Giants’ Jones on loss to 49ers: ‘We just didn’t make enough plays’

The New York Giants(1-2) ended their two-game West Coast road trip 1-1 after falling to the San Francisco 49ers(3-0), 30-12, on Thursday night.

New York was without star running back Saquon Barkley(ankle) and left tackle Andrew Thomas(hamstring), and that vaunted 49ers’ defense gave the Giants fits.

Without those two critical pieces, the Giants rushed for only 29 yards and had 150 total yards, their lowest output since 2013. In addition, they had only ten first downs. 

“No excuses,” Giants head coach Brian Daboll said after the game. “We could do a better job.”

Daniel Jones, who struggled on Thursday night, completed 22 of 32 passes for 137 yards, no touchdowns, and one interception. According to him, the team could not take advantage of opportunities.

“We just didn’t make enough plays,” Jones said. Obviously, it’s a good defense, going up against them and credit to them. They play well, but we have to convert a couple of those opportunities. When you play a good team like that, you have to be crisp. We have to be clean, and we didn’t do that.”

For the third straight week, the Giants have trailed at halftime; they have been outscored 63-6 in the first half this season. Those bad starts are hard to come back from. Jones says the team has to figure it out.

“Yes, it’s not what we’re trying to do, so we have to find a way to figure that out,” he said. “Execute better early in the game, finish in the end zone, take advantage of opportunities, but it comes down to making plays and executing better in those situations.”

After three weeks, the Giants have fallen to two teams, the Cowboys and 49ers, who are two of the better teams in the NFC; in reality, both games were not very close, so it’s safe to say this team is just not as good as the top teams in the NFC. However, there’s still a lot of football to be played.

The Giants get back at it next Monday night at home against the Seattle Seahawks at MetLife Stadium.

Giants’ Daboll on Jones: ‘I thought he finished strong’

On Sunday, the New York Giants(1-1) went into halftime trailing the Arizona Cardinals(0-2) 20-0. At that point, it appeared that the Giants were on their way to falling to 0-2.

The Giants, who were routed by the Cowboys 40-0 in Week 1, were the first team to surrender at least 60 points in a season before scoring since 1978.

However, the second half was a much different story for the Giants. New York trailed 28-7 in the third quarter, but they would score 24 straight points and take the lead on a Graham Gano 34-yard field goal as they defeated Arizona 31-28 at State Farm Stadium.

The last time New York came back from a 21-point deficit was in 1949.

Giants quarterback Daniel Jones and the offense struggled mightily in the first half. The team had zero points and had only 81 yards of total yards.

However, n the second half, Jones woke up. He completed 17/21 passes for 259 yards and two touchdowns. In addition, he scored a touchdown on the ground. Jones ended the night completing 26/37 passes for 317 yards, two touchdowns, and an interception(first half). He also added 59 yards on the ground.

The Giants finished the game with 439 total yards, the second-highest total of the 21-game Brian Daboll era and the most they’ve had in a victory.

Daboll was happy with how Jones finished the game.

“Yeah, I thought he finished strong,” Daboll said. “Played a really good second half. We had a couple of things that we could have improved on in the first half, (we) talked about those. But he is a resilient young man who went out there and played well along with, I’d say, a number of people.”

Giants wide receiver Sterling Shepard was also impressed by Jones’ resiliency.

“It’s resiliency,” Shepard said. “It’s something that we talk about all the time too. Those are two guys that are very competitive and want to win, and they play with a lot of heart and passion. That’s exactly what was just played.”

Jones, who improved to 8-1-1 in his last ten games following a loss (since Week 7, 2021), felt the team needed to execute better in the second half, which they did.

“I think it’s about execution, and you can’t really afford to think about any of that or get emotional or think about anything outside of what your job is, and that’s to execute and focus on one play at a time and being right there in that play and making sure you’re taking advantage of it and making good decisions, giving guys chances to make plays. That was my focus, and I thought we did that well as a team.”

New York avoided disaster on Sunday. This would have been a terrible loss but credit to Jones and the rest of this team for getting things right in the second half.

Saquon Barkley:

Barkley led the Giants with 63 rushing yards on 17 carries, including a one-yard touchdown run, and tied with Darren Waller for the team lead with six receptions (for 29 yards, including a nine-yard score).

However, late in the game, Barkley injured his right ankle. According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, Barkley is scheduled to undergo an MRI on the ankle Monday in Arizona to determine the severity of his injury and how much time he could miss.

Giants’ Daboll on loss to Cowboys: ’40 to nothing is not a good score, obviously’

Entering the 2023 NFL season, there was a lot of excitement surrounding the New York Giants. However, that excitement has been quieted down for now after New York(0-1) was routed by the Cowboys 40-0 in the season opener at MetLife Stadium on Sunday night.

