Cardinals take advantage of Giants' mistakes in win


The Arizona Cardinals took advantage of a series of fourth-quarter miscues by the New York Giants in a 25-14 win on Sunday at the Meadowlands. Our takeaways:

1. The Giants led 14-13 with 11 minutes to play. Then it all fell apart. A Victor Cruz drop on third down was followed by Ted Ginn's 71-yard punt return for a touchdown. On the ensuing kickoff, Giants return man Quintin Demps lost a fumble. The Cardinals kicked another field goal. Finally, with the Giants driving into the red zone, Rashad Jennings lost his footing and fumbled without being touched. These are the types of mistakes bad teams make.

2. Drew Stanton performed admirably in place of Carson Palmer, who was a late scratch with a nerve issue. Stanton didn't throw a touchdown pass (one scoring play to Larry Fitzgerald was overturned on review) and did not have a turnover, mostly staying out of the way as the defense and special teams took over. There will be no quarterback controversy in Arizona if Palmer is healthy.

3. Lost in the team-wide meltdown was a very nice bounce-back performance by Eli Manning, who was excellent after an early interception. Manning got little help from his receivers, however, who had five more drops. Which leads us to ...

4. Victor Cruz went to the media and called for the ball last week. When it came his way on Sunday, he didn't take advantage. His third-down drop in the fourth quarter -- mentioned above -- was the turning point of the game. He had other opportunities where he was unable to come down with contested or slightly overthrown passes. Cruz has to walk the walk.

5. Patrick Peterson will not refer to this game tape when making his case as the NFL's best cornerback. Manning went right after the All-Pro with surprising success: A touchdown hook-up with Reuben Randle and a deep end zone pass to Cruz that drew a deserved flag for pass interference.

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