New York Giants head coach Ben McAdoo, responding to fans on the fence about attending Sunday afternoon’s home showdown against the Kansas City Chiefs, promised his team would put on “a great show.”
The greatness of Sunday’s showing is up for debate, but those who sold off their tickets indeed missed a thriller.
Aldrick Rosas kicked a game-winning 23-yard field goal in overtime, redemption for a missed extra point earlier in the game, and the Giants earned their first home win of the season, a 12-9 final over the Kansas City Chiefs.
Perhaps fueled by a “brutally honest” meeting earlier in the week, the Giants (2-8) ever so briefly turned the clock back to 2016, using a stellar defensive performance to shut down the high octane Kansas City offense. They took away quarterback Alex Smith’s deep threats, forcing him into short throws and bad decisions. Having entered Sunday’s game with just one interception on the year, the Giants picked off two of his passes, as well as one more thrown by tight end Travis Kelce on a trick play, to keep the Chiefs in check.
Playing off the theme of redemption, cornerback Janoris Jenkins, dogged with questions about his game-day effort over recent weeks, intercepted a Smith pass in Kansas City territory with just over two minutes to go to set the Giants up for a Rosas go-ahead field goal from 26 yards out.
Jenkins appeared to have one that sealed the game on the Chiefs’s next drive, but was called for defensive pass interference. Nonetheless, he ended the day with five tackles and shut down Kansas City’s receiving weapons.
The defender nicknamed Jackrabbit wasn’t the only defender who turned back the clock. Safety Landon Collins, leading all defenders with 14 tackles, took away Kelce’s would be shocker, while Damon Harrison tallied the first interception of his career on a Smith shovel pass. It marks the second consecutive week a Giants defensive lineman has earned his first career interception after Olivier Vernon did so last week.
Travis Kelce with the … throw?
— Sporting News Canada (@sportingnewsca) November 19, 2017
The Giants overcame early adversity in the game, as their lone touchdown was marred by Rosas’s missed point after. They clung to their six points, earned on one-yard punch-in by running back Orleans Darkwa, reaping the reward of a strong defensive effort. The only damage allowed was field goals by Chiefs kicker Harrison Butker, as the defense stopped Kanas City in the red zone three times. Perhaps most important was the hold at the end of regulation, as the unit forced the Chiefs (6-4) to go to an extra period.
After stopping Kansas City’s drive in the shortened frame, quarterback Eli Manning and the Giants embarked on a 10-play, 77-yard drive to glory. The drive was highlighted by a Roger Lewis reception on 4th and 5 from the Kansas City 36, as the second-year receiver made a sliding grab while being interfered with by cornerback Philip Gaines. Two plays later, Rosas earned his redemption with the short boot that sent MetLife Stadium’s patrons home happy.
Roger Lewis thinks he's Odell Beckham Jr. pic.twitter.com/3rgMHVxGdc
— The Ledge (@TheLedgeSports) November 19, 2017
The Lewis grab was the final throw of the day for Manning, who went 19-for-35 for 205 yards in his 209th consecutive start, passing a landmark set by his brother Peyton in Indianapolis. On the other side, Kelce picked up 109 receiving yards, but for the first time in 11 consecutive regular season games, the Giants did not allow an opposing tight end to score.
The Giants will now look to continue their mini-run of momentum, as they now get set to take on their divisional foe Washington on Thursday night for a Thanksgiving showdown (8:30 PM, NBC).