The “don’t fold” New York Giants did it again on Sunday, coming from behind to earn another upset victory, this one over the Baltimore Ravens by a 24-20 score. Let’s get to another celebratory ‘Kudos & Wet Willies’ review.
Kudos to ...
Julian Love — The fourth-year safety picked a heckuva time for the Giants’ first interception of the season. He took advantage of an ill-advised throw from a panicked Ravens’ quarterback Lamar Jackson to set the Giants up for the eventual game-winning touchdown.
Love also had a pair of passes defensed.
Love said he was “kind of just baiting” Jackson to throw the ball, and “thankfully I made the play in a critical situation.”
Kayvon Thibodeaux — Giants fans were waiting ... and waiting for the No. 5 overall pick to get his first NFL sack. He couldn’t have picked a more dramatic moment, coming off the edge to swat the ball out of Jackson’s hands with 1:40 to go, the play that sealed the Giants’ latest improbable victory when Leonard Williams recovered the fumble.
Dexter Lawrence — The 340-ish-pound defensive tackle says he just wants to wreck games. He has been doing it all season, and Sunday was no different. First, the big man played an incredible 57 of 59 snaps (97 percent). Lawrence had a sack, a tackle for loss, two quarterback hits and batted down a pass. He is playing the most dominant football of his four-year NFL career.
Daniel Jones — Ho-hum. Another week, another late-fourth quarter game-winning drive for Jones — his fourth of the season. True, this one was just 13 yards. The truly impressive drive for Jones was the 12-play, 75-yard fourth-quarter touchdown drive with the Giants trailing, 20-10. He made huge throws to Marcus Johnson and Wan’Dale Robinson during that drive, and threw an 8-yard scoring pass to tight end Daniel Bellinger.
Yes, Jones had only 173 yards passing. He made big throws at big times, though, and continues to play winning football. That’s really all you can ask.
Wan’Dale Robinson — The second-round pick returned after a four-week absence due to a knee injury, and quickly showed what the Giants have been missing. He played just 15 snaps, but had three catches for 37 yards, including a 5-yard touchdown. He gets an extra ‘Kudo’ for giving the ball from his touchdown to his mom, Victoria Davis.
“She’s the one that really was the one that raised me ever since I was five years old with my dad not being there,” Robinson said.
Daniel Bellinger — The rookie tight end has become a critical part of the Giants’ offense. Sunday, he had a career-best five receptions for 38 yards and a touchdown. He has turned into quite a value for a fourth-round pick.
Gary Brightwell — I have been critical of his work returning kickoffs all season, so I have to give him his due. Brightwell had a 47-yard second-quarter kickoff return to set up the Giants first touchdown. Brightwell made a terrific cut, then got about 27 yards of the return on his own, breaking at least three tackles.
Gary Brightwell breaking tackles— New York Giants (@Giants) October 16, 2022
: CBS pic.twitter.com/CRQeg8ACU3
Sterling Shepard — What? Why is Shepard, on IR with a torn ACL, getting a ‘Kudos’? Well, this is why:
As the Giants were rallying down the stretch the veteran wide receiver was standing on a bench waving towels to hype the crowd and exhorting his teammates as they earned another unexpected victory. The guy can’t play, but he’s not exactly pouting. Good for him.
Saquon Barkley — His longest run of the day was only 8 yards, and he caught three passes for only 12 more. Barkley, though, showed toughness and made plays that needed to be made. He carried 22 times for 83 yards and scored the game-winning touchdown after missing a play when he took a shot on the tender shoulder he injured last week vs. the Green Bay Packers.
Wet Willies to ...
Overall run defense — The Ravens averaged 8.1 yards per carry. Kenyon Drake ran wild with 119 yards on just 10 carries. Drake had a pair of 30-yard runs, one for a touchdown. Lamar Jackson chipped in 77 yards on just seven carries.
First-half offense — The Giants have done a great job of making halftime adjustments and playing well offensively in a number of games this year. That was again the case on Sunday. Problem is, they keep stumbling through first halves and digging themselves holes they have to try and climb out of.
The Giants had only 90 net yards of offense in the first half, with Barkley getting just 14 yards rushing on six carries.
This has become a weekly pattern, struggling on offense in the first half and picking up steam in the second. If the Giants’ offense could start games the way it has been finishing them, these games might not be raising everyone’s blood pressure quite as much.