The New York Giants continue to play their own personal game of "chicken" with the San Francisco 49ers.
The Giants steamrolled over the Indianapolis Colts 24-7 Monday night to join the 49ers at 8-0, the first time in 56 years that two NFL teams have been unbeaten this deep into the season.They did it, as usual, with a smothering defense and an offense featuring two Ottis Anderson touchdown runs, a lot of jitterbugging by Dave Meggett and precise passing by Phil Simms, who completed was 17 of 21 for 172 yards.
The Giants clinched it with a 31-yard fumble return by Dave Duerson, one of the members of their newly acquired over-the-hill gang.
That win was the Giants' 11th straight in regular-season play going back to last year and put them one step closer to a Monday night meeting at San Francisco in three weeks with the 49ers, winners of 16 straight.
The last time two teams were 8-0 was in 1934, when Chicago and Detroit both started 10-0. New York and San Francisco would be 11-0 if the remain undefeated until their meeting.
The Giants, naturally, weren't buying it.
"Being 8-0 means we have to work harder to be 9-0," said Anderson, who led a balanced rushing attack with 55 yards in 14 carries. "I'm sure the 49ers think the same way. Whatever our record is when we meet, that's the way it will be."
This one was no contest in the first half as the Giants scored on their first three possessions - a 23-yard field goal by Matt Bahr and touchdown runs of two and three yards by Anderson. In fact, the Giants had more touchdowns in the first half - two - than the Colts had first downs - one - as New York went off with a 17-0 lead.
"I thought we played very well in the first half," coach Bill Parcells said. "We didn't play so well in the second half, but I'll take it. It's a Monday night road win. Those are hard to come by. I'm just glad to get out of the first half of the season."
Indeed, the second half was a draw but it was too late for the Colts.
The Colts came out to take the second-half kickoff and march 80 yards for a TD, which came on a 1-yard run by Albert Bentley. It was set up by a 17-yard fourth-down pass to Billy Brooks from Jeff George, who completed 20 of 34 for 158 yards and was sacked three times, twice by Leonard Marshall.
Colts' running back Eric Dickerson was no factor, carrying nine times for 26 yards.
After Meggett fumbled away a Giants' scoring chance at the Indianapolis 10, the Giants put it away when Pepper Johnson sacked George and Duerson ran it in from 31 yards out for his first touchdown in eight NFL seasons.
"Starting the second half, we were able to move it and that was encouraging," Colts coach Ron Meyer said. "I thought we had a chance until the big turnover occurred. I thought we were still in the game until then. When the defense scores like that, it's just disastrous. You can't give them a gift like that. They'll earn it on their own merit."
New York took the opening kickoff and, as has become the custom, controlled the ball for 8 minutes and 20 seconds, scoring on Bahr's 23-yarder.