EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP) — The New York Giants have hit another low point in a terribly disappointing season, and not even the news of quarterback Daniel Jones' expected return this weekend is helping things.
The Giants (2-6) didn't just drop a 13-10 decision in overtime to the Jets; they gave it away. They had the game won with less than a minute to play and didn't close out their New York rivals.
The suddenly unreliable Graham Gano missed a field goal from from 35 yards with 24 seconds left, and then a defense that had held Zach Wilson and the Jets to one big play gave up two straight 29-yard passes to set up a tying field goal by Greg Zuerlein on the final play of regulation.
The overtime seemed a foregone conclusion. The Giants won the toss, took the ball and did nothing. Zuerlein kicked the winning field goal after the Jets got a first down at the Giants 15 on an obvious pass interference call against Adoree Jackson.
“I mean it’s devastating," linebacker Micah McFadden said Monday. “The games not over until it’s over, but you are pretty sure you are going to win a game and then it turns pretty quick like that. They make a few plays and then right into overtime, it just seems so quick. It just seems like one second you are about to win a game and the next second, it’s over and you lost.”
With nine games left, the Giants are tied with Bears (2-6) for the third-worst record in the NFC. Their six losses are one fewer than last season, when they made the playoffs for the first time since 2016.
They also are planning for the future, trading starting defensive lineman Leonard Williams to Seattle for a couple of draft picks.
The Giants did get good news when a spinal surgeon cleared Jones (neck) for contact. It couldn't have come at a better time given that veteran backup Tyrod Taylor was knocked out of Sunday's game with a rib injury, forcing practice squad player Tommy DeVito to play the final 2 1/2 quarters.
Jones was ineligible to play Sunday because he had been ruled out on Friday.
“Whether it’s the quarterback, the left tackle, the right tackle, the running back — I mean, any time you can get good players, it certainly helps,” coach Brian Daboll said.
Expect for the couple of plays late in regulation and the game-deciding pass interference in overtime, the Giants' defense played lights-out for the third straight game.
The Jets finished 2 of 15 on third-down conversions and were limited to 251 yards and 62 plays. They were forced to punt 11 times, two fewer than the Giants. Over the last three games, the opposition has scored 34 points, seven set up by a special teams mistake.
WHAT NEEDS HELP
The offense is still a mess. While the Jets have an excellent defense and the game was played in rainy conditions, the Giants played not to lose. Taylor and DeVito combined to throw 14 passes and never tested the Jets' secondary. The six wide receivers were targeted three times, with Isaiah Hodgins, Jalin Hyatt and Sterling Shepard not getting a pass.
Daboll could have iced the game by going for a first down on fourth-and-1 from the Jets 17 with 28 seconds to play. Instead he tried to pad a three-point lead and Gano missed, giving the Jets hope that they turned into victory.
Saquon Barkley. The Jets knew the only way the Giants could gain yards was to turn to Barkley and he delivered. The running back had a career-high 36 carries for 128 yards. The Giants had 194 yards of total offense.
After missing three games with a high ankle sprain, Barkley has been a difference maker against Buffalo, Washington and the Jets. The Giants are 1-2 in those games but they could have won each of them, which would have made a difference in a season gone south.
Gano missed two of three field goal attempts Sunday, including the 35-yarder in the final minute and a 47-yarder in the second quarter. He has missed three of four in the past two games and is 11 of 17 this season (64.7%).
Gano was on the injury report with a knee problem the past two weeks. He had been successful on 89.2% of his field goal attempts since 2020, second best in the league.
“I’m sure some people want me to sit up here and make excuses. I’ve got none," Gano said. "I’ve got to play better. It’s frustrating.”
Taylor spent Sunday night at Hackensack Medical Center and was released Monday. Daboll said the 34-year-old was still sore. Tight end Darren Waller aggravated a hamstring injury in the second quarter and left the game. Both have to be considered iffy this weekend.
Minus-9 — NFL teams don't win games with minus-9 yards passing, although the Giants almost did against the Jets. The Giants' longest pass play was 4 yards.
The Giants have three straight road games. They play at Las Vegas (3-5), followed by Dallas (5-2) and Washington (3-5).
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