Michael, T,67,McKenzie, Kareem, CB,25,McQuarters, R.W., OLB,55,Mitchell, Kawika, WR,83,Moss, Sinorice, C,60,O'Hara, Shaun, MLB,58,Pierce, Antonio, DT,98,Robbins, Fred, CB,31,Ross, Aaron, G,65,Ruegamer, Grey, G,69,Seubert, Rich, TE,80,Shockey, Jeremy, WR,12,Smith, Steve, G,76,Snee, Chris, DE,92,Strahan, Michael, DE,71,Tollefson, Dave, WR,81,Toomer, Amani, LB,53,Torbor, Reggie, DE,91,Tuck, Justin, K,9,Tynes, Lawrence, WR,85,Tyree, David, DE,72,Umenyiora, Osi, RB,34,Ward, Derrick, CB,23,Webster, Corey, T,79,Whimper, Guy, LB,59,Wilkinson, Gerris, FS,28,Wilson, Gibril, QB,2,Wright, Anthony, DT,75,Wright, Manuel,