The St. Louis Rams survived the loss of Marshall Faulk and the pressure of Michael Strahan to remain the NFL's only unbeaten team.
The Rams failed to get a touchdown pass from Kurt Warner, overcame two fumbles by Faulk, who left with a knee injury, and still came away with a 15-14 victory over the New York Giants on Sunday.
``We can win them close or we can win them going away,'' cornerback Aeneas Williams said. ``That's one of the great things I like about this team.''
The Rams (5-0), who won their two previous games by a combined score of 77-10, saw Warner get sacked six times - four by Strahan.
``Too much Strahan,'' Warner said. ``Way too much Strahan.''
Still, the Giants (3-2) fell short.
``I'm proud of this team,'' coach Jim Fassel said. ``I'm not into who outplayed who, but I know one thing: They knew they were in a game.''
Faulk had 63 yards rushing and receiving, the worst output of the season for last year's NFL MVP. His third fumble in two games set up Kerry Collins' 25-yard pass to Ike Hilliard that put the Giants ahead 14-9 early in the fourth quarter.
``When it rains, it pours,'' Faulk said.
An MRI exam on Faulk's knee showed a bone bruise, but no cartilage or ligament damage. Trainer Jim Anderson said Faulk would definitely be out this week against the New York Jets and re-evaluated after that.
Faulk's backup, Trung Canidate, scored on a 1-yard run with 4:16 left, and the Giants' potential game-winning drive ended when Joe Jurevicius fumbled after a reception. Grant Wistrom grabbed the ball at the St. Louis 27 before it hit the ground.
``I definitely had faith we were going to get that field goal,'' said Strahan, who has 8 1/2 sacks the last three games. ``But you've got to take your medicine, man, and try and do better next week.''
The Rams were held to three field goals by Jeff Wilkins before the fourth quarter. An interference call on Sam Garnes against Canidate in the end zone, giving the Rams a first down at the 1, allowed them to finally reach the end zone.
``Any call like that is a good call,'' Canidate said. ``He kind of tugged on me a little bit.''
Referee Gerry Austin said Garnes ``had him by the shirt, took a step away from him.''
The Giants also were hurt by an unsportsmanlike conduct call on Ron Dayne for shoving the ball in the face of Brian Young in the fourth quarter, a call that pushed them out of field-goal position. Dayne missed the second half of last week's victory over the Redskins with a concussion.
``Someone jumped over the pile and hit me late, so I hit him with the ball,'' Dayne said. ``They were doing it all game.''
Canidate, who entered the game with only nine carries, scored the play after the interference call. The 2-point conversion attempt failed.
Jurevicius' catch had the Giants in field-goal range at the St. Louis 27 before Adam Archuleta knocked the ball loose. It popped into the air for Wistrom.
Dayne scored on a 4-yard run on New York's first drive, and had 88 yards on 20 carries. Kerry Collins and Ike Hilliard hooked up on a 25-yard touchdown pass with 13:33 remaining to put the Giants ahead 14-9.
Strahan beat up on Rams right tackle Ryan Tucker, who broke his right hand and separated his left shoulder last week. Tucker was finally replaced by Rod Jones, making his first appearance of the season, in the fourth quarter.
``We should have gotten him out of there sooner,'' coach Mike Martz said.