Giants overcome 18-point deficit as Daniel Jones leads dramatic fourth-quarter comeback
Giants rookie quarterback Daniel Jones delivered a veteran like performance Sunday that included two rushing touchdowns and two passing touchdowns all in the face of pressure as he led his teammates back from an 18-point deficit to a 32-31 win over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
The Giants offense put up 10 points on its first two possessions, including Jones’ first NFL touchdown rush for 7 yards, but the Giants defense struggled to stop Tampa Bay in the game's first 30 minutes, allowing them to score on all six of their first-half possessions.
Tampa quarterback Jameis Winston found receiver Mike Evans for all three of the Bucs’ first-half touchdowns while kicker Matt Gay converted on field goals of 47, 27 and 20 yards to give the Bucs a 28-10 halftime lead.
Jones, named the Giants starting quarterback this week by head coach Pat Shurmur, delivered some solid play despite being harassed by the Bucs defense, and in particular, Shaq Barrett.
Jones finished 23 of 36 for 336 yards, with two touchdowns, a third-quarter 75-yard strike to tight end Evan Engram and a –yard pass to receiver Sterling Shepard.
The rookie quarterback also ran for two touchdowns, finishing with 28 yards on four carries.
Despite Jones’ magic, the Giants came out of the game bracing for some potentially bad news. Star running back Saquon Barkley suffered a right ankle injury in the first half that put him on crutches and in a walking boot.
Initial reports are that Barkley didn’t suffer a broken ankle, but he is believed to be looking at missing some substantial playing time.
The Giants almost lost the game in heartbreaking fashion as quarterback Jameis Winston ran a solid two-minute drive on the Bucs’ final possession of the game which saw him connect with receiver Chris Godwin on a huge 20-yard gain and then Evans on a 44-yard reception to set up Gay’s 34-yard field goal attempt.
However, Gay, who earlier in the game missed two PATs (one of which was blocked by Giants rookie Dexter Lawrence), pushed the 34-yard field goal attempt wide right, giving the Giants the win.
The Giants (1-2) will be home next weekend to host Washington (0-2) who host the Bears on Monday night.