The glamour boys played supporting roles as the St. Louis Rams clinched home-field advantage in the NFC playoffs.
Interception runbacks by Devin Bush and Mike Jones gave the Rams' defense its sixth and seventh touchdowns of the season, helping end the New York Giants' December winning streak with a 31-10 victory today.
"Hopefully, we can score every game," Bush said. "We shouldn't expect less."
Kurt Warner added two touchdown passes to Az-Zahir Hakim and Marshall Faulk had 165 yards in total offense for the NFL's top-rated offense.
The Giants (7-7), who came into the game 9-0 in December in three seasons under Coach Jim Fassel, got most of their 328 yards after the game was decided. Kerry Collins, who threw for 581 yards and four touchdowns the previous two weeks in victories over Buffalo and the New York Jets, handed the Rams (12-2) two scores.
The Giants are at home against Minnesota next week and finish at Dallas.
"We're still in it," Fassel said. "Whether we won or lost, it's still going to come down to the next couple of games. I'm trying to get their focus as narrow and narrow and narrow as it can be."
Bush, the stand-in starter at free safety for injured Keith Lyle, intercepted an overthrown ball and returned it 45 yards to give the NFC West champions a 17-3 third-quarter lead. Jones, a linebacker, tied a team record when he scored his third touchdown of the season on a 22-yard return in the fourth quarter to make it 31-3.
"Our defense has been coming up big all season," Bush said. "When you can score without your offense being on the field, that hurts."
Entering the game, the Rams were tied for the league lead with 23 interceptions.
"On the first one, the timing was off between me and Ike [Hilliard] and he made a move I wasn't expecting," Collins said. "On the other one, I talked myself into it. I had another play, but came back and looked for Ike and obviously made a bad decision."
The Rams tied a franchise record for victories in a season and won their eighth in a row at home, where they've rolled by an average score of 35-10. Warner went 18 for 32 for 319 yards and now has 36 touchdown passes, tied for fifth on the NFL's single-season list. Marshall Faulk surpassed the 2,000-yard mark in total yardage--he has 2,065--with six catches for 97 yards and 68 yards rushing on 16 carries. Last year, he led the NFL with 2,227 yards.