Nashville, TN (SportsNetwork.com) – Rookie Andre Williams rushed for a career- high 131 yards, much of it on a 50-yard touchdown run that helped the New York Giants snap a seven-game losing streak with a 36-7 win over the Tennessee Titans on Sunday.
Something had to give between the two teams, who came into the game with 13 consecutive losses between them.
While the Giants (4-9) ended their skid, the Titans (2-11) remained winless since Oct. 12, losing seven in a row for the first time since an 11-game slide in 1994 when they were the Houston Oilers.
New York avoided what would have been a second consecutive loss to one of the NFL’s worst teams after coughing up a 21-0 lead to Jacksonville last week.
“It’s a great lift,” said Giants defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul, who had two of New York’s eight sacks in the game. “In all three phases we did our job and that’s what counts.”
Eli Manning threw for 260 yards with a 15-yard touchdown pass to rising star Odell Beckham Jr. that helped the Giants build a 23-0 lead at halftime.
Beckham had 11 catches for 130 yards and Williams carried the ball 24 times in his first career 100-yard game. Rashad Jennings, who is dealing with an ankle injury, had two carries and one catch.
Much of New York’s scoring came on five Josh Brown field goals and a defensive touchdown from Markus Kuhn, who returned a Zach Mettenberger fumble. Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie had an interception return for a touchdown waived off in the fourth quarter because of an unnecessary roughness penalty.
Mettenberger re-injured his sprained right shoulder in the fourth quarter after going 14-of-24 for 125 yards. Jake Locker relieved him for the second week in a row and also threw a pick.
Marqueston Huff scored the only Tennessee points on a 23-yard interception return in the third quarter.
“We’ve got to make changes,” said Tennessee center Chris Spencer. “We’re trying to get a break, we just can’t get one right now.”
Beckham had a star-making November, when he became the first NFL rookie ever to have five 90-yard receiving games in one month and hogged highlights with his spectacular catches. He made another one on Sunday, a leaping 50-yard grab over the middle of the field in tight coverage against Jason McCourty.
His 15-yard touchdown catch in the back of the end zone three plays later was no cupcake, either, as the 5-foot-11 Beckham was sandwiched between hits from McCourty and safety Daimion Stafford.
Later in the first, Mettenberger lost his grip on the ball under pressure and Kuhn scooped the ball up for a 26-yard touchdown that gave the Giants a 17-0 lead with 1:07 remaining in the first quarter.
Ryan Succop missed a 42-yard field goal try for Tennessee in the second quarter and Brown, who kicked a 20-yard field goal on New York’s first possession of the game, hit from 19 and 36 yards to make it 23-0 at halftime.
The Giants handed the ball to Williams three straight times to start the third quarter and he ran 50 yards on the third play to give them a 30-0 lead.
They gave the points back on their next possession when Manning threw across his body and Huff picked the pass off, taking it 23 yards for a touchdown.
Brown drilled a season-long 52-yarder near the end of the third quarter for a 33-7 Giants lead.
Later, Rodgers-Cromartie’s touchdown was called back after defensive end Damontre Moore was penalized for knocking Mettenberger to the ground far away from the play as his teammate high-stepped down the sideline. The Giants got three points out of the pick on Brown’s 42-yard field goal.
Rodgers-Cromartie played college football at nearby Tennessee State and said the game was like a homecoming.
“I’m definitely familiar with this stadium and this win has been a long time coming,” he said.
New York snapped a five-game losing streak against the Titans and took a 6-5 lead in the all-time series … The Giants haven’t lost eight in a row since Nov. 7-Dec. 26, 2004, in coach Tom Coughlin’s first season at the helm … The Giants host division rival Washington next Sunday … The Titans host the New York Jets next Sunday.