2005_09_smorton.jpgIt must have been some kind of halftime speech. Trailing 13-7 at the half, the Giants came out of the locker room and erupted for 35 points to stomp the Cardinals 42-19 for their biggest opening day victory in 34 years.

Willie Ponder’s 95-yard kickoff return was the key play of the game as it came right after the Cardinals had scored a touchdown to close within two points of the lead. Arizona had been called offside on their first kickoff and when the Giants made them re-kick, Ponder did the rest. He spun outside and raced down the left side of the field for the pivotal score. Chad Morton added a 52-yard punt return for a touchdown in the fourth quarter giving the Giants a great day from their special teams.

Eli Manning had an uneven day completing ten of twenty-three passes for 172 yards. Manning was intercepted twice, but both picks came on deflections. Tiki Barber ran for 62 yards and a touchdown and Plaxico Burress added five catches for 76 yards. The only down note from the game was an ankle injury suffered by Jeremy Shockey in the fourth quarter. Shockey is expected to play when the Giants face New Orleans next Monday at 7:30pm.

Photo by AP/Ed Betz via ESPN