for this game

Shockey, Giants survive scare from Texans

Nov 5, 2006 - 9:38 PM EAST RUTHERFORD, New Jersey (Ticker) -- Jeremy Shockey and the New York Giants nearly got caught looking ahead.

Shockey caught the go-ahead touchdown midway through the fourth quarter as the banged-up Giants slipped by with a 14-10 victory over the Houston Texans in an interconference game.

A constant complainer about his lack of a significant role in the offense, Shockey took advantage of his team's decision to try and find their Pro Bowl tight end more often. He finished with season highs in catches (eight) and receiving yards (66).

"He was very much involved, it had been that way all week long," Giants coach Tom Coughlin said. "We had the unfortunate (back) injury earlier in the week to (receiver) Plaxico (Burress). That was the plan today, and Jeremy played well."

With a high-profile matchup with the Chicago Bears a week away, Shockey caught a three-yard TD pass from Eli Manning with 7:49 remaining to lift New York (6-2) to its fifth straight win.

"We did a good job this week of concentrating on this team and not looking forward," Shockey said. "Last year we were in the same situation, and we did not want the Houston game to be like the Minnesota game, when we lost our confidence."

For the winning drive, Manning and the Giants drove 67 yards in 11 plays over 4:52, utilizing the no-huddle offense.

"Eli does a great job on his play-calling," Shockey said. "We knew we had to score. We were getting boos everywhere, from all over the stadium. It definitely was fun to go no-huddle and show what we can do - let him call some plays, let coaches call some plays."

"We knew (Shockey) was going to have a big day for us," Manning said. "He made some tough catches and played really well. He got everyone fired up and when we needed some big plays, he made them."

Shockey and the Giants complete a three-game homestand next Sunday night against Chicago, which won its first seven games, most in dominating fashion, before being stunned by lowly Miami, 31-13.

"They lost a game today, but they're going to bring what they bring to the table a little extra hard because they lost today," Shockey said.

Winless in their last 12 road games, the Texans (2-6) had a chance to answer but fullback Jameel Cook lost a fumble at the New York 33 with 5:11 remaining.

Rookie linebacker Gerris Wilkinson, who was filling in for injured Brandon Short, recovered the ball, allowing the Giants to kill the clock after three first downs.

"I was looking for a play to kind of redeem myself," Wilkinson said. "I wasn't very productive early in the game. It couldn't have been at a better time for the defense."

"That was a huge play in the game because of the field position and where they were," Giants coach Tom Coughlin said.

New York also absorbed another key loss on the defensive side when end Michael Strahan left the game in the second quarter with a mid-foot sprain and did not return. The X-rays for the seven-time Pro Bowler were negative.

Strahan joined bookend defensive end Osi Umenyiora (hip flexor), cornerback Sam Madison (hamstring), Short and Burress as starters that were sidelined for the Giants. In addition, veteran Bob Whitfield was called upon to play right tackle when Kareem McKenzie was felled for the game due to a migraine.

The NFL's leading rusher, Tiki Barber got his first touchdown of the season with a 16-yard rumble around left end in the first quarter that opened the scoring. Barber finished with 115 yards on 17 carries and added 40 more on three receptions.

David Carr had a two-yard TD run, giving Houston a 10-7 lead with 1:14 left in the third. He completed 21-of-30 attempts for 176 yards without an interception.

The 18-play drive burned 8:12 off the clock and gave the momentum to the Texans, who then forced the Giants into a three-and-out to get back the ball at their own 49. But the Texans lost 16 yards on their ensuing three plays and the Giants countered with the winning drive.

"Being in a situation where you have a chance to beat a good team on the road that doesn't lose a lot of games at home and then just (falling short), you have to learn from it," Carr said.

Carr rushed for 24 yards on five carries and New Jersey native Wali Lundy struggled with 43 on 20 for Houston, which had 81 yards on the ground. Andre Johnson added nine receptions for 83 yards.

Kris Brown booted a 41-yard field goal midway through the second quarter to close Houston within 7-3. But Brown missed wide left from 42 yards five minutes into the game after the Texans marched 50 yards after the opening kickoff.

"Offensively we moved the ball," Texans coach Gary Kubiak said. "When you are playing that kind of team that can run the football you have to take advantage of your ball movement, because all of a sudden that game is going to be over awful quick."

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