Again, it wasn’t pretty, but again, the New York Giants got another victory on Sunday at MetLife Stadium as they defeated the visiting Carolina Panthers 19-16.
With the victory, the Giants have won two games by a combined four points to improve to 2-0 for the first time since 2016.
The Giants trailed 13-6 in the third, and the offense immediately responded. Jones led the team on an eight-play, 75-yard drive, which ended with Jones connecting with rookie tight end Daniel Bellinger on a 16-yard touchdown pass that tied things up at 13.
In the fourth, it was the Graham Gano show as he connected from 51 yards to put New York up 16-13 and hit from 56 yards to give New the lead for good at 19-16. Gano finished the game with four field goals.
Finally, Jones ended the game on a beautiful 11-yard scramble on third and long to put the game away for the undefeated Giants.
Giants head coach Brian Daboll knows the team has to play better, but that’s something to worry about for next week when they host the Cowboys on Monday night.
‘There’s certainly a lot of things we need to do better, but I’m happy for the guys,” Daboll said after the win. “(Kicker) Graham (Gano) made all his kicks. (There were) some big kicks there at the end for us, and (Quarterback Daniel Jones) DJ led the team down to get some extra points there, which was a huge difference. (I) thought the defense played well; started out fast. Wish we could’ve gotten more points on the board early on after those two turnovers, but all-in-all a good team win. And (we’ll) get ready for next week.”
Jones was not great, but he was solid(22/34, 176 yards, touchdown) and made the right play time after time, including the game-clinching first down on the team’s final drive, which he discussed postgame.
“Situation (where) we got in the perimeter there,” he said. “Want to keep the clock moving with a completion or a run. Getting out of the pocket on that movement gives you the options to do both. I thought they matched (Running Back) Saquon (Barkley), and I saw a lane to get up and get the first down. I thought it was a good call on the situation and just tried to execute it the best we could.”
Saquon Barkley, who ran for 72 yards on 21 carries, like Daboll, is happy to be 2-0 but knows New York has to be better.
“It feels good to be 2-0,” Barkley said. “It’s not easy to win in this league. This is my first time in five years being 2-0. The team played great all three phases. Offense, we have to execute a little bit better, but at the end of the day, we were able to grind out a win.”
Things are a little livelier in the Giants locker room, unlike the previous two seasons under Joe Judge. Winning games helps, but Barkley thinks the culture is different in New York overall.
Culture’s different,” Barkley said. “Coming here, music playing before the game, playing after the game, you’ve got your Head Coach coming in and rapping Biggie. It’s fun. It’s fun. And it all starts with winning. That’s what really breeds fun. You come out here and win games, and we’ve got to continue to do that, but we can’t get too caught up in the hype. We’ve just got to continue to keep the mindset within this locker room, continue to trust the guys, the men, and women in our facility, and just keep getting better.”
A win is a win; fortunately for the Giants, it does not always have to be pretty.