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How the New York Giants Came Up with Their Trick Play in Win vs. Carolina Panthers

The Giants' trick play that led to quarterback Daniel Jones's first career reception came from an assistant coach's suggestion during practice last week.

The play probably won’t get the same style points as, say, the famed “Philly Special,” but the New York Giants' timely execution of a bit of razzle-dazzle in the third quarter of their 25-3 win over the Carolina Panthers turned out to be  just what the doctor ordered.

The Giants, nursing a delicate 5-3 lead over the Carolina Panthers in their Week 7 game at MetLife Stadium, put together an 11-play scoring drive—their longest of the day—starting with 7:32 left in the third quarter. 

On the fifth play of the drive on 1st-and-10, Giants quarterback Daniel Jones took the handoff and gave it to running back Devontae Booker. Booker, running across the formation, then flipped it to receiver Dante Pettis as he was streaking by him in the opposite direction. 

Pettis set himself up and fired a 16-yard pass completion to Jones. The quarterback then showed off his tremendous athleticism in coming down with the one-handed grab before Panthers safety Sean Chandler arrived on the scene to stop the play on the Panthers’ 32-yard line.

“Yeah, it was a pretty unathletic route getting out there, so he put it out there for me and I just tried to pull it in,” Jones said after the game. “Good play, good design, something we’d worked on all week. Good throw by Dante.”

But not a great route by Jones, according to Pettis.

“I think Daniel slowed up on the route a bit,” Pettis said with a grin. “And that’s a no-no.”

But seriously, Pettis had one thought racing through his mind while the play was unfolding.

"Just get this ball to DJ. Don’t do anything crazy. Don’t mess up the throw. Just get it to him," he said with a laugh.


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That he did, and six plays later, Jones returned the favor to Pettis, hitting the receiver on a 5-yard touchdown pass that gave the Giants a 12-3 lead.

According to head coach Joe Judge, the play was a suggestion from quarterbacks coach Jerry Schuplinski that took advantage of Pettis’ baseball pedigree.

“But it wasn’t like he invented the play,” Judge added of Schuplinski's suggestion. “You can take it right off the reel of the Super Bowl against Philly when he was in New England as far as what they did. When you look at that game, that play was run by both teams, both in the second quarter.

“Look, you don’t have to invent the wheel to drive the car fast. Sometimes, you’ve just got to take what works for you.”

In practice, the play had mixed results with Jones even having to make a one-handed grab at one point, Judge revealed. But overall, the way the play unfolded in practice gave the coaching staff enough confidence to slip it into the game plan if the circumstances were right.

“It was a little bit of try-outs on the field at times, but Dante comes from a baseball family, so I’m sure he’s not going home for Thanksgiving in the future if he doesn’t make that throw,” Judge joked.

Jones, who dismissed the hit he absorbed at the end of the play, seemed pleased with the outcome.

“I think that’s the biggest thing is going through the same process you did all week through the play, recognizing the look we’re getting and trying to execute it like we practiced,” he said. 

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