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Rams Play Well Against Giants

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EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP) — Are the St. Louis Rams in trouble without Kurt Warner and Marshall Faulk? Ask the New York Giants.

Trent Green threw touchdown passes to four receivers and scrambled for another, and the Rams used three turnovers and a couple of big plays on special teams to beat the Giants 38-24 on Sunday.

``This just goes to show this is a complete team,'' said Warner, last season's regular-season and Super Bowl MVP who has been sidelined since Oct. 22 with a broken finger.

``This isn't about one or two guys,'' Warner added. ``This is about a complete team, what we have from top to bottom. Our defense played great. Our offense played great. This is more the team we saw last year. This shows we're a great football team.''

The loss ended a four-game winning streak for the error-prone Giants (7-3), who again showed they are not in the same class with the NFL's elite teams.

New York, also was outclassed in losing to Washington and Tennessee, is a half-game ahead of Philadelphia in the NFC East.

``We heard all the nay-sayers say we hadn't beaten anybody and is this team a first-place team?'' Giants tackle Lomas Brown said. ``We wanted to answer those questions and silence them. We didn't.''

Green's touchdown passes covered 1 yard to Roland Williams, 5 yards to Torry Holt, 8 yards to Ricky Proehl and 34 yards to Isaac Bruce. Warner's backup also scrambled 18 yards for a touchdown, a run that gave St. Louis a 28-7 halftime lead.

The four touchdown passes tied Green's single-game best, set while playing for Washington against Arizona in 1998. He finished 27-of-45 for 272 yards, and he also rushed for 54 yards on six carries on a day the Rams rushed for 141 yards against the Giants, the NFL's second-best rushing defense. They are ranked seventh overall.

``Any time we're able to put that many points on the board, I'm happy,'' said Green, who has started the last three games.

Faulk, who led the NFL in combined rushing-receiving yards, has missed the last two games with a knee injury.

Kerry Collins threw touchdown passes of 13 yards to Tiki Barber and 46 and 34 yards to Ike Hilliard. The longer one started a 10-point run by the Giants at the start of third quarter that closed New York to 28-17.

After Hilliard's long TD made it 28-14, Green was intercepted by linebacker Ryan Phillips on the next play from scrimmage, giving the Giants possession on the St. Louis 11. A run by Barber got the ball almost to the 1, but Ron Dayne was stuffed on the next two plays, and New York settled for Brad Daluiso's field goal.

Green then drove the Rams for two scores, a 50-yard field goal by Jeff Hall and the touchdown pass to Bruce, which was set up by London Fletcher's interception.

The Rams used a fumble recovery, a favorable review, a big punt return, a fake field goal and interception to build a 28-7 halftime lead.

The play that ignited the Super Bowl champions came on the Giants' first series when Keith Lyle stripped the ball from Amani Toomer at the end of a 21-yard reception and Dexter McCleon picked up the ball and returned it to the New York 1.

After the Giants lost their challenge, Green hit Williams all alone after a play-action fake.

Az-Zahir Hakim helped stretch the lead to 14-0 late in the first quarter, returning a punt 39 yards to the 27. Green finished off the three-play drive with a 5-yard pass to Holt.

A 50-yard run by Dayne ignited a three-play, 66-yard drive that got the Giants on the scoreboard, with Barber scoring on a 13-yard swing pass.

The score seemed to get the of 78,174 back in the game, but the Rams didn't take long to take them out of it again.

Green hit six passes and Lyle ran 4 yards on a fourth-down fake field goal before the 8-yard touchdown pass to Proehl, giving the Rams a 21-7 lead.

After McCleon picked off Collins two plays into the next drive, Green capped a five-play, 63-yard drive with the 18-yard scramble.

``We knew this was a big game without Kurt and Marshall, and everyone in this locker room took it upon themselves to step up a little,'' Rams tackle Orlando Pace said.

Notes: Giants starting LG Glenn Parker pulled a calf muscle in warmups and missed the game. Mike Rosenthal replaced him. ... This marked the first time the Rams have held an opponent scoreless in the first quarter since the Super Bowl win over Tennessee. ... Green's 54 yards rushing were the most by a Rams quarterback since Roman Gabriel ran for 57 in 1967. ... St. Louis has scored 20 or more points in 26 straight games, the first team to do that since Miami between 1983-85. ... Halfback Trung Canidate, the Rams first-round draft, broke a wrist. ... Toomer missed the second half with a concussion.
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