When it came down to crunch time, Tommy DeVito didn’t blink. The undrafted rookie hit on a clutch throw to Wan’Dale Robinson for a 32-yard gain into field goal range to set up Randy Bullock’s game-winning field goal as time expired and the Giants won their third straight game, improving to 5-8 on the season.
The Giants were sporting their throwback uniforms on Monday night — but early on it, looked like this was going to be a throwback to some of their games earlier this season. New York went scoreless in the first quarter for the ninth time this season and trailed 7-0 early after a sloppy start to the game. However, the Giants got things going on offense in the second quarter and created three turnovers to jump out to a second half lead.
The Packers battled back, though, with nine unanswered points in the fourth quarter to take a 22-21 lead on Jordan Love’s touchdown pass to Malik Heath with 1:36 remaining. But the Giants were able to drive downfield to win it.
Saquon Barkley’s two touchdown runs and DeVito’s touchdown pass to Isaiah Hodgins had given the Giants a 21-13 lead heading into the fourth quarter. After a Packers field goal cut the lead to five with 5:30 remaining, Carrington Valentine returned a Barkley fumble 50 yards to set up the go-ahead score.
Here are the key takeaways…
– After some terrific recent performances, Love was held largely in check by the Giants as he had just 122 passing yards by the end of the third quarter, along with his first lost fumble of the season and an uncharacteristic interception to Jason Pinnock. Love had a big fourth quarter, though, to end up with 218 yards and a touchdown.
– With the extra week to prepare, Brian Daboll opened up his playbook, regularly employing extra linemen and complex motion on offense. Robinson’s run from a Barkley handoff out of the wildcat formation set up the first touchdown, in which Mark Glowinski motioned after lining up as an H-back and led the way for Barkley.
– Robinson was the main beneficiary of this creativity as he had his best game of the year with 115 yards from scrimmage on eight touches. He had a spectacular diving catch by the sideline and another big play on another gadget play to set up the third touchdown, but it was his clutch catch and run in the last minute that keyed the win.
– Despite breaking his touchdown-less streak, Barkley found it tough going on the ground. He was averaging less than two yards per carry heading into the fourth quarter. Once again, though, he got things going in the fourth quarter and ended up with 101 yards from scrimmage including 86 on the ground. However, his fumble with 3:34 remaining gave the Packers a chance to win the game.
– Kayvon Thibodeaux had half a sack, giving him 11 1/2 on the season, but he made a variety of key plays apart from this as he blew up a run behind the line, deflected a pass and forced a fumble in one of his more active games of the year. He also had eight tackles, his second-highest total of the season.
– While he only passed for 158 yards, DeVito once again played well, doing a lot of his damage with his legs as he racked up 71 rushing yards, including a 26-yard run down to the goal line to set up Barkley’s second touchdown. DeVito also showcased his mobility on his touchdown pass to Hodgins, extending the play by rolling right and then keeping his eyes up to find Hodgins in the back corner of the end zone as he threw on the move. A word of caution, though: DeVito did take a few big hits, which he should be trying to avoid if he wants to stay on the field.
– Rookie cornerback Deonte Banks came up big in the fourth quarter with a spectacular pass breakup in the end zone; his tenth of the season. Banks also racked up a career-high 12 tackles, including one for a loss. However, he also gave up some key plays including a third-down conversion and the go-ahead touchdown on the Packers’ last drive.
The Giants hit the road and face the New Orleans Saints this coming Sunday at 1 p.m.