It wasn’t going to take much for me to give up on the 2022 Giants.
After general manager Joe Schoen said, “We’re going to do the best we can with what we have,” I knew it wasn’t going to take much for me to give up on the 2022 Giants.
When the Giants’ second and third plays of the season against the Titans were runs with Daniel Jones, and when they went three-and-out to open the season, I was ready to give up.
When the defense let the Titans go 45 yards on five plays to take a 7-0 lead, I was ready to give up.
When the Giants gained 22 yards combined on their next two possessions, I was ready to give up.
When trailing by 10 in the second quarter and Jones was sacked and fumbled away possession leading to a 13-point Titans lead, I was ready to give up.
When trailing 20-13 in the fourth quarter when Jones threw an interception in the end zone from the Titans’ 8, I was ready to give up.
I have seen enough Giants games in my life, and especially over the last decade to know how this game would end with the Giants doing just enough to lose. The Giants could change the front office and the coaching staff, but with the same quarterback and largely the same personnel that hadn’t been nearly good enough in recent seasons, it seemed impossible to think Sunday would end any other way than with a winnable game turning into a disappointing loss.
But with 5:27 left in the game, the Giants did something they hadn’t done since Eli Manning’s prime, orchestrating a 12-play, 73-yard drive for a touchdown. And then they did something no Giants team has ever done, going for 2 and the possibly the win with 1:06 left on the clock.
The decision to go for 2 by Brian Daboll was something the team’s last three head coaches weren’t intelligent to process or pull off, and it’s something Tom Coughlin never would have attempted with his conservative, old-school approach to the game.
Even after taking a 21-20 lead following the successful two-point conversion, 1:06 would be an eternity for the Titans to get within field-goal range and destroy the chance of Giants fans experiencing happiness yet again. Two defensive holding penalties on the Giants helped keep the game alive for the Titans, and with four seconds left they had the ball at the Giants’ 29. Randy Bullock would come out and kick a 47-yard field goal, and the Giants would lose another game on a last-second field goal, and another Giants season would be that much closer to being over before the end of the Major League Baseball regular season. It was a game and a set up I had seen too many times. I knew how it would and was prepared for the worst.
Except this time it didn’t. This time was different. Bullock missed wide left, there was no time on the clock, and for the first time in six years, the Giants were 1-0, rather than 0-1.
It doesn’t take much for me to get excited about the Giants with them having played one postseason game in the last 10 years, experiencing four head coaches in the last eight years (including the embarrassing trio prior to Daboll) and too many consecutive double-digit loss seasons. It took one game and one win for me to believe in Daboll as a head coach and for me to start looking ahead.
Carolina at home in Week 2. Dak Prescott-less Dallas at home in Week 3. Chicago at home in Week 4. The Giants’ Week 1 win has set them up to believe and set their fans up to believe that this season could be more than just a wash and a formality to the Giants ridding themselves of bad contracts and regaining cap space for next season.
For the first time in a long time, the Giants are set up to have their season last past the end of September. For me, for now, that’s enough.