EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP) — The Giants were relatively quite and players stood in front of their lockers dealing with anger, loss and uncertainty after being stunned by the Jets in overtime.
Forget this was a game for the bragging rights of MetLife Stadium between New York City-named teams based in New Jersey. Everyone knew it was going to be a defensive game and it was with a 13-10 final score.
What was unexpected was the Giants' late collapse.
For the Giants and coach Brian Daboll this was a chance to string wins together the first time this season and put a little hope back into the season that has fallen far short of expectations.
All they had to do was keep the Jets from moving from their 25-yard line into field-goal position late, after Graham Gano missed a 35-yard field-goal attempt with 24 seconds left in regulation.
And the Jets had no timeouts and the Giants defense had held them to one third down conversion all game.
They blew it. Zach Wilson hit consecutive 29-yard passes to Garrett Wilson and Allen Lazard, the Jets spiked the ball with 1 second left and Greg Zuerlein tied the game with a 35-yard field goal on the final play of regulation.
He made a 33-yarde r after the Giants (2-6) failed to get a first down on the opening possession of overtime and cornerback Adoree Jackson was called for pass interference at the 15, giving the Jets (4-3) their third straight win.
“This one definitely stings,” said Giants running back Saquon Barkley, who had a career-high 36 carries for 128 yards. “We played a really good team. You’ve got to give hats off to the Jets, defense played great, the O-line battled their tails off, (New York Giants QB) Tommy (DeVito) came in and did a great job. We came up short.”
DeVito, who was promoted from the practice squad for the third straight week with Daniel Jones (neck) out, was forced to play after Tyrod Taylor hurt his ribs in the second quarter. He was in line for the win, giving New York a 10-7 lead with a 6-yard TD run on the opening possession of the third quarter.
However, the Giants defense, who had dominated the Jets offense, allowed the game-tying drive.
“I wouldn't say that we dominated all game,” Giants defensive tackle Dexter Lawrence said. "You can’t play a perfect game and you’re not going to beat yourself over for not playing a perfect game. They just they made the plays when they needed to make it.”
Daboll was second-guessed about his decision to allow Gano to attempt a 35-yard field goal late after he had missed a 47-yarder earlier going in the same direction.
He also was asked why he didn't choose to win the game by having his offense go on fourth-and-1 before the Gano kick.
“Completely legit question, but it’s a decision that we made to try to kick a field goal with Graham,” Daboll said. “Our defense was — they were like, 0-for-12 on third down. They were playing well. That’s the decision we made. It didn’t work out.”
And the Giants chances of getting back to the playoffs for a second straight season are fading.
The Giants said Taylor will be held at Hackensack Medical Center overnight for evaluation. Daboll is uncertain whether Jones will be ready to return this week, when the Giants travel to Las Vegas. This was DeVito's third promotion from the practice squad so the Giants have to sign him to the active roster next time.
“Wish it would’ve ended better to fulfill those emotions, but the little kid in me is smiling right now that I got to play in an NFL game and really in a meaningful NFL game,” said DeVito who finished 2 of 7 for minus-1 yard. “I just wish the outcome would’ve been different.”
The Giants finished with minus-9 yards net passing. It's the fewest in an NFL game since the Browns had that total against the Jaguars in 2000.
AP NFL: https://apnews.com/NFL
Tom Canavan, The Associated Press