Dallas(1-0) scored its first points of the season after a block field goal that Noah Igbinoghene returned 58 yards for a touchdown; after a field goal that made it 9-0, the Cowboys would score again as DaRon Bland picked off Daniel Jones and returned it 22 yards for another touchdown. 

The Cowboys extended their lead to 26-0 at halftime, and the rout was on.

Everything the Giants did on Sunday went wrong. They couldn’t protect their quarterback; Jones was sacked seven times. They didn’t protect the football; New York had three turnovers. It was just a lousy opening night for the Giants.

“It sucks,” Giants running back Saquon Barkley said after the loss. “We got skunked in the National Football League against Dallas and at home, but I don’t think that takes away anything from what we did in training camp. I feel like we had a good week of practice; we came out, and we just didn’t execute and play to the level we could play to.”

Jones, who finished the game completing 15 of 28 passes for only 104 yards and two interceptions, was disappointed by the team’s performance.

“We are certainly frustrated and extremely disappointed with how we performed tonight, and I know I certainly am with myself, so a lot to work on and clean up,” Jones said. “We are going to be critical of ourselves and look to correct it and get back on the right page.”

Giants head coach Brian Daboll added: “We just got skunked here, 40 to nothing. When you play a game like that and coach a game like that, there’s nothing that’s good enough. Our job is to go back and look at it with a critical eye, just like we would do in any game, but 40 to nothing is not a good score, obviously. So, a lot to work on, and that’s what we’ll do.”

It’s only one game, and there is a lot of season left, but if you want to make noise in the NFC East, you have to beat the Cowboys and Eagles, and the Giants know that, which makes this performance even more disappointing. 

Giants sign kicker Graham Gano to three-year contract extension

The Giants have signed kicker Graham Gano to a three-year contract extension, the team announced Friday.

According to the NFL Network’s Mike Garafolo, the deal is worth $16.5 million with little more than $11.3 million fully guaranteed.

In 2022, the veteran played in all 17 regular-season games and two postseason games and made 29 of 32 field goal attempts (90.6%). He set a Giants record with eight field goals of 50+ yards, one more than he had in 2021.

Gano has made 89 of 97 field goal attempts across 50 games with the Giants. His 91.8 field goal percentage ranks as the best in franchise history among kickers who spent more than one season with the franchise. The 14-year veteran has also connected on 70 of 74 extra points (94.6 percent).

In just three seasons with the Giants, the 36-year-old has made 20 field goals from 50+ yards, 11 more than any other player in franchise history.

Giants’ Barkley is excited about team’s offense

The New York Giants were a much-improved team last season; they made the playoffs for the first time in a long time(2016), and the play of Daniel Jones and Saquon Barkley was a big reason.

After a down season in 2021, Barkley was big-time in 2022. The Pro Bowl running back rushed for a career-high 1312 yards. Regarding Jones, he threw 15 touchdowns and had a career-low five interceptions. In addition, he had career-highs of 708 yards rushing and another seven touchdowns on the ground.

Jones and Barkley are entering Year two in Brian Daboll’s offense, and they are entering this season with more weapons, including tight end Darren Waller. With the addition of the one-time Pro Bowler, things could open up even more for both Jones and Barkley.

“I think adding (tight end) Darren (Waller) definitely helps, being able to bring a little to attention to him and all the guys,” Barkley said on Wednesday. “All the wide receivers, not just DJ (quarterback Daniel Jones), stepping up to another level but (wide receiver Darius) Slay(ton), (wide receiver) Isaiah (Hodgins), (wide receiver) P(arris Campbell), Belly (tight end Daniel Bellinger), (wide receiver Sterling) Shep(ard), all those guys, the O-line. I think we feed off each other really well, and I feel like last year we really showed that, being a team that, whatever it takes to win, and that’s what I am excited for—just going out there and competing at a high level with all the extra talent that we have.

“With DJ showing the type of player that he is and him taking it to another level, it forces you to take it to another level, too. I just feel like me being in the second year, understanding the offense a little bit more, knowing the scheme, knowing where to block, being able to time it better is just going to help my game.”

The Giants offense should be better in 2023; Barkley wants a big contract, and he’s going to be motivated to play at a high level. In addition, Waller, if he can stay healthy, will help. The offense line is solid. If Jones is what the Giants think he could be when they gave him a big contract in the offseason, things could be great for New York on offense, which could mean even better days for the Giants.

Giants’ Jones on playing Cowboys: ‘It’s a big divisional game for us’

In 2022, the top two teams in the NFC East were the Philadelphia Eagles(14-3), who won the division, and the Dallas Cowboys(12-5).

The New York Giants(9-7-1) were 0-4 against both teams last season.

On Sunday night, the Giants host the Cowboys in the season opener, and this would be a good time for New York to start the season with a win.

Giants quarterback Daniel Jones, who is 1-6 in his career against Dallas, says playing the Cowboys is a big deal.

