What the Giants win over the Titans says of Brian Daboll


Who knows where this Giants season is going.

If Titans kicker Randy Bullock went 3-for-3 instead of 2-for-3, Giants fans would crush their team rather than praise it. Daniel Jones, while excellent at times yesterday, also threw a mind-numbing interception in the end zone and didn’t cement his status as the quarterback of the future. The offensive line is always — always! – a problem. A victory does not make a successful season.

But here’s what can definitely be said about the 21-20 winners after Game 1 of the Brian Daboll era: The new Giants head coach won’t be remembered for executing stealth quarterbacks at second and third from deep within its own territory.

The Giants’ new head coach has announced himself — with second-half tweaks and last-second bravado — as a coach who will act boldly and try to coach his players’ strengths. The Giants could lose — and they could lose a lot this season — but they won’t play scared. X’s and O’s count more in football, but it’s a meaningful base.

“Go get the win,” Daboll said after calling for a gutsy two-point conversion with 66 seconds left that took the Giants from behind one to ahead of one. “We are going to be aggressive.

Brian Daboll’s aggressive play late in the fourth quarter helped the Giants earn their first Week 1 win in six seasons.
USA TODAY Sports

“Aggressive” is one of those terms everyone tries hard to be in press conferences, but few coaches dare to lift the two fingers he held up on Sunday. After Jones threw a 1-yard touchdown to Chris Myarick to bring the Giants within 20-19, Daboll signaled he wanted to win the game, not overtime.

His offensive coordinator, Mike Kafka, then signaled that to win the game, the Giants had to rely on their best player.

On a Sunday that seemed new in almost every way, the Giants welcomed a new Saquon Barkley, who racked up 194 total scrimmage yards. He needed the ball in space, and so a spade pass was dialed in. Maybe last year Titans cornerback Roger McCreary would have knocked down the Giants running back. It’s this year, though, and so Barkley pushed him back and kept pushing his way into the end zone.

“Good game design by Mike,” said Daboll. “Good execution up front.”

Maybe last year Joe Judge wouldn’t have allowed the Giants to take such a risk. It’s hard to imagine the 2021 Giants recovering from a 13-0 halftime deficit that seemed insurmountable. Daboll said the dressing room felt ‘good’ at the break; if there was an inspiring speech, it had less impact than actual strategic adjustments.

The Giants routed the ball to their best point guards in the game’s most critical moments.

Sterling Shepard didn’t catch a pass in the first half, then brought back two – including a 65-yard bomb from Jones that tied the game in the third quarter – in the second half.

New York Giants' Saquon Barkley #26 hits the ball over the goal line for a two-point conversion late in the fourth quarter during an NFL football game against the Tennessee Titans at Nissan Stadium on September 11, 2022 in Nashville, Tennessee.
Saquon Barkley punctuated a 194-yard scrimmage day with a game-winning two-point conversion at Tennessee on Sunday.
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During a worrying first quarter, Barkley touched the ball twice. Daboll and Kafka got him more involved in the second quarter and more involved in the second half, helping the running back dance to 164 rushing yards on 18 attempts and 30 more yards on six receptions. The workload may not be sustainable, but that’s a concern for later.

Even the mystifying Kadarius Toney – kept on the sidelines throughout the first half – got involved late in the game with a creative throwing sweep from 19 yards.

“When you have a guy you trust a lot, you put it in his hands,” Daboll said of Barkley, though the sentiment could be expanded.

After Barkley’s two-point conversion, the Titans inflicted a pair of Giants defensive holding penalties to get into field goal position for Bullock, who fired a 47-yard left as time expired . With a truer kick, there would be a lot less excitement about this Giants team entering their home opener on Sunday against the Panthers.

Tennessee Titans place kicker Randy Bullock #14 reacts after missing a field goal during the fourth quarter against the New York Giants at Nissan Stadium on September 11, 2022 in Nashville, Tennessee.
Randy Bullock’s 47-yard miss at the end of regulation was the Giants’ win.
Getty Images

The squad is still flawed and the prospects for 2022 are – at best – questionable after one game.

