Work in Sports
EAST RUTHERFORD, New Jersey (Ticker) -- Giants Stadium got some lightning from the sky, and some flash from Tiki Barber.
Barber ran for a career-high 144 yards and two touchdowns and Heisman Trophy winner Ron Dayne scored his first NFL touchdown as the New York Giants began what may be a make-or-break season for coach Jim Fassel by holding off the Arizona Cardinals, 21-16.
After scoring on a 10-yard run in the first quarter, Barber surged up the middle for a 78-yard touchdown in the second quarter, the longest run of his career. The two touchdown runs were his first since his rookie season of 1997.
Dayne, the 11th overall pick out of Wisconsin, gave the Giants a 21-3 cushion on a seven-yard scoring run midway through the fourth quarter. He finished with 78 yards on 23 carries.
Beginning his first full season as New York's starting quarterback, Kerry Collins completed 17-of-25 for 172 yards and one interception.
It was the fourth straight season-opening victory for the Giants, who are looking to rebound from two straight mediocre seasons after winning the NFC East title in 1997.
Jake Plummer threw two touchdowns to rookie David Boston in a span of 1:23 late in the fourth quarter to cut New York's lead to five, but ran out of time.
The Cardinals, who swept the Giants last season for the first time in 20 years, have dropped eight of their last nine season openers.
Plummer completed 28-of-49 for 318 yards, but threw three interceptions.
The game was delayed for almost 23 minutes early in the third quarter when lightning struck in the area.