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Inside the Numbers

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Inside the Numbers: A history-making comeback

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. – The Giants have won 693 regular-season games in their 95-year history, but only six of them required the kind of comeback they needed to beat the Buccaneers on Sunday at Tampa Bay.

The Giants trailed at halftime, 28-10. It had been almost 49 years since they won a game after falling behind by so many points. On Nov. 15, 1970, they hosted Washington in Yankee Stadium and began the fourth quarter trailing by 19 points (33-14). But the Giants scored 21 unanswered points to win, 35-33. Ron Johnson ran for two touchdowns and Fran Tarkenton threw a 57-yard scoring pass to Tucker Frederickson in the decisive final quarter.

The Daniel Jones-led victory over the Bucs was just the second in Giants history in which they overcame a halftime deficit of at least 18 points. On Oct. 30, 1949, they trailed the Chicago Cardinals after two quarters, 28-7. But they went on a 34-10 surge in the second half and won the game, 41-34.

Falling behind by 18 points is not generally a formula that results in victory for any team. Before Sunday, the Giants had lost 138 consecutive games in which they trailed by at least 18 points.

Below are the six games in Giants history in which they overcame 18+ point deficits to win:

Table inside Article
DATE OPPONENT LARGEST DEFICIT HALFTIME SCORE FINAL
12/02/1945 Philadelphia Eagles 21 0-14 28-21
10/30/1949 Chicago Cardinals 21 7-28 41-38
11/19/1950 Baltimore Colts 20 7-20 55-20*
9/15/1963 Baltimore Colts 18 28-24 37-28**
11/15/1970 Washington Redskins 19 14-12 35-33***
09/22/2019 Tampa Bay Buccaneers 18 28-10 32-31

*The Giants fell behind 20-0 before scoring 55 consecutive points to win by 35.

**In their season opener, the Giants fell behind, 21-3, pulled to within four points by halftime, and scored 13 points in the third quarter while holding the Colts scoreless in the second half.

*The Giants led at halftime 14-12, were outscored in the third quarter, 21-0, and outscored Washington in the fourth quarter, 21-0.

*Jones, as anyone on the planet with an interest in the NFL is aware, made his first career start on Sunday. The previous time a team overcame an 18-point deficit in a game started by a rookie quarterback, it was not so pleasant for the Giants. On Nov. 30, 2014, they jumped out to a 21-3 halftime lead in Jacksonville before Blake Bortles led a rally that ended with the Jaguars winning, 25-24.

*According to the Elias Sports Bureau, Jones was the first quarterback whose team overcame an 18-point deficit to win in his first career start since Dec. 14, 1997, when Jon Kitna and the Seattle Seahawks fell behind the Raiders in Oakland, 21-3, before rallying for a 22-21 victory.

*Jones completed 23 of 36 passes for 336 yards, two touchdowns and no interceptions, and ran for a pair of seven-yard touchdowns while leading the team with 28 rushing yards on four carries. He was the first NFL quarterback to throw for at least 336 yards in his starting debut since Green Bay's Scott Tolzien passed for 339 yards on Nov. 17. 2013 – against the Giants in MetLife Stadium.

*Jones was the first Giants quarterback other than Eli Manning to throw for at least 300 yards since Nov. 2, 2003, when Kerry Collins passed for 303 yards in a victory over the Jets.

*Jones was the first Giants quarterback to rush for two touchdowns in a game since Jeff Hostetler on Nov. 10, 1991 (runs of 47 and four yards in a 21-14 victory against the Cardinals) and is the first with two rushing touchdowns in a season since Kerry Collins in 1999.

*Jones was the first Giants player to rush for two touchdowns in a game since Saquon Barley scored on runs of five and two yards on Nov. 18, 2018 – also against Tampa Bay.

*Jones was the first Giants quarterback with at least two passing and two rushing touchdowns in a game since Nov. 28, 1948, when Charlie Conerly threw scoring passes of 14 yards to Ray Poole and 23 yards to Bill Swiacki and scored on runs of one and 14 yards against the Boston Yankees.

*Jones was just the second quarterback since the 1970 merger to throw for at least 300 yards and two touchdowns and run for two scores in his starting debut. The first was Detroit's Eric Hipple who also passed for 336 yards and was responsible for six touchdowns – four passing and two rushing – in a 48-17 victory against Chicago on Oct. 19, 1981.

*Jones and Hipple are the only two quarterbacks since the merger with multiple touchdown passes and multiple rush touchdowns in their first start. The last rookie quarterback to do so was Buffalo's Josh Allen, who threw for three scores and ran for two vs. Miami on Dec. 30, 2018.

*Jones was the first quarterback to be responsible for four touchdowns in his starting debut since Tennessee's Marcus Mariota threw for four scores at Tampa Bay on Sept. 13, 2015.

