NASHVILLE, Tenn. — The Giants can breathe a big sigh of relief. Their skid is over at the expense of a Tennessee team with even more problems than New York.
Eli Manning threw for 260 yards and a touchdown, and New York snapped a seven-game skid by routing the Tennessee Titans 36-7 on Dec. 7.
The Giants (4-9) won for the first time since Oct. 5 with two rookies having big games. Odell Beckham Jr. set a team rookie record with his fourth game with 100 yards receiving this season: 11 catches for 130 yards and a TD. Andre Williams ran for a season-high 131 yards, including a 50-yard TD.
Tennessee (2-11) lost its seventh straight and for the 11th time in 12 games with a performance that had fans booing and even a handful wearing paper bags over their heads. This is the franchise’s longest skid since losing 11 straight in 1994 as the then-Houston Oilers.
The Titans’ loss became even more painful with rookie quarterback Zach Mettenberger hurting his sprained right shoulder in the fourth quarter, and he did not return.
The Giants came in with an NFL-high 19 players on injured reserve but relatively healthy on offense, even with running back Rashad Jennings not starting because of a sore ankle that kept him out of practice. With Manning and Beckham connecting early and often, they helped the Giants dominate with a 402-207 edge in total offense.
Giants cornerback Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, who played on this field in college at Tennessee State, had a 36-yard TD off an interception wiped out by a personal foul on Damontre Moore for a hit on Mettenberger. Josh Brown kicked his fifth field goal for a 36-7 lead.
With plenty of fans in New York blue on hand, the Giants dominated the first quarter, taking a 17-0 lead with a 151-6 edge in total offense. Beckham notched his seventh game with at least 90 yards receiving and a TD in the first 11 minutes. Devon Kennard sacked Mettenberger, with the rookie fumbling, and Markus Kuhn ran the recovery 26 yards for a TD.
The Giants were up 23-0 at halftime. The lead that would have been even bigger if not for the Titans at least forcing them to settle for three field goals from Brown, two when New York had first-and-goal.
For Tennessee, the patchwork effect on offense showed. The Titans had only four players that started the season at their positions with left tackle Taylor Lewan and right tackle Michael Oher missing their second straight starts because of injuries. When right tackle Byron Stingily went down, Tennessee finished with a tackle signed Dec. 2..
The Titans’ only points came when Marqueston Huff returned an interception 23 yards for a TD. The Titans couldn’t even run out the final seconds of the first half properly, drawing a penalty for an illegal snap that prompted boos from fans still paying attention.
(TERESA M. WALKER, AP Pro Football Writer)