By: Marvin Azrak
Alright, folks, gather around for a tale of redemption that even Daniel Jones himself would smile about. Now, we all remember last week’s debacle against the Cowboys, where we wished we could disappear into the Metlife Stadium turf, right? But hold onto your helmets because this Sunday in Glendale, Arizona, against the Cardinals, something magical happened.
On the first play of the second half, our guy Daniel Jones, who’s been taking some heat lately, drops back and throws a rocket to rookie Jalin Hyatt for a 58-yard gain. It was like a lightning bolt of hope in a storm of misery.
You see, we’d been playing some historically atrocious football before that. If our team’s performance were a comedy, it’d be in the “so bad it’s funny” category.
Our team was down by 20 points, and we desperately needed a spark. And that’s when Jalin Hyatt, our speedy rookie, stepped into the spotlight.
Hyatt, who hadn’t made a catch in his first six quarters in the NFL, felt he was about to make an impact. He knew the play was coming even before leaving the locker room. The call was for a deep post route, a risky move, but sometimes, you’ve got to take chances.
Hyatt himself was eager for the opportunity. He recalled, “I told D.J. right before we broke out of the huddle, ‘Throw it. Just throw it.’ He trusted me and threw it. I wish I scored, but great outcome.”
Instead of throwing tantrums or giving up, the Giants decided, “Hey, let’s start executing!” Jones ends up tossing for 321 yards and two touchdowns – not too shabby, right?
Graham Gano, our kicker extraordinaire, nailed a 34-yard field goal with 19 seconds left on the clock. The Giants, yes, the very same Giants who were down by 21 points in the third quarter, rallied back to shock the Arizona Cardinals 31-28.
And get this, folks, it was the biggest comeback win for the Giants since 1949 – that’s ancient history in football terms! The Cardinals blew their most significant lead since 2011, and it felt sweeter than a touchdown in the final seconds.
Now, remember, we didn’t start this season on the right foot. We lost 40-0 to the Cowboys in our home opener, and that’s a memory we’d like to erase, like a bad dream. But against the Cardinals, something clicked.
Coach Brian Daboll said it best, “It’s not always easy to be mentally tough when you’re down 60-0 after a game and a half,” Boy, were we down! But we’ve got some mentally tough players, and they showed it on that field.
We cut that 21-point deficit to 28-14 with Saquon Barkley’s touchdown run, and then came a rollercoaster of emotions. A 9-yard touchdown pass from Jones to Barkley, a perfectly placed 11-yard TD pass to Isaiah Hodgins, and boom, we tied the game!
Our defense stepped up, forced a three-and-out, and then we marched down the field like we owned it. Gano’s go-ahead kick was like poetry in motion.
Xavier McKinney said it best, “The second half, the difference was explosive plays.” We were on fire when it mattered most.
Jones threw for 321 yards, ran for 59 yards, and even scored a 14-yard touchdown.
Giants tight end Darren Waller couldn’t help but praise Daniel Jones for his performance during the historic comeback. Waller noted, “You just saw the poise and the balance with intensity. That’s what I’ve seen since April and seen all through camps and OTA. That’s the consistent guy that I’ve seen every day. He was the main guy leading the charge.”
Jones indeed displayed remarkable consistency. In the first half, his stats weren’t stellar, going 9 of 16 for 62 yards with an interception and a passer rating of 39.1. However, he transformed his game in the second half, completing 15 of 21 passes for 259 yards, two passing touchdowns, and an additional rushing touchdown, finishing with an impressive rating of 103.5.
Waller emphasized the significance of Jones’ contribution, saying, “It’s exactly what I expected from him.” He commended Jones for his unflinching demeanor, regardless of the game’s ups and downs, highlighting the quarterback’s role in maintaining the team’s composure.
Jones, ever humble, downplayed his part in the comeback, stating, “We fought. We were able to keep our heads and stay level-headed. It says a lot about the mental toughness and resilience of this team.” He credited the team’s confidence, simple execution, and trust in the game plan for their remarkable turnaround. Jones’ leadership and poise were pivotal in the Giants’ historic victory.
Barkley ran for 63 yards and got us that crucial touchdown before hobbling off with an ankle injury. Unfortunately, he will be out 2-3 weeks.
Let’s give credit where it’s due: James Conner ran for 106 yards and a touchdown for the Cardinals, but they’ll remember this game for all the wrong reasons.
Arizona have now lost six straight games at home since last October. And guess what? They denied quarterback Joshua Dobbs his first NFL win as a starter. As for their first-year coach, Jonathan Gannon, he’ll have to wait a little longer for that first NFL victory.
Sure, we had a rough start, historically rough, if you ask the record books. But in the end, it was like a football fairy tale. From 40-0 humiliation to a 31-28 comeback victory, that’s the New York Giants for you – full of surprises!
This game also its mark in NFL history in several remarkable ways. First and foremost, the Giants achieved their most significant comeback ever, securing the most extensive recovery in franchise history. In a stunning display of athleticism and skill, Jones made history as the first NFL quarterback to accomplish multiple feats in a single second-half performance: he threw for over 250 yards, rushed for more than 50 yards, threw multiple touchdown passes, ran for a touchdown, and remarkably, he didn’t turn over the ball.
A particularly astonishing fact comes from 98.7’s Vince Marotta, revealing that since the Cardinals relocated to Arizona in 1988, they had maintained an impeccable record of 29-0 in games where they scored 28 or more points without committing a turnover. However, this incredible streak ended after the Giants’ heroic performance.
The Giants added another layer of uniqueness to their season by becoming just the third team in NFL history to suffer a loss of 40 or more points while also mounting a comeback of 20 or more points within the same season. Remarkably, they managed to do this two weeks in a row, distinguishing themselves in the annals of football history.
Finally, ESPN’s FPI (Football Power Index) initially gave the Giants less than a 4% chance of winning during the third quarter of the game. Yet, they defied these odds, proving that in football, as in life, anything can happen when determination and skill collide on the field.
So, let’s celebrate this win, Giants fans, and hope our team keeps the momentum rolling. Who knows what other magic lies ahead in this rollercoaster of a season? Remember, in football, anything is possible, even a comeback like this one!