NFL

Giants lose their rivalry game to the Jets in overtime after blowing a late lead in the last 24 seconds

The Giants maintained a somber atmosphere, with players standing in front of their lockers, grappling with emotions of anger, defeat, and uncertainty after their surprising overtime loss to the Jets.

Although it was a contest for local supremacy at MetLife Stadium between two New York City-affiliated teams based in New Jersey, it was widely anticipated to be a defensive struggle, evident in the final score of 13-10.

What caught everyone off guard, however, was the Giants’ late-game collapse.

On Sunday, October 29, 2023, in East Rutherford, New Jersey, quarterback Zach Wilson (2) of the New York Jets throws the ball to the New York Giants during the first half of an NFL football game. (Image courtesy of Frank Franklin II)
On Sunday, October 29, 2023, in East Rutherford, New Jersey, quarterback Zach Wilson (2) of the New York Jets throws the ball to the New York Giants during the first half of an NFL football game. (Image courtesy of Frank Franklin II)

For the Giants and their head coach Brian Daboll, this presented an opportunity to string together consecutive victories for the first time this season, injecting a glimmer of hope into a campaign that has fallen well short of initial expectations.

Their sole task was to prevent the Jets from advancing beyond their 25-yard line and reaching field goal range late in the game. This challenge arose after Graham Gano’s missed 35-yard field goal attempt with 24 seconds remaining in regulation.

On Sunday, October 29, 2023, in East Rutherford, New Jersey, quarterback Aaron Rodgers (8) of the New York Jets works the sidelines during the first half of an NFL football game against the New York Giants. (Image by Adam Hunger)
On Sunday, October 29, 2023, in East Rutherford, New Jersey, quarterback Aaron Rodgers (8) of the New York Jets works the sidelines during the first half of an NFL football game against the New York Giants. (Image by Adam Hunger)

The Jets, with no timeouts left, had struggled all game to convert on third downs against the Giants’ defense. However, they managed to turn the tide. Zach Wilson connected on consecutive 29-yard passes to Garrett Wilson and Allen Lazard. The Jets quickly spiked the ball with just one second remaining, and Greg Zuerlein successfully tied the game with a 35-yard field goal on the final play of regulation.

In overtime, Zuerlein made a 33-yarder after the Giants (2-6) failed to secure a first down on their opening possession. An unfortunate turn of events occurred when cornerback Adoree Jackson was penalized for pass interference at the 15-yard line, granting the Jets (4-3) their third consecutive victory.

On Sunday, October 29, 2023, in East Rutherford, New Jersey, during the second half of an NFL football game, New York Jets running back Breece Hall (20) rushes the ball against New York Giants inside linebacker Bobby Okereke (58). (Image by Adam Hunger)"
On Sunday, October 29, 2023, in East Rutherford, New Jersey, during the second half of an NFL football game, New York Jets running back Breece Hall (20) rushes the ball against New York Giants inside linebacker Bobby Okereke (58). (Image by Adam Hunger)”

“This loss is certainly a painful one,” commented Giants running back Saquon Barkley, who carried the ball a career-high 36 times for 128 yards. “We were up against a highly skilled team. Credit to the Jets, their defense performed admirably, the offensive line displayed tremendous effort, and Tommy DeVito did an excellent job stepping in as the New York Giants’ quarterback. Unfortunately, we fell short.”

Promoted from the practice squad for the third consecutive week due to Daniel Jones’ neck injury, Tommy DeVito found himself on the field when Tyrod Taylor suffered a rib injury in the second quarter. He seemed poised to secure the win by giving New York a 10-7 lead with a 6-yard touchdown run on the opening drive of the third quarter.

Nonetheless, despite the Giants’ defense having a strong performance against the Jets’ offense, they allowed the game-tying drive.

“I wouldn’t claim that we dominated throughout the entire game,” stated Giants defensive tackle Dexter Lawrence. “You can’t expect to play a flawless game, and there’s no need to dwell on not achieving perfection. The Jets simply made crucial plays when necessary.”

Brian Daboll faced criticism for his choice to let Graham Gano attempt a 35-yard field goal late in the game, especially since Gano had missed a 47-yard attempt earlier in the same direction. Additionally, some questioned why he didn’t opt to go for the win with his offense on a fourth-and-1 situation before the Gano kick.

“It’s a valid question, but we made the decision to attempt the field goal with Graham,” Daboll explained. “Our defense had been performing well, having stopped them on all 12 third-down attempts. That’s the decision we went with, even though it didn’t yield the desired outcome.”

The Giants’ hopes of making it back to the playoffs for a second consecutive season are diminishing.

The Giants announced that Taylor would remain at Hackensack Medical Center for an overnight evaluation. Daboll is uncertain whether Jones will be prepared to return this week as the Giants head to Las Vegas. DeVito’s recent promotion from the practice squad marked his third, necessitating the Giants to include him on the active roster next time.

“While I wish the outcome had been more favorable to match those emotions, the inner child in me is currently beaming that I had the opportunity to participate in a meaningful NFL game,” DeVito expressed, even though he completed only 2 of 7 passes for a negative yard. “I just wish the result could have been different.”

The Giants concluded the game with a net passing yardage of negative 9, marking the lowest in an NFL game since the Browns recorded the same total against the Jaguars in 2000.

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