“It’s a big divisional game for us,” Jones said on Tuesday. “All the divisional games are certainly big and match up with a lot of tradition and history, so yeah, it’s a big deal. But it’s about what we do; it’s about how we play and taking care of our business first.”

Jones knows playing the Cowboys is not only a big deal to the players but also a big deal for the fans.

“Giants’ fans are passionate, and like I said, there’s a long history, there’s a long tradition of these matchups in the NFC East, and Cowboys is certainly up there,” Jones said. “We understand that, but we know it’s about what we do as a group and how we play and making sure we’re ready to go Sunday night.”

Giants tight end Darren Waller is new to this rivalry and happy to be a part of it.

“Like I’ve said before, growing up in a house with my parents, NFC East fans, I know the history,” Waller said. “I know how heated and competitive these games have been over the years, and I know what I’m about to step into on Sunday. I am honored to take the field.”

According to Waller, his parents were not fans of the Cowboys.

“I just know my parents were kind of like anti-Cowboys as far as their team, so I understood what the deal was,” Waller said. 

The Cowboys and Eagles should be outstanding teams again in 2023, so if the Giants want to make some noise in the NFC East, New York has to be better against the Cowboys and Eagles.

Giants’ Jalin Hyatt talks number 13

The last player to wear the number 13 for the New York Giants was three-time Pro Bowl wide receiver Odell Bcckham Jr., who spent five seasons with the Giants before being traded to the Browns in 2019.

Four years later, there’s a new number 13 in New York, Giants rookie wide receiver Jalin Hyatt.

The 21-year-old was selected in the third round by the Giants out of Tennessee in this year’s draft.

Hyatt wore number 11 in college, but that number was worn by Giants great Phil Simms and was retired by the team. In the preseason, Hyatt wore the number 84, but as the season approached, he picked a new number, and this week he discussed the reasoning behind choosing number 13.

“Most of the decision was mine,” Hyatt said. “I asked some of my teammates what they thought, and they told me, “You should do it,” so I decided to make that change. I can’t wait to go out there week one with that jersey number and do what I do.”

Hyatt said he met Beckham before the draft and had nothing but praise for the now-Ravens wide receiver.

“I met him down in AZ(Arizona) during the draft process,” he said. “He was working out, and we started talking. At first, I didn’t know – I was surprised he knew who I was. It shows a lot of love that he has for the Giants. A lot of respect for him…

“What he did here – had a great career with the Giants and kind of took over. I was a fan when I was young watching him. High school, college, and now being here, but just with the jersey number, it’s just one of those things I wanted to start my own legacy. I like low numbers, and if I had to choose a number, it’d be 11, but it’s retired here, so can’t go with that one, so 13 would be the next option.”

Hyatt may have put some extra pressure on himself. However, he comes off as a very confident player, and fortunately for him, 13 is a lucky number, so things may work out in his favor.

Giants’ Jones on receivers: ‘I think we have a ton of guys who can make a lot of plays’

There’s optimism in New York as the Giants enter the season looking to build off what they did in 2022, which included making the playoffs for the first time since 2016 and getting a postseason win for the first time since 2011.

On paper, the Giants look like a more talented team in 2023, and Daniel Jones, who had a breakout year last season, which earned him a new contract, has more weapons on offense.

New York added a very good tight end in Darren Waller. Of course, Pro Bowl running back Saquon Barkley is back, and the offensive line looks solid.

However, do they have a true number-one wide receiver?

The Giants added Parris Campbell from the Colts. They also selected wide receiver Jalin Hyatt in the third round of this year’s draft; they are getting back from injuries Sterling Sheperd and Wan’Dale Robinson to go along with Darius Slayton and Isaiah Hodgins.

At this point, there does not appear to be a number one wide receiver in the bunch; however, Jones likes what his wideouts bring to the table.

“I think we have a ton of guys who can make a lot of plays in a lot of different ways,” Jones said on Wednesday. “As a quarterback, I think that’s an exciting opportunity for you to see all those guys line up and the different ways we can attack a defense and all the different skill sets. They’re all good at a number of things and really good at a couple of things. It’s emphasizing those, and that’s an exciting position to be in from a quarterback. I think we’ve got a good group.”

Fortunately for Jones, he does have Waller, and he believes Waller will be tough to defend.

“I think he’s(Waller) been in the league for a long time, made a lot of plays,” Jones said. “It’s no secret what he can do. Yeah, we’ll see. We’ll see how that goes. He’s a matchup issue for anybody with his size and speed. We’ll see how teams defend him.”

We’ll learn more about New York’s offense in Week 1 against the Cowboys. Again, it should be better, but they may have issues on the outside without a true number-one receiver.

Giants trim roster to 53, name team captains

The New York Giants released its initial 53-man roster on Tuesday. To get down to 53 players, the Giants waived 15 players and terminated the contracts of six vested veterans.

