Daniel Jones throws for 321 yards, Giants rally from 21-point deficit to beat Cardinals 31-28
GLENDALE, Ariz. (AP) — On the first play of the second half, New York quarterback Daniel Jones dropped back and heaved a 58-yard completion to rookie Jalin Hyatt over the middle of the field.
The Giants had played some historically awful football this season until that moment. Instead of pouting, they started executing.
Jones threw for 321 yards and two touchdowns, Graham Gano connected on a 34-yard field goal with 19 seconds remaining, and the Giants rallied from a 21-point third-quarter deficit to stun the Arizona Cardinals 31-28 on Sunday.
“It’s about execution,” Jones said. “You can’t really afford to get emotional or think about anything outside of what your job is, and that’s to execute, focus on one play at a time and be in that play.”
It was the biggest comeback win for the Giants since a 21-point rally in 1949 — also against the Cardinals. Arizona blew its biggest lead since 2011.
The Giants (1-1) lost 40-0 in Week 1 against the Cowboys and didn’t look much better against the Cardinals during the first half, falling into a 20-0 hole at halftime. They trailed 28-7 in the third quarter but cut the margin to 28-14 on Saquon Barkley’s 1-yard touchdown run.
“I think we have some mentally tough players on our team, and coaches,” New York coach Brian Daboll said. “It’s not always easy to be mentally tough when you’re down 60-0 after a game and a half.”
New York kept the pressure on in the fourth, pulling within 28-21 with 8:51 left on a 9-yard touchdown pass from Jones to Barkley. The Giants tied it on Jones’ perfectly placed 11-yard touchdown pass to a diving Isaiah Hodgins.
New York forced a three-and-out, then drove 56 yards in eight plays to set up Gano’s go-ahead kick.
“The second half, the difference was explosive plays,” Giants safety Xavier McKinney said. “They didn’t have any and we were able get explosive. We were able to get our energy up and that was what we needed.”
Jones was 26 of 37 passing. He also ran for 59 yards and a 14-yard touchdown. Barkley ran for 63 yards and a touchdown, but hobbled off the field late in the fourth quarter with an apparent right ankle injury.
James Conner ran for 106 yards and a touchdown for the Cardinals.
Arizona (0-2) has lost six straight games at home dating to last October. The Giants denied quarterback Joshua Dobbs his first win as an NFL starter and first-year coach Jonathan Gannon his first NFL victory.
Gannon said he thought the offense played well for much of the game but couldn’t sustain its momentum during the final 1 1/2 quarters.
“It’s always going to be execution — making a couple more plays,” Gannon said. “It all starts with the coaches, being on the details of everything that we’re doing, so we’ve got answers.”
Dobbs — making his second start with the Cardinals after being acquired in a trade with the Browns last month — pushed the Cardinals ahead 14-0 early in the second quarter on a 23-yard touchdown run, bowling through Giants safety Xavier McKinney on the way to the end zone.
Dobbs fell to 0-4 as a starter; he lost twice with Tennessee last season. He was 21 of 31 passing for 228 yards and a touchdown.
Arizona went ahead 7-0 midway through the first quarter after an impressive nine-play, 86-yard drive that ended with Conner’s 4-yard touchdown run.
Things got worse for the Giants late in the second quarter when Jones’ pass to Barkley bounced off the running back and into the arms of Arizona safety Jalen Thompson, who ran it back 35 yards to the New York 34. The Cardinals capitalized with Matt Prater’s 44-yard field goal.
Prescott has 2 TDs, Wilson 3 picks in 1st start after Rodgers injury as Cowboys beat Jets 30-10
ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) — CeeDee Lamb went into the home opener for the Cowboys without new sidekick Brandin Cooks, who injured a knee in his Dallas debut a week earlier.
The team’s No. 1 receiver didn’t need a lot of help.
Lamb set up both of Dak Prescott’s touchdown passes with big plays, Brandon Aubrey kicked five field goals in the 28-year-old rookie’s home debut, and the Cowboys beat the New York Jets 30-10 on Sunday.
Zach Wilson threw three interceptions in his first start since Aaron Rodgers’ season-ending Achilles tendon injury as the Cowboys (2-0) finished a season-opening sweep of the New York teams.
Dallas opened with a 40-0 rout of the NFC East rival Giants, while the Jets (1-1) were coming off an emotional overtime win over Buffalo after Rodgers was injured on the fourth snap of his New York debut.
“I like how we’ve done it in different ways, so that’s good,” Dallas owner/general manager Jerry Jones said. “I do feel very good about that. I think we’ve seen a lot of the fundamentals of our team, special teams, offense, defense, certain things that we’ve put in. We’re trying, we’re using them.”
Lamb was high on the list this time.
The fourth-year receiver tied a career high with 11 catches, including a 25-yarder over Tony Adams that set up tight end Jake Ferguson’s 4-yard TD grab on the first possession after Dallas took the ball on the coin flip instead of deferring.
The next big one was a 20-yarder on a drive that answered Garrett Wilson’s 68-yard touchdown catch, when Lamb hung on despite landing on a shoulder after getting upended by Adams, who injured a hamstring on the play and didn’t return.
Rookie tight end Luke Schoonmaker’s first career touchdown followed from the 1 after Brandin Echols was called for pass interference in the end zone.
Prescott targeted Lamb so much — 13 times, two shy of his career high — it was almost one too many. Sauce Gardner stepped in front of one of the throws and would have had a pick-6 to put the Jets in front before halftime but the ball slipped through his hands.
“I know what I’m capable of doing and the things I’m pretty good at it,” said Lamb, whose longest catch — a 31-yarder — set up the first field goal from Aubrey. “The show isn’t over. I’m still going week in and week out. I’m proving it to myself and proving it to my guy that I’m one of the best.”
Zach Wilson’s long TD toss to Garrett Wilson got the Jets within three points in the second quarter, and the QB ran for 36 yards on a drive to a field goal for an eight-point halftime deficit.
But New York had just 147 yards outside the long TD, and four second-half turnovers left little doubt for Dallas, which had the ball for more than 42 minutes and ran 83 plays to 46 for the Jets.
“We saw almost 90 of them today, and you’re going to run of gas,” Jets coach Robert Saleh said. “We just didn’t give ourselves a chance defensively to get off the field and give our offense a chance to get any kind of rhythm going.”
Wilson, who was sacked three times a week after Dallas dropped the Giants’ Daniel Jones seven times, was picked off by Jayron Kearse, Malik Hooker and Trevon Diggs.
Dalvin Cook lost a fumble when Micah Parsons, who had two sacks, ripped the ball out of his arms just before Cook was tackled. Parsons got up and ran to the end zone, but was ruled down on review.
“We’re off to an outstanding start,” coach Mike McCarthy said of a defense that has led the NFL in takeaways the past two seasons and was among the league leaders in sacks a year ago. “The pressure and the takeaways are at an incredible level after two games.”
Prescott was 31 of 38 for 255 yards and Tony Pollard had 72 yards rushing. Wilson finished 12 of 27 for 170 yards.