Giants @ Titans
Final Score: Giants 21, Titans 20
Writer: Chuck Steele (@ChuckSteele_T2T on Twitter)
It’s no surprise that the winning team was carried by their star running back. After sustaining an injury last year, the King came for his Crown and ran through the competition to get it. No, I am not talking about Derrick Henry, I am speaking of Saquon Barkley. After being shut out in the first half, the New York Football Giants came out in the third quarter looking for a fight. After trading blows with the Titans, Brain Daboll made the call to go for the knockout punch, going for the win with a two-point conversion after a Daniel Jones touchdown pass to Chris Myarick, bypassing a tie with the extra point. With a minute left on the clock, the Titans were able to get into field goal range with the help of two defensive holding calls in the secondary. The Titans had the chance at a 47-yard attempt to win the game with the clock stopped with just four seconds remaining, but the kick sailed left of the post, securing the first win for New York Giants in the Brian Daboll era. With some much excitement behind this game, let’s dive into each of these teams and talk about what we saw!
New York Giants
Daniel Jones: 17/21, 188 Yards, 2 TD, INT | 6 Carries, 25 Yards, Fumble (Lost)
The Giants got the win today, but even with two touchdowns, it was a rough day for Daniel Jones. Facing pressure often throughout the game the Giants dialed quick passes often to the wideouts, or swings and screens to his favorite target, Saquon Barkley. Jones was sacked a total of five times, with one being a strip fumble caused by Jeffery Simmonds, recovered by his Titan team Bud Dupree. His lone interception came in the fourth quarter. After the Giants got blessed with a muffed punt, Jones returned the favor and threw a pick in the endzone, focusing in on Barkley the whole way for an easy interception for the defense. He was able to hook up for two scores though. One was for a long bomb, a 65-yard heave down the field to a wide-open Sterling Shepard. His second touchdown came late in the fourth quarter. With the Giants down seven, the defense bit on a Barkley play action where Daniel Jones was easily able to connect with Chris Myarick for a one-yard touchdown. Daniel Jones was able to get the win, but today shows how badly he needs Saquon next to him to find real success.
Saquon Barkley: 18 Carries, 164 Yards, TD | 7 Targets, 6 Receptions, 30 Yards
Matt Breida: 5 Carries, 24 Yards
This game was entirely Saquon Barkley. After having the past two seasons filled with injuries, Barkley was ready to come into this season fully healthy and show he still is the same caliber player he was when the Giants drafted him. In the first half of the game, he was able to find space in even the smallest holes on the line, though the Giants drives never amounted to anything in the first half, Barkley was only getting warmed up. To start the second half, Barkley ripped off a 68-yard run, only to punch it in for a five-yard touchdown run. He had another big run of 30+ yards, with a Titans defender punching the ball out from behind. Luckily for the Giants, the ball ended up rolling out of bounds closer to the endzone. He was looked at often in the passing game, seven times to be exact, taking screenplays and passes underneath for many of the Giants needed first downs. However, no play was more important than when he took a shuffle pass from Daniel Jones on a two-point conversion to give the Giants a 21-20 lead with one minute left of the game.
Matt Breida came in just to give Barkley some breaths of air, contributing only 5 carries for 24 yards. This was exactly the game Barkley knew he could have, and the one the Giants fans hope he’d have.
Is Saquon Barkley still explosive you ask?
— Dwain McFarland (@dwainmcfarland) September 11, 2022
Wide Receiver/Tight End
Sterling Shepard: 4 Targets, 2 Receptions, 71 Yards, TD
Richie James: 1 Carry, 2 Yards | 6 Targets, 5 Receptions, 59 Yards
Kadarius Toney: 2 Carries, 23 Yards
Kenny Golladay: 2 Targets, 2 Receptions, 22 Yards
Wan’Dale Robinson: 1 Target, 1 Reception, 5 Yards
Chris Myarick: 1 Target, 1 Reception, 1 Yard, TD
With Daniel Jones throwing mainly dump-offs and check downs to his running backs, there wasn’t much going on with the New York Giants’ wide receivers. Sterling Shepard led the way with 71 receiving yards on two receptions, with 65 of them coming on a long touchdown throw when Shepard was able to sneak past the defense and get open deep in the middle of the field. Making the catch, and breaking a tackle after, Shepard was able to take the ball across the goal line for the Giants’ second score of the game.
