2007. 2016. 2022.
Big seasons tend to pass through London for the Giants, who improved to 3-0 all-time across the pond with a 27-22 victory over the Packers on Sunday. More importantly, they fly back with a 4-1 record after tying their win total from all of last season.
"You can start fast and fade out. You can start fast and end fast," first-year coach Brian Daboll said. "There's a lot of different things that can happen. I think what we have preached is, 'Let's not worry about the scoreboard. Let's not worry about the results. Let's just focus on the next play and whoever is in there, let's do your job to the best of your ability.' Whether it's a coach, whether it's a coordinator, assistant coach, player, support staff. Those trainers are doing a great job. Daniel [Jones] had a cut on his hand getting ready to go out. Saquon [Barkley], going in and out. It's a collective team effort, football. Our building, it takes everybody not just a couple people."
View photos from the Giants' Week 5 game against the Green Bay Packers at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in London.
IT WAS OVER WHEN...
It's never over when Aaron Rodgers has the ball and time on the clock. But Oshane Ximines put any thoughts of a miracle to rest when he strip-sacked Rodgers, who was gearing up for a final Hail Mary pass as time expired. It was almost over when rookie outside linebacker Kayvon Thibodeaux and safety Xavier McKinney batted down passes on third- and fourth-and-1 from the NYG 6 on the previous drive.
"I wasn't really nervous at all," Barkley said. "I knew we were going to find a way to make a play. That's what we have been doing, we've been leaning on each other. Stepping up when we need to step up whether it's defense, offense, special teams - making plays. Obviously 12 is 12. Aaron Rodgers is if not the best player in the league one of the best players in the league but our defense did what they had to do in that situation. I was probably a little more nervous on the Hail Mary attempt because you never know with that guy but our guys on that play made plays too, stepped up when we need the it the most."
GUTTING IT OUT
Whether it was a player gutting out a previous injury (like Daniel Jones) or fighting through a new one in-game (like Saquon Barkley), the second part of Daboll's "SMART, TOUGH, DEPENDABLE" mantra was on full display. Jones suffered an ankle injury in last week's win over Chicago and was limited in the first two practices of the week in East Rutherford. However, he was full-go in Friday's workout at the team's temporary home north of London.
Barkley, meanwhile, left momentarily in the second half after De'Vondre Campbell fell on him hard. Barkley returned with a fury, breaking a 40-yard catch-and-run before scoring the game-winning touchdown on a direct snap from two yards out.
WHO'S IT GOING TO BE THIS WEEK?
While Barkley was out, fellow running back Gary Brightwell stepped up and tied the game with his first career touchdown on a two-yard run with 10:08 left.
"I didn't get to Gary's touchdown, which I'm a little upset about," Barkley said. "I love Gary; that's like my little brother. I love the way he runs. I love the way he carries himself. I'm really excited and what a way to get your first down in a big game overseas in London. I made sure, I was like, 'You've got the ball? You got the ball?' He was like, 'Yeah, he gave it.' That's big for him. I'm excited for him."
Meanwhile, Darius Slayton also stepped up on Sunday with Kadarius Toney, Kenny Golladay, and Wan'Dale Robinson all ruled out due to injuries. Slayton led the team with six catches for 79 yards, including a 26-yarder. Slayton had just one catch this season entering Sunday after leading the team in receiving yards his first two years in the league.
The Giants have also needed players to rise to the occasion in the secondary. This week, Adoree' Jackson went down with knee and neck injuries.
"I've been here, it's my fourth year now with the Giants and in years past, when guys go down, that's when we really struggle," safety Julian Love said. "But this team is different. The guys who step up and fill in those positions, you see Adoree' going down, you see some guys stepping up and making some big plays. You see Nick McCloud, Fabian Moreau, Justin Layne make some big plays at the end. Because guys are ready, guys are resilient and guys know what it takes to win. And that's what good teams to do. The best teams in the league aren't staying the least injured, they are not staying healthy the most, but they have guys that step up and make plays when their time's called. So that's what we have on this team."
"I just think the guys just keep playing," Daboll said. "You know, again, we put them in as many stressful situations as we could in OTAs, in training camp and don't flinch when something bad happens. There might be other - we just don't want to flinch. We just want to keep playing. It's easy to say, I think it's hard to do but our guys do a good job with it. It's what we try to do every game. Sometimes the outcome is when what we want and sometimes it's not. I give credit to our guys, they compete like heck for 60 minutes."
WHAT THE WIN MEANS FOR THE GIANTS
The Giants had not started 4-1 or better since 2009 (5-0, finished 8-8). This is after the team had win totals of three, five, four, six, and most recently four since 2016, the last time it made the playoffs. The Giants now return to U.S. soil and will host the Baltimore Ravens in Week 6. The inter-conference foes have alternated wins and losses in their last four meetings. Baltimore won the most recent matchup in 2020.
"It's a great start," Barkley said. "4-1, it's where you want to be. But like I said, you can't get too caught up in it, you've just got to keep working and there's a reason why we're 4-1 and that's because of the process. That's because we've got guys coming in and working and believing in the system, setting the culture, setting the standard, and following it. That's what it means. We've got to continue to do that and if we continue to do that, continue to believe in each other - when we look back at this thing we'll be pretty excited."
WHAT THE LOSS MEANS FOR THE PACKERS
The Packers fell to 3-2 and next will host the New York Jets back at Lambeau Field. Their last three games (two wins and a loss) have been decided by a combined 10 points.
"This is as disappointing as it gets for us," Packers coach Matt LaFleur said. "They outcoached us, they outplayed us. … They kicked our butts in the second half."