What’s less debatable is whether their coaching staff runs them with guts and smarts, which were as important to victory as Bullock’s foot.

Today’s last page

What the Giants win over the Titans says of Brian Daboll
New York Post

The Jets, on the other hand…

The less said about the Jets’ 24-9 loss to the Ravens — in which the first boos from MetLife Stadium were heard in the third quarter — the better.

In other NFL eras — and even back when Joe Flacco started his career — a suspicious quarterback might be in hiding. Those times are over.

New York Jets quarterback Joe Flacco #19 is sacked by Baltimore Ravens linebacker Justin Houston #50, in the 2nd quarter.
Joe Flacco completed 37 passes against the Ravens and yet only managed to help the Jets score nine points.
Charles Wenzelberg/New York Post

There were plenty of bright spots in a dismal Jets loss, including Sauce Gardner’s cover — a deceptively solid one-day part of their defense, which held Lamar Jackson up late. Michael Carter (60 yards on 10 carries) has been explosive, and Garrett Wilson (four catches for 52 yards) is as elusive as advertised.

But the Jets played a statue at quarterback. Flacco couldn’t dodge pass-rushers and couldn’t maintain any momentum during a 37-on-59 game.

Zach Wilson will likely miss the first three games. The Jets’ season doesn’t really begin until October 2 against the Steelers.

I’m just passing by

The Yankees won a game on Sunday, beating the Rays, 10-4, to extend their AL East lead to 5½ games.

A few levels down, another Yankees game was almost as important.

Aroldis Chapman
Aroldis Chapman was one of four Yankees to complete a rehab stint for Somerset on Sunday, though his return to the Bronx bullpen is still unclear.
Getty Images

The Somerset Double-A Patriots lost to Hartford in a game that included four rehab Yankees. Harrison Bader wasn’t in center field yet, but the trade deadline addition began his rehab mission as a DH. Aroldis Chapman, Zack Britton and Miguel Castro, more or less promising relievers, also began their rise to relevance.

Bader went 1 for 3 with a walk. All three arms each pitched a scoreless inning: Chapman struck out three of the four batters he faced, while walking one out; Britton pulled off two in perfect frame; and Castro needed seven pitches to retire the team.

A sizable chunk of the Major Leaguer-filled Double-A roster is both amusing and indicative of how badly the Yankees suffered injuries in the second half.

There are few guarantees with Bader, who battles plantar fasciitis and has acknowledged he won’t be wasting his time by the time the Yankees call him up; he still wants to help, knowing he can still play a great midfielder. There are no guarantees with Chapman, whose stint in IL stems from an infected wound caused by a tattoo, which is a perfectly bizarre injury in a bizarre season; no guarantees with Britton, who is recovering from Tommy John surgery, or Castro, whose right shoulder strain has kept him out since early July.

But there is hope that Yankee reinforcements can arrive, which is better than the alternative.

Mariners mania hits Mets fans

Eugenio Suarez #28 of the Seattle Mariners celebrates his home run in the ninth inning against the Atlanta Braves at T-Mobile Park on September 11, 2022 in Seattle, Washington.
Eugenio Suarez’s home run against the Braves delighted not only Mariners fans, but Mets fans as well.
Getty Images

A mostly positive and busy sports day in New York was capped not by Daboll’s bet, but by a late afternoon baseball game played in Seattle.

Mets fans who care deeply about a Mariners-Braves matchup point out that a pennant race is here.

The Mets took care of business with a 9-3 destruction of the Marlins, then turned their eyes to a Marco Gonzales-Jake Odorizzi game. The Mariners led the entire game and entered the ninth with a 6-2 lead, only for Atlanta to score five runs out of the Braves bullpen on homers from Michael Harris II and Robbie Grossman to take a lead. breathtaking.

Which would be surprisingly spat when the Mariners responded with a pair of solo homers late in the ninth, averting a disastrous loss and allowing the Mets to extend their NL East lead to 1 ½ games.

September Baseball: When you curse former Met reliever and current Mariners Paul Sewald and fall in love with homer hitting Eugenio Suarez.

New York Post

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