Posted on September 23, 2019, by Travis Pulver
The New York Giants finally made ‘the decision’ following the loss last week to the Buffalo Bills. Many thought they should have done it prior to Week One. But they were loyal to Eli Manning to a fault and couldn’t bring themselves to bench the two-time Super Bowl-winning quarterback; nothing a couple of bad losses and poor play couldn’t remedy.
So, when the New York Giants took on the Buccaneers in Tampa Bay Sunday, it was rookie Daniel Jones under center for the Giants.
With how the game played out, it will remain Jones under center for the foreseeable future.
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The game didn’t get off to a great start for the Giants, but not because Jones was struggling against the Buccaneers defense. New York’s defense couldn’t stop Jameis Winston and Mike Evans from connecting. As a result, the Giants found themselves in an 18-point hole at the half, 28-10.
However, if the Giants were going to mount a second-half comeback, it would be without the services of running back Saquon Barkley. Late in the second quarter he went down with an ankle injury and had to be helped to the locker room.
But Jones and the Giants were far from done, Barkley. A 75-yard touchdown reception by Evan Engram on the first play from scrimmage in the second half cut the deficit down to ten (following the two-point conversion), 28-18.
The defense held on Tampa Bay’s next drive and gave the ball back to Jones and the offense a few minutes later. Jones proceeded to take the Giants on another touchdown drive, this one an eight-play, 80-yarder that ended with Sterling Shephard catching a seven-yard pass from Jones.
Just like that, without the services of one of the best running backs in the NFL, Jones erased most of an 18-point deficit. The Giants were now within reach, 28-25, and had a quarter and a half left to play.
At this point, both defenses got stingy and started forcing a lot of punts. But with six minutes to go, the Bucs stretched the lead out to six, 31-25, with a 23-yard field goal. Jones couldn’t answer on the next drive but got the ball back with 3:16 to go on the Giants 25-yard line.
Eight plays and 75 yards later, he finished the drive off himself with a seven-yard dash to the end zone– but the game wasn’t done yet. Winston got the Buccaneers within striking distance thanks to a couple of big pass plays only to see Matt Gay miss a 34-yard field goal.
“I was super confident going on the field. I felt really good about it,” Gay said after the game, via ESPN. “I’ve got to make that every single time.”
After the game, the Giants said that Barkley had suffered a high-ankle sprain. They did not say how much time he would miss but did say he was scheduled for an MRI on Monday.
It is not unusual for high ankle sprains to take 4-6 weeks to recover from.
Jones will have a chance to improve to 2-0 as a starter when the Giants take on the Washington Redskins next week at home. The Buccaneers will head out west to take on the Rams in Los Angeles.