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What the victory means for 7-2 Giants


Brian Daboll's youngest daughter, 7-year-old Avery, wanted a win and the corresponding game ball for her birthday on Sunday.

"That's pressure more than anything else," the head coach said in his postgame press conference.

To her delight – and that of Giants fans everywhere – the team obliged.

Running the ball 47 times to just 17 pass attempts, the Giants ground out a 24-16 victory over the Texans at MetLife Stadium. They improved to 7-2 and embarked on the second half of their schedule, which sees four home games in a five-week span coming out of the bye week.

"You're always happy [to win]; it beats the alternative," Daboll said. "It's hard to win in this league. There's a lot of good coaches, a lot of good teams. Like I said earlier in the week, if you play well, you have a chance. It doesn't guarantee you anything. If you do the things that cause you to lose, you're probably going to lose no matter what team you are, who you play, where you play, what time you play. So, our job is just to focus on the things that we can do each drive, each play, each day, each practice and not get too far ahead of ourselves in terms of where the results are. Just stay in the moment."

View photos from the Giants' Week 10 win over the Houston Texans.


Every time the Giants extended their lead to double digits in the second half, the Texans chipped away and made them play all 60 minutes. It was finally over when Adoree' Jackson recovered Ka'imi Fairbairn's onside attempt with six seconds remaining after the kicker brought it back to a one-possession game with a 46-yard field goal. Eight of the Giants' nine games this season have been decided by eight points or fewer.


No two games are ever alike, but Sunday's matchup featured a large number of career highs and firsts for Giants players. Below is a look at some of them, starting with the personal bests:

153.3: Daniel Jones completed 13 of 17 passes for 197 yards, two touchdowns, no turnovers, and a career-high 153.3 passer rating.

35: Saquon Barkley had a career-high 35 rushing attempts for 152 yards (fourth-most of career) and a touchdown that gave the Giants a two-possession lead heading into the fourth quarter.

5.0: With another on Sunday, defensive lineman Dexter Lawrence now has 5.0 sacks, his best in a single season with eight games to play.

31.7: Darius Slayton averaged 31.7 yards per catch, a career-high for a single game. It included a 54-yard touchdown, the second-longest of his career (55 yards at Philadelphia in 2019).

Now for the firsts:

Rookie Dane Belton, playing in a larger role with safety Xavier McKinney sidelined, grabbed his first career interception. It was his second takeaway this season. He recovered a fumble on a kickoff on his first career play in Week 2.

Tight end Lawrence Cager, elevated from the practice squad on Sunday and recently released by the Jets, caught his first touchdown on the Giants' opening drive. The Giants needed him after Daniel Bellinger was out with an eye injury.

Wide receiver Isaiah Hodgins caught his first two passes as a Giant for 41 yards.


The Giants have not lost to the inter-conference foe since Houston's inaugural 2002 season, winning the past five matchups every four years. The Giants remain home in Week 11 for a visit from the Detroit Lions, who improved to 3-6 with a 31-30 victory over the Chicago Bears on Sunday. Then begins a stretch of four consecutive NFC East rivalry games, including a trip to Dallas on Thanksgiving.

"I think certainly after the game, you got to enjoy the wins and reflect a little bit on where we are," said Jones, who has won 10 of his past 14 games as a starter. "Certainly, it's a lot better on this side of it than how we've been in years past. You've got to enjoy that and appreciate it, but at the same time, know there's still a lot we need to improve on, there's a lot still out there for us to do, especially on offense. That's where we're focused."


Like the Giants, the Texans have been no strangers to close games this season. But they're seeing it from the other side as six of their games have been decided by one possession, including a Week 1 tie with Indianapolis.

"Well, it is frustrating," said coach Lovie Smith, whose team fell to 1-7-1 on the season. "You can only talk so much about, 'Hey, we're close man and keep going, we're going to get over the hump.' But normally when you're close you do eventually get over the hump. But for whatever reason, and not for whatever reason we kind of know the reason, turnovers, not taking the ball away. Just some explosive plays at the end, we're going to keep going to work on that. We realize what the problem is and what the results say a little bit, but we are close. Eventually I do feel like we're going to get over the hump. So far, we look at the first half of the season. We just finished up the first half of the season – not good enough. But we still can see promise for the second half."


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