EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. – When Colt McCoy last won a game as an NFL starting quarterback, the team he beat was coached by Jason Garrett.
McCoy is expected to get a chance to earn his eighth career victory, a quest that will be heavily influenced by … Jason Garrett.
Because of the hamstring injury he suffered last week in Cincinnati, Daniel Jones is listed as doubtful for the Giants' game Sunday against the Seattle Seahawks in a battle of division leaders in Lumen Field. If he can't play, McCoy will make the 29th start of his 11-year career. He will run plays called by Garrett, who is in his first season as the Giants' offensive coordinator after 9½ as the Dallas Cowboys' head coach.
"There's nothing mentally or physically that Colt is not capable of doing," Garrett said this week.
McCoy saw his first game action in more than a year after Jones was injured in the third quarter of the Giants' victory last week in Cincinnati. He entered the game with the score tied at 10-10 and completed six of 10 passes for 31 yards while completing three series that ended with Graham Gano field goals, the deciding scores in a 19-17 win.
If he plays Sunday, the Giants' success will be determined in large measure by his performance.
"I just have to go out there and do my best to execute the plays that are called," McCoy said. "I think we definitely need to continue to run the football. We've been doing that well over the last four or five weeks. Ball security has been great for us. Just those two things right off the bat come to mind. I'll do my best if I happen to be out there to make that happen."
McCoy's aforementioned most recent victory occurred in a Monday night game in Dallas on Oct. 27, 2014. He completed 25 of 30 passes (83.3%) for 299 yards, no touchdowns and one interception in Washington's 20-17 overtime victory. The game was an anomaly in a season in which the Cowboys won the NFC East title with a 12-4 record and Washington finished in the division basement at 4-12.
McCoy started three more games that season, two in 2018 and one last year (Oct. 6 vs. New England). Washington lost each of them, dropping his career record to 7-21. But all of those starts were for teams in Cleveland and Washington that finished a combined 34 games under .500.
Now he might start for a Giants team that is 4-7 but in first place in the NFC East.
"Colt's had a good week of practice," coach Joe Judge said. "He's working hard. Colt's got a lot of experience. He doesn't really miss a beat. He gets in there, it's like riding a bike for this guy. He gets in there and he competes. Everything is very, very competitive with Colt. He goes in there, especially offense versus defensive period, we're making it competitive. He gets a lot of the juice flowing there throughout the team. He's not afraid to mix it up and talk a little smack with the guys. It's fun seeing him operate."
Since starting the first 21 games of his career in 2010-11, McCoy has mostly been a reliable and respected backup – meaning, of course, he's seen much more action running the scout team in practice than he has his own team on gameday. In the six seasons since 2015, McCoy has played in only eight games and thrown 102 passes.
During that time, he has drawn universal respect from his teammates for his work ethic and practice performances. This year, he has challenged the defense in what is known as Fast Friday periods.
"Going into this week, the first thing I told him was, 'I'm happy I don't have to go against you on Friday,'" linebacker Blake Martinez said. "He does kind of the whole two-minute drill, all that type of stuff. He tries to do certain plays, no-look passes, all these types of things. I've had confidence in him every single time we've had practice, every single day he's been here. I'm excited for him to get the opportunity come Sunday."
"You have to figure out ways to compete with yourself, whether that's at practice, whether that's in the meeting room," McCoy said. "Everything I do or any backup quarterback does is mostly mental. I don't look at it as how long it's been since I started. Last year was hard, I was injured (enduring a setback in the recuperation from the broken right leg he suffered in December 2018). First time I had really dealt with something like that. That made last year feel like many years. I'm really counting my blessings to be back out here."
Garrett has structured the game plan and will call plays to give McCoy and the Giants the best chance to succeed.
"You're always trying to create an environment where your players are comfortable with what they're doing," Garrett said. "There's a lot of plays in football. Let's run the ones that our quarterback likes to run and they're comfortable running. Let's run the ones that our linemen are good at, our runners are good at. The things our tight ends and our receivers do best. You're always trying to do that regardless of who's playing. Regardless of how many snaps they've played. You're probably a little bit more sensitive to that with a backup quarterback who hasn't had the backlog of reps that the other guys have had. I just think you're trying to customize it. I don't think you're cutting it down in any way."
McCoy is convinced he has the skills and the support system to enjoy a successful Sunday.
"We have an awesome QB room and great coaches," he said. "I've been very proud to be a part of this football team. Part of the expectation for me is to be prepared to play. If that happens, it happens. I'll do my best."
*The Giants and Seahawks are the NFL's only two teams with a plus-2 turnover differential. That ties them for 13th in the league.
*The Giants-Seahawks series is tied, 9-9, but Seattle has a four-game winning streak with victories in 2011, 2013, 2014 and 2017 - only the 2014 game was played in Seattle. The teams last met on Oct. 22, 2017, when the Giants' early seven-point lead dissolved as Russell Wilson threw for 334 yards and three touchdowns. The Giants and Seahawks last faced each other in Seattle on Nov. 9, 2014, a 38-17 victory for the home team. Marshawn Lynch ran for four touchdowns in that game. The Giants are 3-5 in Seattle, including 1-3 since Lumen Field opened in 2002.
*The "Bud Light Giants Gameday" radio pregame show will begin at 1:50 p.m. on WFAN 660 AM/101.9 FM and will stream live on Giants.com, the Giants mobile app, and "Giants TV" streaming app.
"Giants Postgame Live" presented by Mercedes-Benz can be heard immediately after the game - also on WFAN 660 AM/101.9 FM and streaming on Giants.com, the Giants mobile app, and "Giants TV" streaming app.
View photos of the career of veteran quarterback Colt McCoy.