On Christmas Eve, the New York Giants offense emulated Santa Claus, entering and exiting Sunday’s game quickly and without a trace, falling to the Arizona Cardinals 23-0 at the site of their Super Bowl XLII victory.
Larry Fitzgerald tallied 119 yards on nine receptions and scored the first Cardinals touchdown since December 3, the first in a 23-0 victory in the season’s last game at University of Phoenix Stadium.
With the loss, the 2017 season officially goes down as the worst in Giants’ history, their 13 losses marking the first time the Giants have dropped that many games in their 93-year history. Perhaps appropriately, the Giants were also shut out for the first time since October 2014, when they were blanked 27-0 by Philadelphia.
The Cardinals got a field goal in the first half, but a Giants attempt to reciprocate went awry, as Aldrick Rosas’ 33-yard field goal attempt sailed wide left, carrying on the theme of special teams ineffectiveness from the loss against Philadelphia last week.
The Cardinals capitalized in the late stages of the first half, needing just over two minutes to go 79 yards, capped off by Fitzgerald’s 13-yard touchdown grab from Drew Stanton.
— Arizona Cardinals (@AZCardinals) December 24, 2017
Arizona (7-8) more or less put the game away early in the second half, immediately scoring on an 11-play, 75-yard possession that concluded with Stanton’s 15-yard scoring to receiver John Brown.
The extra point was missed, but the Cardinals added one extra gift to their stocking when linebacker Deon Bucannon stripped quarterback Eli Manning of the ball, and defensive end Robert Nkemdiche taking the ensuing turnover back 21 yards to create the 23-0 final.
Any attempt to remove Manning would likely be futile, as Davis Webb was inactive for the 15th consecutive game. After a season-high 434 yards last week against the Eagles, Manning struggled at the site of his first Super Bowl victory, going 27-for-45 for 263 yards and two interceptions, one of which was in Arizona territory.
A rare bright spot for the Giants came in the form of cornerback Ross Cockrell, who recorded two interceptions of Stanton, one of which came in the end zone. The other came deep at the Arizona 26, but two penalties on the offensive line pushed the Giants back to the 41, and it ended in a turnover on downs. Overall, the Giants were penalized 10 times for 101 yards on the afternoon.
The 2017 Giants season ends next Sunday, as the Giants return home for a divisional showdown against the Washington Redskins (1:00 PM, FOX).