Skip to main content
New York Giants homepage

Giants News | New York Giants –

What winning the opener means for Giants


Saquon Barkley locked eyes with Brian Daboll when the head coach signaled for two after the Giants pulled within one point of the Titans with 1:06 left in the game. Daniel Jones had just thrown a one-yard touchdown pass to fullback Chris Myarick, but there was little doubt on the sideline about what was coming next.

"When we scored, I was on the field and I saw him put up the two sign and we kind of made eye contact," Barkley said of Daboll. "He gave me that look, and I knew what the play was going to be. He gave me that look and I kind of looked back at him and said, 'F-yeah.' We called it up and we were able to execute the play and get in. He's a man of his word. He told us he's going to be aggressive. He told us he's going to lean on the players to make plays. In that situation, he did exactly that. When you have a coach like that, it's definitely going to make you go out there and fight for him and execute in those situations."

"I knew that before the game even started," wide receiver Sterling Shepard said. "He told us he wasn't going to coach scared, and that's exactly what he did. I mean, we all knew it. We knew we were going to go for it because he told us last night. He said, 'I am not going to coach scared,' and I believe everything the man says."

"Well, he's been very clear throughout training camp and throughout the week preparing for this game that he's going to be aggressive in those situations and give us the chance to execute," Jones said. "So, I wasn't surprised. I don't think any of us were surprised by that at all."

The play call? Shovel pass to Saquon Barkley, who plowed his way into the end zone.

"Going for the win," Daboll said. "We're going to be aggressive. That's what we want to do. That's the mindset I want the players to have. ... I thought that was the right decision. You're an inch away or whatever it was. I trust Saquon."

View photos from the Giants' Week 1 win over the Tennessee Titans in Nashville.


Randy Bullock's 47-yard field goal attempt sailed wide left as time expired, ending the Titans' comeback bid after the Giants took a one-point lead with 1:06 remaining in the game.


The twists and turns of the fourth quarter began with muffed punt by rookie Titans wide receiver Kyle Philips. Cornerback Jason Pinnock recovered the ball for the Giants at the Tennessee 11, but three plays later, Jones was intercepted by Amani Hooker while trying to find Barkley in the end zone. Fortunately for the Giants, the defense forced a punt on the ensuing possession to set up what would be the game-winning score.


It wasn't the game-winner, but there was no play more important than Barkley's 68-yard run that sparked the comeback early in the second half. It was 14 yards longer than any play by the team all of last season and came at a critical time after the Giants were shut out 13-0 in the first half.

"I kind of started to get into the zone [after that play], started locking in," said Barkley, whose 164 rushing yards were the third-most of his career. "I kind of love being in that place. I've got to try to find a way to get in that place a little bit more and a little quicker. It's a lot easier to rip off those runs when you've got (center Jon Feliciano) and the boys pulling and a set an edge and opening up the gap and getting me one-on-one with a corner. We had a heck of a game, but definitely we give shouts to the line. They play tremendously."

From there, the Giants outscored the Titans 21-7, including Shepard's 65-yard touchdown from Jones in the wide receiver's first game back from a torn Achilles tendon.


The Giants avoided the dreaded 0-1 hole (and 0-2 for that matter) for the first time since 2016. The team went 3-14 in the month of September over the past five seasons, but it's a new era. The Giants have a chance to start 2-0 when they host the Carolina Panthers, who fell to the Cleveland Browns in Week 1, in their home opener.

"I mean, it's the NFL. Take a look at all the games. There's been some slow starts early in the season and you study that," Daboll said. "You talk about resiliency. You've got to talk about overcoming things. You've got to talk about sticking together. All that stuff happens in training camp. It happens in spring. It happens – you just don't turn it on and off. That's not how you lead or build a team, which is, we've got a long way to go. I've said this since the beginning. It was good to get a win. The guys kept fighting. They kept believing. That's why you play two halves or 60 minutes. You can't get too down on yourself, and you can't get too up. There's going to be difficulties throughout a game, and you have to have a strong mind. You can't be an over-analyzer. You can't second guess every call that a coach made or a decision that a player made.

"You have a plan, you stick to it. You lead in tough times, and you hope it turns out the right way. It's the same thing. If things are going really well, is you don't get too high. You got it. This league will humble you real quick. Trust me, I've been humbled a bunch. Again, all the credit goes to our players and the coaches for fighting and competing for 60 minutes. And that's first, one. It's important. It's important to get a win. But I really appreciate those guys for the work they've put in since we've got here. Now we're trying to build something. We're a long way away, but it was nice to get the first W.


The Titans, who earned the top seed in the AFC last season, will look to avoid starting 0-2 when they travel to face Daboll's former team, the Buffalo Bills.

"Losing sucks no matter when it happens," quarterback Ryan Tannehill said. "I never want to start off the season on the wrong foot, especially at home in front of your own fans. You've got to turn the page quickly though. It's a long season. It's just one game and we've got to keep that mentality to be able to take a real look at what happened, get it fixed quickly and turn the page and get ready to go for next week."