EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. – Losing an NFL game on a field goal as time expires is a dagger to the heart, a punch to the gut and any other metaphorical cliché used to describe athletic misery.
Unfortunately, no team is more cognizant of those defeats than the Giants.
When Greg Joseph's 61-yard field goal cleared the uprights with no time remaining Saturday in U.S. Bank Stadium, the Giants were on the short end of a 27-24 decision after rallying from one deficit to take a lead and another to tie the score with just over two minutes remaining.
It was the ninth time in the last 10 seasons (2013-22) the Giants lost on a game-winning field goal with zero time remaining in the fourth quarter. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, that is the most such field goals against any team during that span. The Atlanta Falcons have been victimized by eight last-play field goals, followed by seven apiece for the Detroit Lions and Arizona Cardinals.
This NFL season has included seven deciding field goals on the final play of the fourth quarter.
In 2021, the Giants lost consecutive games on field goals as time expired: a second-chance 43-yarder by Washington's Dustin Hopkins on Sept. 16 and a 40-yarder by Atlanta's Younghoe Koo on Sept. 26.
The Giants' total doesn't count two other deciding kicks with one second on the clock, including the 63-yarder by Graham Gano at Carolina on Oct. 7, 2018, that is the longest field goal ever kicked against the Giants. Gano, now the Giants' kicker, also has one of the time-expiring game-winners, a 43-yarder for the Panthers on Dec. 20, 2015.
While the Giants have lost nine games on final-play field goals in the last 10 years, they have been victorious in … one. On Sept. 18, 2016, Josh Brown kicked a 23-yard field goal as the game clock hit all zeroes to give the Giants a 16-13 victory against the New Orleans Saints. It is one of just three field goals as time expired in the fourth quarter the Giants have kicked since 1990 – Matt Bahr's 40-yarder to beat the Cardinals in Giants Stadium on Oct. 21, 1990, and Lawrence Tynes' 37-yarder to beat the Dallas Cowboys in the first game in what is now AT&T Stadium on Sept. 20, 2009.
The Cowboys lead the NFL with seven last-play game-winners since 2013, including two against the Giants. The Baltimore Ravens and New Orleans have six apiece.
Joseph's game-winner on Saturday was the fifth field goal in NFL history that was 61 or more yards with zero time remaining in the fourth quarter, and the second that sent the Giants to defeat. On Sept. 24, 2017, Philadelphia's Jake Elliott kicked a 61-yard field to give the Eagles a 27-24 victory in Lincoln Financial Field.
The Lions have also lost two games decided by time-expiring field goals longer than 60 yards, including the record 66-yarder by Baltimore's Justin Tucker last year. The Eagles lost the fifth such game.
View rare photos of the all-time history between the New York Giants and Indianapolis Colts.
*While Joseph kicked a 61-yard field goal, Gano's longest on Saturday was a 55-yarder. It was the first game in Giants history in which each team kicked a field goal of at least 55 yards.
*Gano also kicked a pair of 44-yard field goals in Minnesota, the 10th time in Giants history a kicker had three 40+ yard field goals in a game. Gano has six of those performances. Brown had two and Bahr and Pete Gogolak each had one.
*The game Saturday was the 49th in Gano's career in which he kicked at least three field goals, including 13 with the Giants. Four of them were this season, vs. Carolina and Dallas and at Jacksonville and Minnesota.
*Daniel Jones' 334 passing yards against the Vikings increased his season total to a career-high 3,028. That is one yard more than his 2019 rookie total of 3,027. Jones joins Eli Manning (14), Phil Simms (6), Kerry Collins (4) and Y.A. Tittle (2) as Giants quarterbacks with multiple 3,000-yard seasons.
*Jones' career-high 30 completions increased his four-season total to 1,094. That moved him past Fran Tarkenton (1,069) and into fifth place on the Giants' career list.
*Jones' 300-yard game was the eighth of his career, the fifth-highest total in Giants history. Tittle is fourth with nine. Manning holds the franchise record with 51.
*Jones completed 11 consecutive passes against the Vikings, tying the career-long streak he set against Green Bay in London on Oct. 9. He also completed 10 straight passes vs, Philadelphia on Dec. 11.
*When Patrick Peterson intercepted a pass in the fourth quarter in Minnesota, it ended Jones' streak of 176 consecutive passes without a pick, the second-longest streak of his career. He threw 177 passes without an interception in 2020. Earlier this season, Jones had a 153-pass streak in which he was not intercepted.
*Jones has thrown five interceptions in 448 attempts, a 1.1 percentage that is the NFL's lowest among qualified quarterbacks. Philadelphia's Jalen Hurts is second at 1.2% (five interceptions in 425 attempts).
*Richie James, Isaiah Hodgins and Saquon Barkley each caught eight passes against the Vikings. It was the first game in Giants history in which they had three players with at least eight receptions.
*Barkley has a team-high 55 catches this season, surpassing the 52 he had in 2019 as the second-highest total in his career. He had 91 receptions in his 2018 Rookie of the Year season.
*Barkley is fourth in the NFL with 1,254 rushing yards and needs 54 to surpass his career high of 1,307 in 2018.
*In Minnesota, Barkley rushed for 84 yards and had gained 49 yards on his eight receptions. The 133 total yards increased his career total to 6,016. That moved him past Odell Beckham, Jr. (5,893), Brandon Jacobs (5,946) and Kyle Rote (5,963) and into 10th place on the Giants' career list. Joe Morris is ninth with 6,529.
*Barkley is sixth in the NFL this season with 1,797 scrimmage yards, the second-highest total of his career (2,028 in 2018).
*Barkley's eight receptions increased his five-year total to 245. He advanced past Del Shofner (239), Alex Webster (240), Earnest Gray (243) and Plaxico Burress (244) and into 17th place on the franchise's career list. Aaron Thomas is 16th with 247 catches.
*Kirk Cousins' 48 passes were the most by a Giants opponent since Kansas City's Patrick Mahomes threw 48 times on Nov. 1, 2021. Cousin's 34 completions were the most against the Giants since Washington's Taylor Heinicke had 34 on Sept. 16, 2021. Cousins was the first opposing quarterback to throw three touchdown passes since the Chargers' Justin Herbert on Dec. 12, 2021.
*The Giants can clinch a postseason berth Sunday with a victory at home against the Indianapolis Colts, who lost to the Chargers last night. Since 1990, the Giants are 13-19 against teams that played the previous Monday night.
*The Giants' 15 turnovers tie them with Detroit for the NFL's lowest total.
*The Giants did not have a takeaway in Minnesota and had a minus-2 turnover differential. This season, they are 6-1 with a positive differential, 1-5 when the differential is negative and 1-0-1 when it's even.
*Josh Metellus' fourth-quarter block of Jamie Gillan's punt was the first against the Giants since Dec. 6, 2020, when Seattle's Ryan Neal blocked a punt by Riley Dixon.