Rodney Hampton rushed for a career-best 137 yards as the New York Giants defeated the Phoenix Cardinals, 20-9, Sunday.
The smooth sailing on the field came after a stormy week off it for the Giants (3-3).
"We don't have time to worry about all the distractions," said Giant linebacker Lawrence Taylor, who early last week accused three-quarters of the team of not doing the job after a loss to Dallas.
"We dug ourselves into a big hole, and all we have time to do is worry about the next game, next week against Pittsburgh," Taylor said.
The win was pivotal, especially after all the controversy that hounded the Giants this past week.
Not only did Taylor mouth off, but so did Coach Ray Handley, who ripped his team on Monday. A players-only meeting followed on Wednesday, the same day a New York tabloid ran a story quoting an unidentified veteran saying Handley was not doing a good job and that Phil Simms should start instead of Jeff Hostetler.
Despite the off-field problems, the Giants posted their sixth consecutive win over the Cardinals and 11th in 13 games.
The Giants, who had struggled all season on offense and came into the game averaging 15 points, made things look easy. They scored the first three times they had the ball and averaged nearly eight yards per play in grabbing a 17-3 halftime lead.
Hampton, a second-year pro, rushed for 101 yards in the first half. He scored the opening touchdown on a 12-yard run, capping an 80-yard drive that featured consecutive completions by Hostetler of 22 yards to Stephen Baker and 30 to Howard Cross.
Hampton, whose previous best was 105 yards against Buffalo last season, also got a second 80-yard scoring drive going on the next series with a 37-yard run on the opening play. Hostetler capped it with a seven-yard scoring pass to a wide-open Zeke Mowatt, his first catch of the season.
That gave New York a 14-3 lead and Phoenix (3-3), which moved the ball well between the 20s, never got closer than 17-9 in the third quarter on the third of Greg Davis' field goals.
Hostetler completed 14 of 18 passes for 200 yards and did not throw an interception.