NEW YORK GIANTS 31 – ARIZONA CARDINALS 28…
The New York Giants at least temporarily saved their season with one of the most memorable comebacks in team history on Sunday, defeating the Arizona Cardinals 31-28 at State Farm Stadium in Glendale, Arizona. The Giants trailed the Cardinals 20-0 at halftime and 28-7 in the third quarter. Twenty-four unanswered points propelled them to the franchise’s largest comeback since the 1940s. However, the victory may have come at a price with running back Saquon Barkley suffering a potentially significant injury to his right ankle late in the game.
Following up on their 40-0 embarrassing performance against the Dallas Cowboys last Sunday night, the Giants continued to look dreadful in the first half against the Cardinals on both offense and defense.
How bad was it?
New York’s five first-half possessions resulted in five first downs, 81 total yards, three punts, one interception, and the half ending with a sack of quarterback Daniel Jones. Meanwhile, Arizona’s five offensive possessions resulted in 16 first downs, 241 total yards, a missed field goal, two touchdowns, and two field goals. At the break, the lifeless Giants were all-but-dead, trailing 20-0.
The Giants received the football to start the second half. After a touchback on the kickoff, all it took was three plays for New York to finally get on the scoreboard for the first time this season. Jones completed a 58-yard pass to wide receiver Jalin Hyatt down to the Arizona 17-yard line. Two plays later, Jones ran around left end for a 14-yard touchdown. Cardinals 20 – Giants 7.
That momentum was short lived as four minutes later, the Cardinals extended their lead 28-7 after an 8-play, 75-yard drive ended with a 3-yard touchdown pass by quarterback Joshua Dobbs and then a 2-point conversion. It was Arizona’s fifth consecutive scoring drive of the game.
Back came the Giants with a 75-yard drive of their own, this one taking 12 plays and ending with a 1-yard touchdown run by Barkley. On this possession, Jones completed a 29-yard pass to wide receiver Darius Slayton and ran for 13 yards on 3rd-and-12. Cardinals 28 – Giants 14.
The New York defense started off a bit shaky again late in the third quarter, giving up two first downs, including a 16-yard pass play on 3rd-and-11. But the defense stiffened at the New York 44-yard line and the Cardinals punted early in the fourth quarter.
The Giants drove for their third consecutive touchdown on the next series, which travelled 80 yards in 13 plays. Jones connected with Slayton for 15 yards and tight end Darren Waller for 25 on the first two plays. Jones also gained two yards on 4th-and-1. The drive ended with a 9-yard touchdown pass to Barkley on third-and-goal to make the score 28-21.
The Giants’ defense forced their first three-and-out on Arizona’s next possession and the New York offense started their fourth drive of the second half at their own 36-yard line with 7:31 to play. Jones scrambled for 15 yards on the first snap and then followed that up with a 31-yard pass to Hyatt to the Arizona 18-yard line. On 2nd-and-11, Jones connected with Waller for 13 yards to the 6-yard line. However, a touchdown run by Jones was nullified due to an offensive holding penalty on right tackle Evan Neal. After a 5-yard run by Barkley, Jones threw an 11-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Isaiah Hodgins on 2nd-and-goal. The game was now tied at 28-28 with 4:25 to play.
Aided by two false start penalties on the Cardinals, the Giants’ defense forced another three-and-out and the Giants got the ball back at their own 28-yard line with 2:31 left in the game. Barkley gained 18 yards on back-to-back passing and rushing plays. Jones then hit Slayton for 18 yards and Barkley gained 16 yards on a run. The Giants were now on the Arizona 20-yard line. Barkley lost three yards and then gained two on a play where he was hurt. Running back Matt Breida picked up five yards on 3rd-and-11 to set up place kicker Graham Gano’s game-winning 34-yard field with 19 seconds left.
The Cardinals did gain 19 yards on the first play of their final possession. But they were at their own 39-yard line with nine seconds left on the clock. The game ended after two more deep incompletions.
Jones finished the game 26-of-37 for 321 yards, two touchdowns, and one interception (which was off of the hands of Barkley). He also ran the ball nine times for 59 yards. Waller caught six passes for 76 yards. Slayton had 62 yards on three catches and Hyatt 89 yards on two catches. Barkley carried the ball 17 times for 63 yards and one touchdown.
Defensively, the Giants allowed 379 yards, including 151 yards rushing. For the second game in a row, the defense had no sacks or turnovers.
GAME VIDEO HIGHLIGHTS are available on YouTube.
INACTIVES AND INJURY REPORT…
On Saturday, the Giants activated (standard elevation) RB Taiwan Jones and OLB Oshane Ximines from the Practice Squad to the 53-man roster.
Inactive for the game were LT Andrew Thomas (hamstring), WR Wan’Dale Robinson (knee), OLB Azeez Ojulari (hamstring), TE Lawrence Cager, DL Jordon Riley, CB Darnay Holmes, and S Gervarrius Owens.
OG Ben Bredeson (concussion) left the game in the second half. RB Saquon Barkley potentially seriously injured his right ankle late in the game. Tellingly, Barkley did not address the media after game. X-rays were reportedly negative.
Transcripts and video clips of post-game media sessions with Head Coach Brian Daboll and the following players are available in The Corner Forum and at Giants.com:
- Head Coach Brian Daboll (Video)
- QB Daniel Jones (Video)
- WR Darius Slayton (Video)
- WR Isaiah Hodgins (Video)
- WR Jalin Hyatt
- WR Sterling Shepard
- TE Darren Waller
- S Xavier McKinney
- PK Graham Gano
WHAT’S UP NEXT…
Head Coach Brian Daboll will address the media by conference call on Monday.