Wow! Wow, wow, wow!
That’s what I think after the New York Giants roared back from a 14-point deficit to upset the Green Bay Packers, 27-22, on Sunday.
I have to admit this. When the score was 17-3 it looked like the Giants were going to play hard, but simply not be able to keep up with a Green Bay team nearly everyone — including all seven BBV contributors who predicted Sunday’s outcome — started doing things we have not seen Giants’ teams do for a looooong time.
- The Giants went 11 plays, 86 yards for a touchdown with 1:15 left in the half, the first touchdown they have scored in the final two minutes of the half since 2020.
- The Giants scored on five straight possessions, beginning with that score.
- No Saquon Barkley? No problem. After Barkley went out in the third quarter, the Giants went on a 15-play, 91-yard, 8:07 touchdown drive that tied the score at 20-20.
- A break went the Giants way? What? When a Green Bay punt banged off Jason Pinnock of the Giants, the Packers did not recover. Instead, the ball rolled out of bounds at the Giants’ 40-yard line.
- With Barkley back, he and Daniel Jones engineered a game-winning touchdown drive.
- The Giants then got not one, but two stops against Aaron Rodgers to seal the victory. The first was a brilliant pair of plays from the Giants’ 6-yard line when they got back-to-back stops to deny Green Bay the game-winning score. Then, Oshane Ximines denied Rodgers an opportunity to throw a Hail Mary with a game-ending sack/fumble.
What on earth is going on around here?
The New York Football Giants are 4-1. After going 4-13 in 2021.
Let’s get to some of the other ‘things I think’ after Sunday’s amazing victory by the Giants.
Daniel Jones deserves props
Let’s just get this out of the way. When the ‘Kudos & Wet Willies’ are posted on Monday morning, Jones will have a ‘Kudos.’ If you could watch Sunday’s game and somehow tell me he doesn’t deserve one, I think that’s a you problem.
Jones had nice enough numbers. He passed for a season-high 217 yards, going 21 of 27. He had a 100.2 passer rating. He ran 10 times for 37 yards.
His value to this victory, and in all honesty to the Giants’ 4-1 start, go far beyond those statistics.
“The quarterback had an excellent game. And he’s got a few of those,” head coach Brian Daboll said after the game. “Maybe his stats don’t reflect it, but he’s led the team down to wins, played good in crunch time.”
Jones fired several lasers for first downs to extend drives in third-and-long situations. He hung tough in the pocket and ran the ball well, despite not being 100 percent due to his injured left ankle. When Saquon Barkley went out in the third quarter, Jones accounted for 80 of 91 yards (55 passing, 25 running) on a 15-play, 91-yard, game-tying drive. He led the Giants to a game winning six-play, 60-yard fourth-quarter drive.
This is now three come-from-behind victories engineered by Jones in five weeks. He is playing with courage, and he is playing winning football. I’m not sure how much more he can be asked to do.
“He comes in ready to go each week. He’s very humble. I think it’s very, very important to him. He has very good leadership amongst the team. The players have got a lot of respect for him and I know the coaches do, too,” Daboll said of Jones. “We have confidence in him. He’s done a really good job for our football team and the things that we’ve asked him to do he’s done them well. I’m glad he’s our quarterback.”
‘Next man up’ is real
This is supposed to be a building Giants’ team without a lot of depth. On top of an already-perceived lack of depth, the Giants keep losing players to injuries. Somehow, it keeps not making any difference.
- Saquon Barkley goes down? Whatever! Daniel Jones just puts the Giants on his back and takes them 91 yards for a game-tying touchdown — with running back Gary Brightwell smashing his way in from three yards out for his first career touchdown.
Gary Brightwell's first NFL TD is a BIG one— NFL Network (@nflnetwork) October 9, 2022
The @Giants tie the game on a drive that went 15 plays and 91 yards!pic.twitter.com/w9O9aDeWjh
- No Sterling Shepard? No Kadarius Toney? No Wan’Dale Robinson? No Kenny Golladay? Darius Slayton has a six-catch, 79-yard game that gives ammunition to all those who have been calling for him to play for several weeks now. Oh, and Marcus Johnson pops off the practice squad to catch three passes for 35 yards.
- No Leonard Williams or Azeez Ojulari? Eh, so what? Dexter Lawrence, Kayvon Thibodeaux, Jaylon Smith, Oshane Ximines and a host of others on the front seven more than got the job done.
- Down Aaron Robinson already and losing Adoree’ Jackson and Fabian Moreau during the game? The Giants finished with Nick McCloud and Justin Layne at cornerback, and both made plays fourth-quarter plays to contribute to a victory.
“Everybody talks like it, but we do things during the week where we put guys in 7 on 7 with some of our practice squad players along with our regular squad players,” Daboll said. “I think the coaches do a great job of getting them ready to go, Joe and I talk about it all the time. Your number can be called anytime to be brought up [from the practice squad] anytime. Maybe it’s two weeks but let’s make sure that you’re in the playbook, that you understand your responsibilities as a professional — be a pro.
“Again, every player on this roster is here for a reason. So we expect whoever it is to get ready, there’s no excuses in the National Football League everybody goes through injuries and everybody goes through downtimes everybody goes through a couple losses. If you can’t handle that you’re probably not made to be in the National Football League.”
Let’s not get ahead of ourselves and start thinking Super Bowl here, but it is certainly nice to see some breaks going the Giants’ way. For years, we have watched the Giants find strange, excruciating, inexplicable ways to lose football games.
This season, a different story.
The Giants won in Week 1 when Randy Bullock of the Tennessee Titans missed a game-ending 47-yard field goal that would have given the Titans a victory. Sunday, they scored the game-winning touchdown after a Packer punt bounded off backup safety Jason Pinnock and fluttered harmlessly out of bounds in the fourth quarter of a tie game.
The Giants survive a scare
I think every Giants fan had to be holding their breath when Barkley left the game flexing his right arm in the third quarter. After serious injuries in 2019, 2020 and 2021, Barkley has finally looked like the Barkley of old this season.
When he went off flexing his right hand it wasn’t going to happen again, was it? We weren’t going to see Barkley miss time with a shoulder or collarbone injury, were we? The Giants put together one amazing game-tying drive without him, but sustaining good offense and continuing to win games wasn’t going to happen long-term with Barkley sidelined.
Fortunately, that didn’t happen — and Barkley quickly made a difference with a 40-yard catch and 2-yard scoring run on the game-winning drive.
Maybe that is yet another example of things FINALLY going the Giants’ way after a long period of ineptitude.