NEW YORK GIANTS 32 – TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS 31…
In his first NFL start, quarterback Daniel Jones led his team in a dramatic, 32-31 come-from-behind victory against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Florida. However, the win came at a significant price as running back Saquon Barkley was forced to leave the game with what is believed to be a high-ankle sprain. Barkley spent the second half of the game on the sidelines wearing a walking boot and crutches. He is scheduled to undergo an MRI on Monday.
The Giants are now 1-2 on the year.
Aside from the play of Jones, the first half was mostly a disaster for the Giants. Not only did the team lose Barkley, but the New York defense allowed scoring drives on ALL SIX Tampa Bay first-half possessions:
- 10 plays, 75 yards, touchdown (extra point missed)
- 9 plays, 75 yards, touchdown (extra point blocked by DL Dexter Lawrence)
- 5 plays, 46 yards, field goal
- 6 plays, 62 yards, field goal
- 3 play, 41 yards, touchdown
- 6 plays 46 yards field goal
The Giants scored 10 points on their first two drives of the game, but the offense simply could not keep pace with the opposing team’s scoring avalanche. The three other first-half drives by New York resulted in two three-and-outs and a fumble by Jones after he was sacked. At the half, the Giants trailed by 18 points, 28-10.
Momentum quickly shifted in the 3rd quarter. The Giants scored touchdowns (and one 2-point conversion) on their first two drives of the second half. On the very first offensive snap of the 3re quarter, Jones connected with tight end Evan Engram on a 75-yard catch-and-run touchdown, followed by the 2-point conversion to wide receiver Sterling Shepard. After forcing Tampa Bay’s first punt of the game, the Giants followed that up with an 8-play, 80-yard touchdown drive that ended with a pin-point, 7-yard touchdown pass by Jones to Shepard on 3rd-and-goal. The big play on this drive was a 46-yard completion to rookie wide receiver Darius Slayton.
The Giants had cut the score to 28-25. However, the comeback began to falter despite the New York defense now forcing three punts in a row and their first turnover of the year (an interception by rookie linebacker Ryan Connelly). The Giants were forced to punt twice themselves and after the Connelly interception, Jones fumbled the ball away again after being sacked. Eight plays later, the Buccaneers kicked a 23-yard field goal that gave the them a 31-25 lead with exactly six minutes to play.
Both teams went three-and-out, with safety Michael Thomas making a game-saving tackle on 3rd-and-2. Jones and the Giants had one more chance with 3:16 left on the clock. Jones connected on passes to Shepard for five yards, Slayton for 21 yards, Engram for one yard, Shepard for 36 yards, and Fowler for five yards down to the Tampa Bay 7-yard line. After his first two incompletions of the drive, Jones faced a 4th-and-5 from the 7-yard line. Jones scrambled up the middle for the touchdown, giving the Giants their first lead of the game, 32-31.
However, the game was not over. Tampa Bay got the ball back with 1:16 left on the clock. Passes of 20 and 44 yards placed the ball on the Giants’ 9-yard line with 13 seconds left to play. However, the Giants were saved from a heart-breaking defeat when Tampa Bay place kicker Matt Gay missed what would have been a game-winning 34-yard field goal with no time left on the clock.
Jones finished the game 23-of-36 for 336 yards, two touchdown passes, and no interceptions (112.7 quarterback rating). Jones was also the team’s leading rusher with 28 yards on four carries, scoring twice. He did fumble the ball away twice on five of his sacks. Jones’ leading receivers were Shepard (seven catches for 100 yards and a touchdown) and Engram (six catches for 113 yards and a touchdown).
The defense allowed 499 total net yards (144 yards rushing, 355 yards passing) with 311 of those yards coming in the first half when the Buccaneers scored on six straight drives. The Giants did accrue four sacks: linebacker Markus Golden (2), linebacker Oshane Ximines, and defensive end Dexter Lawrence (1). Linebacker Ryan Connelly had the team’s only turnover with his interception.
Video highlights are available at Giants.com.
INACTIVES AND INJURY REPORT…
WR Cody Latimer (concussion), QB Alex Tanney, TE Garrett Dickerson, TE Kaden Smith, OG/OT Chad Slade, OT Eric Smith, and S/CB Julian Love were inactive.
RB Saquon Barkley (ankle), LB Alec Ogletree (hamstring), and LB Tae Davis (possible concussion) all left the game and did not return.
Video clips of post-game media sessions with Head Coach Pat Shurmur and the following players are available at Giants.com:
- Head Coach Pat Shurmur (Video)
- QB Daniel Jones (Video)
- RB Saquon Barkley (Video)
- WR Sterling Shepard (Video)
- TE Evan Engram (Video)
- LB Markus Golden (Video)
- LB Ryan Connelly (Video)
— New York Giants (@Giants) September 23, 2019
WHAT’S UP NEXT…
Head Coach Pat Shurmur and select players will address the media on Monday. The players are off on Tuesday and return to practice on Wednesday.