EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. – Graham Gano's only missed field goal attempt of the season prevented him from owning a quirky distinction in NFL history.
On the final play of the first half in Chicago on Sept. 27, Gano's 57-yard try was wide left. If the ball had split the uprights, Gano would share the record for the longest field goal in Giants history; Aldrick Rosas kicked a 57-yarder against the Bears in MetLife Stadium on Dec. 2, 2018.
Had that happened, Gano would have been the only kicker with the longest field goal for a franchise and the longest three-pointer against that same team. On Oct. 7, 2018, his 63-yard field goal with one second remaining gave the Carolina Panthers a 33-31 victory against the Giants. By two yards, it is the longest field goal ever kicked against the Giants.
Of course, Gano's impressive start to his first Giants season suggests he still has a good chance to accomplish that unique double.
His 13 field goals in 14 attempts are tied for the league's third-highest total and his .929 success rate is tied for second among kickers with more at least 12 attempts. Gano's 14 tries tied him with three other kickers for second in the NFL.
Of course, one reason for his numerous attempts is the Giants' lack of touchdowns. They have scored only six and tried two-point conversions after two of them. Gano's four extra points are the fewest among the top 32 kickers listed in this week's official NFL statistics.
Gano's 43 points place him eighth in the NFL and are the most by a Giants kicker through five games since Josh Brown scored 50 points in 2015.
But the real reason Gano is a threat to tie or exceed Rosas' record is his demonstrated success with the long ball. He has succeeded on four of five attempts from 50 or more yards, missing only the aforementioned 57-yard try. Gano has kicked three-pointers from 52, 55, 50 and 54 yards. His four 50-plus-yard field goals tie the Giants' single-season record – with 11 games remaining. The mark is held by Brown in 2014 and Rosas in 2017.
Gano is tied with Tennessee's Stephen Gostkowski for the most 50-yard field goals made this season. Gostkowski and the Titans play Tuesday night against Buffalo.
Gano could conceivably challenge in one season the franchise career record of nine 50-yard and longer field goals held by Joe Danelo (1976-82). He is sixth on that list after just five games.
Gano kicked the last three of his long field goals Sunday in Dallas, where he became the first Giants kicker and the 11th in NFL history with three field goals of 50 or more yards, the record for a single game. The 55-yarder is tied for the third-longest in franchise history.
Gano is one of six kickers this season with two-plus field goals of 54 or more yards, including Las Vegas' Daniel Carlson, who has three.
Gano has 24 career field goals of 50 or more yards. That places him 10th among active kickers, just behind the New England's Nick Folk (25). Detroit's Matt Prater is the active leader with 53.
What is perhaps most remarkable about this is that neither Gano nor the Giants were kicking long field goals in 2019. One of the NFL's most reliable kickers since he entered the league with Washington in 2009 (he made 29 of 30 field goal attempts for Carolina in 2017), Gano missed the entire season because of a knee injury that required surgery. The Giants signed him on Aug. 19 and when he kicked on opening night vs. Pittsburgh, it was his first appearance in a game since he played for the Panthers at Tampa Bay on Dec. 2, 2018.
While Gano was idle in 2019, the Giants joined the 49ers and Raiders as the only NFL teams that did not kick a field goal of at least 50 yards. The Giants attempted just one long field goal all season (Rosas was wide left on a 53-yard try at Washington). It was their fewest long attempts since 2016, when they were also 0-1.
Gano has more than made up for it this year.
On Sunday, Gano added a chip-shot 28-yarder for his 10th career game with four or more field goals. The Giants would prefer to score more touchdowns but know they have a reliable backup plan from almost any distance in Gano.
*The Giants have not thrown a touchdown pass since Daniel Jones threw two to Darius Slayton on opening night against Pittsburgh. The four-game streak without one is their longest since Nov. 22-Dec. 13, 1981, when Scott Brunner was the quarterback (because Phil Simms missed the final five games after separating his shoulder). The Giants won three of those four games 39 years ago.
*Though Jones lost seven yards on his two rushing attempts against the Cowboys, he still leads the Giants with 130 yards on the ground. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, that is the highest five-game total by a Giants quarterback since Frank Filchock ran for 274 yards in 1946.
*The game Sunday was the Giants' first in which they rallied from a fourth-quarter deficit to take a lead they ultimately were unable to hold since the loss at Carolina on Oct. 7, 2018. In both games, the opposition scored the winning points on a field goal as time expired. On Sunday, Greg Zuerlein kicked a 34-yarder. Two years ago, it was Gano's record 63-yarder.
*The Giants' 34 points Sunday in Dallas was their highest total in a loss since Dec. 30, 2018, when they were defeated 36-35 – by Dallas. Before that, it was a 38-35 defeat to Carolina on
20, 2015, when the Panthers' winning points were scored as time expired on a 43-yard field goal…by Gano.
*The Giants' lost Sunday despite finishing with two takeaways and one turnover (though it was a fumble that was returned for a touchdown). It was their first loss in a game in which they the turnover differential was in their favor since last Dec. 9 at Philadelphia, where they fell in overtime, 23-17, despite having the game's only takeaway. That was the third game in 2019 the Giants lost despite having a positive turnover differential (also at Chicago and Detroit).
*The Monday night defeat to the Eagles was also the most recent game in which the Giants owned a lead of at least 10 points and a lead in the fourth quarter but lost.
*The Giants' visit to Dallas was the 29th NFL game since 1970 between the team that had scored the league's fewest points and the team that had surrendered the most. The last-ranked offense is now 15-14 and has lost eight of the last 11 such meetings.
*The four NFC East teams have four combined victories. At least they no longer have to face the Los Angeles Rams, who were 4-0 against the division.
*When Dallas' Cedrick Wilson threw an 11-yard touchdown pass to Dak Prescott it was the first pass by a wide receiver against the Giants since Arizona's Larry Fitzgerald completed a 21-yarder to Jaron Brown on Dec. 24, 2017.
*The Giants have launched "A Giant Hero" campaign, presented by Quest Diagnostics, in which fans can nominate frontline workers for their efforts during the coronavirus pandemic. Simply fill out the form at Giants.com/gianthero and provide a description of how this person is a hero in the community. Submissions will be accepted from Tuesday, October 13, through Friday, October 23.