Graham Gano’s missed field goal ignites Jets in win over Giants

In a much-anticipated showdown between the New York Giants and New York Jets that marked their first regular season matchup since 2019, both offenses struggled to find their groove, mirroring the gloomy weather conditions.

The Jets (4-3) managed to secure a hard-fought victory over the Giants (2-6) with a close 13-10 overtime triumph on a wet and chilly 55-degree afternoon at MetLife Stadium.

While the Giants’ offense had their standout player in Saquan Barkley, who rushed for an impressive 128 yards on 36 carries, their relentless feeding of the ball to him couldn’t seal the win in a low-scoring game against the Jets’ defense.

The game on Sunday turned into a comedy of errors, with neither team managing to convert a single third down in the first half. The Jets further added to their troubles with two fumbles. It was a struggle for both offenses.

The Giants heavily relied on their ground game when their passing attempts fell short. With an effective rushing attack, Big Blue accumulated 203 yards on the ground, averaging 3.9 yards per carry.

The Jets, however, refused to give up. With just 2:47 remaining in regulation, they still had a chance to either force overtime with a field goal or clinch the game with a touchdown. Despite an Allen Lazard drop on third down and a sack by the Giants on fourth down, the Jets were seemingly out of luck.

But fate took an unexpected turn. Graham Gano, the Giants’ kicker, missed a crucial 35-yard field goal with only 24 seconds left on the clock, giving the Jets a newfound glimmer of hope. Capitalizing on this opportunity, Zach Wilson, the Jets’ quarterback, completed two pivotal 29-yard passes to Garrett Wilson and Lazard, securing them a position for a 35-yard game-tying field goal as time expired, thanks to Greg Zuerlein’s precision.

The Giants were given the first possession in overtime, but their offense failed to make an impact, going three and out. This provided the Jets with an opportune moment as their offense took the field.

The Giants faced another setback when their starting quarterback, Daniel Jones, was replaced by Tyrod Taylor due to a neck injury. However, Taylor’s game was cut short in the second quarter as he suffered a rib injury and was taken to the hospital for further evaluation. Tommy DeVito took over as the Giants’ quarterback, but his passing attempts proved to be unsuccessful as the team managed a mere seven passing yards throughout the entire game.

In addition to Taylor’s injury, the Giants’ top receiving option, tight end Darren Waller, also left the game in the first half due to a hamstring injury.

Despite these setbacks, the Giants managed to find the end zone midway through the third quarter, thanks to DeVito’s six-yard run, giving them a slim 10-7 lead.

In contrast, Wilson, the Jets’ quarterback, struggled in his sixth start of the season. He completed 17 of 36 passes for 240 yards and one touchdown.

One of the recurring issues for the Jets throughout the season has been their inefficiency on third downs. This problem persisted in the game against the Giants, with the Jets converting only 2 of their 15 third-down opportunities, securing their first conversion with just 2:19 remaining in the fourth quarter.

One bright spot for the Jets was Breece Hall, a standout player on their offense. Hall’s 50-yard reception early in the first quarter contributed to the Jets’ early 7-3 lead. Hall finished the game with 93 all-purpose yards, including six catches for 76 yards and a touchdown.

Injuries plagued the Jets’ roster, with defensive tackle Al Woods, center Connor McGovern, and right guard Wes Schweitzer all sidelined at various points in the game. McGovern’s injury forced Schweitzer to shift to center, while Xavier Newman stepped in as the right guard. Unfortunately, Schweitzer also suffered an injury, leading to further reshuffling as Billy Turner took over as the right guard and Newman assumed the role of starting center.

It’s worth noting that prior to Sunday’s game, Xavier Newman had only played a total of 16 career snaps and had never played center in the NFL.

The Giants’ defense, known for their aggressive blitz packages, continued to live up to their reputation, putting significant pressure on Wilson throughout the game. Edge rusher Kayvon Thibodeaux stood out with three sacks and nine tackles, contributing to the Giants’ dominance on defense.

As a result, the Jets struggled to move the ball effectively, both on the ground and through the air.

The game started with a bang for the Giants, as Thibodeaux strip-sacked Wilson on the Jets’ first drive, leading to a fumble recovery by Jihad Ward at the Jets’ 26-yard line. This turnover allowed the Giants to secure their first points of the game with a successful 31-yard field goal by Graham Gano.

Looking ahead, the Jets will strive to maintain their momentum as they prepare to host the Chargers on Monday Night Football on November 6th. Meanwhile, the Giants will aim to recover as they head to Las Vegas for their next game against the Raiders next Sunday.


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