The Giants played the 1,389th regular-season game in their 99-year history on Sunday and pulled off a remarkable comeback to make their 716th victory one of the most amazing and memorable they’ve ever delivered.
Trailing by 20 points after a first half in which they were shut out and by 21 points late in the third quarter, the Giants – who, remember, lost last week to Dallas, 40-0 – scored the game’s final 24 points, including 17 in the fourth quarter, to defeat the Arizona Cardinals, 31-28, in State Farm Stadium.
The Giants rallied from a 21-point deficit to win for just the third time in their history – once in 1945, once in 1949 and Sunday, thanks largely to a remarkable performance by Daniel Jones, who threw for two touchdowns and ran for another.
Head Coach Brian Daboll spoke with the media after the game and was asked if this was as satisfying of a win as if he had as a head coach. Daboll calmly stated that they are just that satisfying.
“They’re all satisfying. Every game is different” stated Daboll. “Every game you fight through some adversity. Tonight was a good example of being resilient and playing the next play and focusing on the next series. They did their job in the second half. I thought we did a good job on third down. Had some explosive, chunk plays. Made some timely stops at the end of the game. Made the game-winning field goal. So, we played much better, and coached much better in the second half. You hope they don’t all start out 20 to nothing. We didn’t do a good enough job in the first half, but fortunately came out and executed well situationally. I think four-of-four in the red zone. Offensively, almost 65 percent on third down. That usually gets you some points. And (we) made some big plays.”
Starting QB Daniel Jones completed 26 of 37 passes for 321 yards, two touchdowns and one interception for a passer rating of 103.5. It was his 15th career game with a rating of 100.9 or better.
“I think it’s about execution.” said Jones. “You can’t really afford to think about any of that or get emotional or think about anything outside of what your job is and that’s to execute and focus on one play at a time and being right there in that play and making sure you’re taking advantage of it and making good decisions, giving guys chances to make plays. That was my focus and I thought we did that well as a team.”
Jones rushed for 59 yards and put the Giants on the scoreboard with a 14-yard touchdown run early in the third quarter. It was his 13th career rushing touchdown, extending his franchise record for a quarterback.
Daniel’s leadership is not ignored by his teammates. His teammates spoke candidly about his play after the historic comeback.
“Just his confidence in himself and you only act like that when you’re confident.” said WR Isiah Hodgins. “You can’t be posed and sit there leading a team if you’re not confident in yourself. He’s confident because he prepares his ass off and throughout the whole week he’s one of the hardest workers. He sits there and makes sure the wide receivers are on the same page as him. When we get that look— like on that touchdown he looked at me before to be ready. He knew it was coming. That’s just how prepared he is.”
“I thought he finished strong.” said Daboll. “Played a really good second half. We had a couple of things that we could have improved on in the first half, (we) talked about those. But he is a resilient young man who went out there and played well along with, I’d say, a number of people.”
The Giants improved to 1-1 and face a short week before facing the 2-0 San Francisco 49ers on Thursday.
-Saquon Barkley led the Giants with 63 rushing yards on 17 carries, including a one-yard touchdown run, and tied with Darren Waller for the team lead with six receptions (for 29 yards, including a nine-yard score). Barkley ran for a touchdown and scored on a reception in a game for the fifth time in his career.
However in the closing moments of the game, Barkley went down with an ankle injury.
No real update has been given on his condition as of yet but will need treatment and rest before the big game Thursday night against the 49ers if he were to suit up.
-Rookie Jalin Hyatt caught his first two career passes, for a game-high 89 yards. His 58-yard reception on the first play of the third quarter was the play that jumpstarted the Giants’ offense.
-Isaiah Hodgins caught four passes for 40 yards, including an 11-yard touchdown that tied the game at 28-28 with 4:25 remaining.
-Joshua Ezeudu made his first career start and played the entire game at left tackle in place of Andrew Thomas, who was inactive with a hamstring injury he suffered last week
-Graham Gano scored the game-winning points on a 38-yard field goal with 19 seconds remaining in the fourth quarter. It was his ninth career game-winner in the final two minutes of the fourth quarter or overtime.