EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (CBSNewYork/AP) — For the past week, Tom Coughlin begged the New York Giants to simply make plays.
Knowing the game plan was one thing, being a playmaker was the way the Giants were going to snap a two-game losing streak and get back into the playoff hunt.
But Eli Manning and company didn’t make plays. Andrew Luck did.
Luck threw for four touchdowns and the Colts’ defense kept Manning and the Giants off balance Monday night in Indianapolis’ 40-24 romp.
“At times we play as good as any team in this league,” defensive captain Antrel Rolle said. “And there are times we play as bad as any team in the league. You just don’t know. We have to come together as a team, coaches, players, everyone included. We’re so inconsistent, you just don’t know what you are going to get.”
The Giants, who came off the bye and dropped their third straight game, didn’t get much from anybody until the game was out of reach.
And now their season is slipping away at 3-5.
“I can’t worry about that part of it,” Coughlin said. “We have to worry about the team we play next week. … We need to score some points. What has it been, three weeks and a shutout, 21 and 24? That’s not enough points.”
Manning and the offense were limited to three first-half points in falling behind 16-3. The defense, which played well in the first half, totally blew a coverage on the first Colts’ touchdown. It also saw Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie have an interception ripped out of his hands in the end zone by T.Y. Hilton for a touchdown on Indianapolis’ opening second-half series. Luck then picked them apart the rest of the way.
“That one I definitely should have had,” Rodgers-Cromartie said. “That’s a play I’m supposed to make. It took it out of my hands. We just didn’t make plays.”
With his franchise-record seventh consecutive 300-yard game, Luck led the Colts (6-3) to a lopsided win one week after a 51-34 loss to Pittsburgh. Unlike the way Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger toyed with their defense in that game, the Colts didn’t let Manning get going.
“We have to keep fighting,” Manning said. “We need to be better offensively. We have to find a rhythm. We’re not helping ourselves. We’re making it tough on ourselves.”
Luck hit Coby Fleener for a 32-yard TD in the first half. He had scoring throws of 31 yards to T.Y. Hilton, 40 yards to Reggie Wayne and 2 yards to Dwayne Allen in the third period.
Adam Vinatieri added four field goals and is perfect on 20 tries this year.
It was the eighth time this season that Luck had thrown for more than 300 yards and the 17th time in his three pro seasons. He was 25 for 46 for 354 yards.
Wayne surpassed James Lofton for career yards receiving and has 14,070 in his 14-season career.
Giants first-round pick Odell Beckham Jr. had 156 yards on eight receptions, by far his best game. Manning threw for 359 yards and two TDs, but most of that came with the game decided.
“I’ve got to play better,” Manning said. “All around, we’ve got some moving parts and some different guys playing, it’s my job to play better and to raise my level of play and raise their level of play.”
The Colts opened a 16-3 halftime lead and blew the game open in the third quarter when Luck threw three touchdowns.
The Colts held the Giants to 143 yards in the opening half, and then staged an 84-yard drive to Hilton’s TD on the first series of the third quarter.
New York matched that drive to finally get into the end zone. Beckham got loose for a 59-yard gain on a pass from Manning, and then Andre Williams later scored from a yard out.
Luck simply picked New York apart on the next series to go over 300 yards in the air once again. He beat a blitz to hit former Giants running back Ahmad Bradshaw for 22 yards, did the same to hit Fleener for 11 on third down, and then connected with Wayne on a 40-yard play down the left sideline.
“Andrew loves to go in and we all know it’s tough to be flawless, but he tries to be,” Wayne said. “As a player, you want to go out there and give it everything you’ve got as a receiver for your quarterback. He challenges everybody in his game. You’ve got to respect that. ”
Rookie Jonathan Newsome’s sack of Manning three plays later knocked the ball loose and safety Sergio Brown returned it 28 yards to the Giants 4. Luck got his fourth TD pass on a 2-yarder to an uncovered Allen.
New York got a pair of late scores on Larry Donnell’s 5-yard reception and rookie Corey Washington’s 1-yard catch for his first career TD.
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