The Giants‘ 31-28 win Sunday at the Arizona Cardinals is tied for the biggest comeback victory in franchise history alongside two other 21-point turnarounds — Dec. 2, 1945, against the Philadelphia Eagles and Oct. 30, 1949 versus the then-Chicago Cardinals, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.
New York trailed 28-7 midway through the third quarter before rallying for 24 unanswered points and evening the record on the early 2023 NFL season at 1-1 after last Sunday night’s “embarrassing” 40-0 loss to the Dallas Cowboys started the year on a sour note.
How much of an impact does the bounce back have on the Giants? As Thursday’s 8:15 p.m. kickoff at the San Francisco 49ers looms, Brian Daboll already had tunnel vision Sunday in his postgame news conference.
“I don’t know,” he said. “I mean, I’ve been involved in a lot of comebacks — some in the end of the year games where it’s a lot to a little. I don’t know. … I really think that (it’s about) playing well and preparing. I mean, I know it’s a broken record. But that’s the truth in the National Football League — you can’t take one week to the next.”
Initially, the Giants (1-1) appeared to let the result from Week 1 linger into the afternoon kickoff with the Cardinals (0-2). Arizona commanded a 20-0 halftime lead and widened the gap to 28-7 when Joshua Dobbs — backing up the injured Kyler Murray — tossed a 3-yard touchdown pass for Marquise Brown at the third quarter’s 9:34 mark.
Led by Daniel Jones, the Giants’ offense answered on the ensuing drive with a 75-yard march that spanned 12 plays and 6:07. The defense subsequently forced three straight Cardinals punts while the Giants tacked on two more touchdown drives and a game-winning field goal, Graham Gano‘s 34-yard field goal with 19 seconds left in the fourth quarter.
With four days until Week 3 kicks off, the quick turnaround at the 49ers (2-0) is a reminder of the long season ahead for the Giants. But after rallying in the desert, this is a group that does not lack confidence, according to Jones.
“I think we always remain confident,” said Jones, who completed 26 of 37 passes for 321 yards and two touchdowns to an interception while adding a rushing score among 59 yards on nine attempts (6.6 average). “And just kind of getting back to simple execution and trusting it, seeing it, ripping it. We had some opportunities to make plays in the first half. We didn’t do it. And I knew that they’d be there. I just had to execute, give our guys a chance to make those plays. And we did it, and just kind of built off it going forward.”