*Jones was credited with his first game-winning drive (a quarterback must lead his team from a fourth-quarter deficit or tie to a victory). He was the first NFL quarterback to do so in his first start since Baltimore's Lamar Jackson on Nov. 18, 2018 vs. Cincinnati.

*Jones' first career touchdown pass was a 75-yarder to tight end Eric Engram. It was the longest first touchdown pass by Giants quarterback since Hostetler's 85-yarder to Stephen Baker at New Orleans on Nov. 26, 1988, and the longest by an NFL player since Arizona tight end Logan Thomas threw an 81-yarder to Andre Ellington on Oct. 5, 2014.

*Jones was the first quarterback to lead the Giants in rushing since Oct. 1, 2000, when Collins ran for 19 yards in a loss at Tennessee.

*The Giants' two leading rushers in Tampa were Jones and wide receiver Sterling Shepard. It was the first time since the 1970 merger they had both a quarterback and a wideout with more rushing yards than any running back.

*Shepard had the Giants' longest run of the game, a 19-yarder. He was the first wide receiver to have the team's longest run since Jerrel Jernigan scored on a 49-yarder vs. Washington on Dec. 29, 2013.

*If the Giants defeat Washington Sunday at home, Jones will be the first Giants rookie quarterback to win his first two starts since Phil Simms in 1979 and first overall to win his first two since Danny Kanell in 1997.

*Engram had 116 receiving yards in the opener in Dallas and 113 in Tampa. He is the first Giants tight end with multiple 100-yard games in a season since Jeremy Shockey in 2005 (four). The only other NFL tight end with two 100-yard games this season is Baltimore's Mark Andrews.

*In the last two weeks, the Giants started three rookie draft choices on defense – lineman Dexter Lawrence, linebacker Ryan Connelly and cornerback DeAndre Baker. They had not started three rookie draft choices on defense since Nov. 12, 2006, when tackle Barry Cofield, end Mathias Kiwanuka and linebacker Gerris Wilkinson started against Chicago.

*Connelly's interception vs. the Buccaneers was the first by a Giants rookie linebacker since Oct. 26, 2008, when Bryan Kehl picked off a Ben Roethlisberger pass in a victory in Pittsburgh.

*Defensive tackle Dalvin Tomlinson has the Giants' longest starting streak at 35 consecutive games. Eli Manning was second at 22 before he was replaced by Jones. There is now a four-way tie at No. 2 with 19 straight starts: Barkley, Will Hernandez, Janoris Jenkins and Nate Solder. Barkley will miss Sunday's game vs. Washington because of the sprained ankle he suffered against the Bucs.

*Tampa Bay's Mike Evans caught eight passes for 190 yards, the highest receiving yardage total against the Giants since Washington's Henry Ellard had 197 yards on Sept. 18, 1994.

*In addition to missing what would have been the game-winning field goal, the Buccaneers' Matt Gay missed two extra points. He was the first Giants opponent to miss two PATs in a game since Philadelphia's Roger Ruzek on Nov. 22, 1992.

*Linebacker Shaquil Barrett sacked Jones four times on Sunday. He was the first Giants opponent with four sacks in a game since Arizona's Bertrand Berry on Nov. 14, 2004 – the game before Manning became the starting quarterback.

*The Giants and the Baltimore Ravens are the only teams to score on all three opening offensive possessions this season. Baltimore has scored three touchdowns, while the Giants have two touchdowns and a field goal. The Giants also have a touchdown and a field goal on three opening second-half drives.

*The Giants had two turnovers while forcing just one at Tampa Bay. It was their first victory in a game in which they had a negative turnover differential since Nov. 14, 2016, when they defeated Cincinnati, 21-20, despite a minus-one differential.

*Zak DeOssie played in his 191st regular-season game Sunday to break a tie with Amani Toomer and move into fifth place on the franchise's career list. George Martin is fourth with 201 games played.

*With injuries to Alec Ogletree (hamstring) and Tae Davis (concussion) leaving their status for the Washington game and beyond uncertain, the Giants today re-signed linebacker Nate Stupar. The team created room on the roster by terminating the contract of tight end Eric Tomlinson.

Stupar, a 6-2, 225-pound eight-year veteran was waived on Sept. 6, two days before the season opener in Dallas. He played in all 16 games with one start for the Giants last season and had four tackles (three solo), plus eight special teams stops. Stupar has also played for San Francisco, Jacksonville, Atlanta and New Orleans.

Tomlinson was signed on Sept. 1, one day after being released by the Jets. He played in all three games, including 13 snaps on special teams at Tampa Bay. He did not catch a pass. The Giants still have four tight ends in Evan Engram, Rhett Ellison, Garrett Dickerson, and Kaden Smith.

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