Richie James led the Giants in reception, being the biggest beneficiary behind Barkley with D.Js short, quick passes all night, hauling in five catches. Chris Myarick was able to play hero tonight. His lone catch came in the fourth quarter with just over one minute left, hauling in a wide-open pass on a play fake for a one-yard touchdown that ultimately gave the Giants the victory. The second-year explosive talent, Kadarious Toney failed to receive a target in this game, however, he was able to turn two carries into 23 yards. One designed end-around, and another on a broken play, which Toney appeared to want to throw but facing pressure turned the play into a positive gain. Meanwhile, rookie WR Wan’Dale Robinson caught his first career pass but then left the game with a knee injury and did not return.
Kadarius Toney couldn't get on the field even after a Wan'Dale Robinson injury.
12% snaps 😭
10% route participation ☠️
He is likely the second-best player on this offense behind Barkley, but he must remain on fantasy benches until he wins the coaches over.
— Dwain McFarland (@dwainmcfarland) September 12, 2022
— NFL (@NFL) September 11, 2022
Sterling Shepard is the embodiment of a team player
The guy is less than a year removed from a torn achilles. Out here throwing key blocks to spring important runs
Other than being a reliable WR (when healthy), these are the reasons why the Giants made sure he stayed in blue pic.twitter.com/05nRFuJ9OX
— Nick Falato (@nickfalato) September 12, 2022
Ryan Tannehill: 20/33, 266 Yards, 2 TD | 2 Carries, 7 Yards
Ryan Tannehill looked good in this one. He was able to lead the Titans on consistent drives throughout the game, starting early by leading the Titans down the field and finding running back Dontrell Hilliard for his first touchdown of the game, hooking up from seven yards out. Spreading the ball around with efficiency, Tannehill was able to hook up with eight different receivers, taking whatever the Giants were willing to give him. Tannehill was able to hook up with Hilliard again for a touchdown in the game, this time for 23 yards out. Tannehill was able to protect the ball well in the loss, committing no turnovers on the afternoon.
Derrick Henry: 21 Carries, 82 Yards | 1 Target | Fumble (Recovered)
Dontrell Hilliard: 2 Carries, 8 Yards | 4 Targets, 3 Receptions, 61 Yards, 2 TD
With Derrick Henry playing in his first regular season game back since a foot injury he received last year, many were wondering how the hard, smash-mouth runner would fair. Henry wasn’t his usual King Henry self, as the man who usually delivers the hard hits, was instead taking the hard hits, finding little room to run with a tough defense determined to slow him down. Henry was at one point even lined up to receive the snap from the center, dropping the ball once snapped to him luckily being able to recover it. With 21 carries to a tune of 3.9 yards per attempt, Henry will look to reclaim his running back crown next week.
Dontrell Hilliard only contributed two carries for eight yards but did all his damage in the receiving game. He finished with three receptions, one being a wide-open, 31-yard catch and run, and the other two being touchdowns. Scoring on the first drive of the game on a seven-yard reception, and again in the second half for a 23-yard score.
Wide Receiver/Tight End
Kyle Philips: 9 Targets, 6 Receptions, 66 Yards, Fumble (Lost)
Treylon Burks: 5 Targets, 3 Receptions, 55 Yards
Cody Hollister: 1 Target, 1 Reception, 22 Yards
Geoff Swaim: 4 Targets, 3 Receptions, 19 Yards
Robert Woods: 2 Targets, 1 Reception, 13 Yards
Nick Westbrook-Ikhine: 2 Targets, 1 Reception, 13 Yards
Chigoziem Okonkwo: 1 Carries, -4 Yards | 1 Target, 1 Reception, 11 Yards
Austin Hooper: 2 Targets, 1 Reception, 6 Yards
We saw a lot of wideouts contribute today for Tennessee. All eyes were on rookie Treylon Burks, and newcomer Robert Woods and how’d they’d fair in the new look Titans’ receiving core. Woods recorded only one reception on the opening drive of the game for 13 yards, being targeted only one time after that. The rookie wideout, A.J. Brown‘s replacement, Treylon Burks faired a little bit better. Having three receptions, one being a 24-yard completion on a 1st and 18, Burks was involved and showed promise as the next young star for the Titans. Kyle Philips was the leading receiver, however. Being targeted nine times, Philips was the safe option for Tannehill tonight, picking up first downs when needed for Titans. He had one muffed punt in the 4th quarter, which the Giants were able to recover. As the season progresses, we will see if he remains as involved as Burks and Woods settle more into the offense.