Since Daniel Jones entered the NFL in 2019, Sterling Shepard and Darius Slayton have been first and second on the Giants in targets and receiving yards. Both were ruled out of Sunday's game against the Saints with hamstring injuries, two blows to an offense still finding its footing in the young season.
Leave it to the newcomers.
Kenny Golladay, Kadarius Toney, John Ross, and Kyle Rudolph – four players who wore different uniforms in 2020 – accounted for 295 of Jones' career-high 402 yards in the Giants' 27-21 victory in the Superdome, the franchise's first win in the venue since 1993. Saquon Barkley, a running back, accounted for 74 of them.
The Giants hope Sunday was just the beginning.
"We have shown glimpses of what we can be as an offense throughout these first four games," Jones said. "We were more consistent with it today. We made a few more plays. We made the plays when they counted. I think that is the capability of this offense. We have got to keep doing it. It wasn't perfect. There are things that we have to getter better and clean up. We have the potential to make a lot of plays and we have to keep doing it."
Injuries put a kink in what the front office planned during the draft and in free agency, but all four players made up for lost time when urgency was at an all-time high. The Giants, winless after some of the most heartbreaking losses a team can endure, entered a hostile environment in the Superdome against a hot Saints defense. The revolving door at left guard only added to the issues on offense as Matt Skura became the fourth player to start at the position in as many games.
To put it kindly, outside expectations were not high for the Giants.
Activated from injured reserve on Saturday, Ross flashed the speed that made him famous on a 52-yard touchdown in the first half, and the Giants were in business. Golladay broke out with his first 100-yard game in a Giants uniform and made two critical plays on third down. He made a 28-yard pickup on third-and-seven to set up Graham Gano's field goal to send the game to overtime, which was only topped by a 23-yard gain on third-and-six in overtime. It paved the way for Barkley's game-winner on the very next play.
"We work that play in practice," Golladay said of the overtime play. "It could not have been a better time for that to be called. It was pretty much wide open. I ran a good route and Daniel Jones put it right on me. He threw the ball all over the place today.
"It goes with the week leading up to the game. We had some good stuff put in. We hit it in practice and it showed in the game. If you look at it, all of the receivers had a part and did their job. I felt like everyone in the receivers room did a great job of helping Daniel Jones out. He put it on us."
Meanwhile, Toney showed his elusiveness with 78 yards after having just 14 in the first three games.
"When we won the coin toss [to receive the ball to start overtime], I looked down the sideline and the whole offense was ready to go," Toney said. "I knew at that point that we needed to feed our own energy."
Of course, it could have all been washed away if Rudolph hadn't made a game-saving fumble recovery in overtime.
"I owe him a dinner or something like that," Barkley said.
Check out the best photos from the New York Giants' Week 4 contest against the New Orleans Saints.