New York waived the following players:

Quarterback Tommy DeVito, who played most of the Giants’ preseason snaps; running back Jashaun Corbin; wide receiver Kalil Pimpleton; tight end Ryan Jones; tackle Tyre Phillips; defensive tackles Ryder Anderson and Kobe Smith; defensive end Habakkuk Baldonado; linebackers Darrian Beavers, Tomon Fox, Ray Wilborn and Dyontae Johnson; cornerback Gemon Green; safety Alex Cook; and long snapper Cameron Lyons.

Those whose contracts were terminated were linebacker Oshane Ximines, wide receivers Jamison Crowder, Cole Beasley, and David Sills, cornerback Amani Oruwariye, and center Sean Harlow.

Tight end Tommy Sweeney was placed on the reserve/non-football list (NFI), and wide receiver Wan’Dale Robinson, who is returning after tearing his ACL as a rookie last November, was activated off the physically unable to perform list (PUP) after he passed his physical.

In addition, third-year cornerback Aaron Robinson was moved from active/PUP to reserve/PUP and must miss at least the season’s first four games. The team’s third-round draft choice in 2021, Robinson was limited to two games last season because he had his appendix removed and tore his ACL.

This is the initial 53-man roster, so a lot can change, which Giants head coach Brian Daboll discussed.

“Long couple of days here, obviously made some cuts,” Daboll said. “I’m not going to talk about who was released today. It’s kind of still a fluid situation right now, so really all-encompassing – the roster, whether it’s the practice squad, who we have so that’s really more for tomorrow.”

Giants name team captains:

Daboll today announced the team’s 2023 captains, which consists of 10 players: Daniel Jones, Saquon Barkley, Andrew Thomas, Darren Waller, Dexter Lawrence, Leonard Williams, Bobby Okereke, Adoree’ Jackson, Xavier McKinney and Graham Gano.

Barkley is a captain for the fifth consecutive season, the team’s longest active streak. Jones is a fourth-year captain, and Gano is in his third season in the leadership position. Thomas, Lawrence, Williams, and McKinney are second-year captains. Jackson, Waller, and Okereke were selected captains for the first time, the latter two players in their debut season with the Giants.

“The way we do it is I have six slots, and I have all the players vote, and then if you get a certain amount of votes, then you are named captain,” Daboll said. “I think there were 22 people on the team that received votes, which to me is good for our team in terms of the way players perceive other players in leadership roles. Just because you are not a captain doesn’t mean you are not a leader on the team. There was a considerable number of guys who got, maybe it was five votes or three votes. Some guys got over 50 votes, but that was all by the players.”



Rodgers on debut: ‘Yeah, got in, didn’t get hurt, scored’

Aaron Rodgers saw his first action as a New York Jet on Saturday night against the Giants at MetLife Stadium.

In two series, Rodgers completed 5 of 8 passes for 47 yards and a touchdown. On his second and final drive, the four-time MVP completed a beautiful 14-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Garrett Wilson.

It was great work for the 39-year-old, and he is glad he didn’t get hurt.

“Yeah, got in, didn’t get hurt, scored,” Rodgers said after the Jets defeated the Giants 32-24. “It was a good night.”

Jets head coach Robert Saleh added: “Yeah. We wanted to get two or three series. Have a first series, come back, get some adjustments, go back to the… and it was good… It was a really productive day overall, not only for the first team offense and defense and special teams but for the coaching staff and the way they communicate.”

Rodgers said he had some butterflies getting out on the field for the first time as a Jet.

“I had some butterflies for sure,” he said. “I think that’s always normal. First time I strap it on, it’s kind of the standard whether I’m in year one playing the San Diego Chargers or year 19 preseason number four; there’s always some butterflies when you step out there for the first time, but I loosened up pretty good when I got the ovation when I took the field. That was a special moment just to have that kind of support, taking the field for that TV timeout, that was pretty special.”

New York begins the season at home against the Buffalo Bills on Monday Night Football, and Rodgers thinks the team is ready to go.

“I think we’re ready,” Rodgers said. “I think next week will be an important week. Obviously, there will be some tough decisions with the roster, but just to work in some other things as we transition now to the final 53 that we’re going to be doing every single week.”

“We’ve held back a few things that we’ve been taking notes on, kind of, in the quarterback room, so if we want to put them in the next week coming up, so we’ll put kind of the final touches of the offense, I feel good about where we’re at. Obviously, we still have Duane (Brown) to come back and Breece (Hall) to really fully come back, and Dalvin (Cook) hasn’t practiced yet. So those are three impact players for us that we’re going to want to see on the field and get in the mix. Might be a slower start for some of those guys, but got to get them going with what we’re doing.”

The expectations are high in New York. It’s Super Bowl or bust for the Jets, which is excellent for anybody associated with them.