Patrick Grudberg ‘24
For the fifth season in a row, the New York Giants have started winless in their first two games of the season. While this comes as no surprise to most Giants fans, myself included, the start to this season has cut deeper than almost any in recent memory. In week one, Joe Judge’s squad laid an egg at home to a Broncos team who most fans thought were beatable. After going down 17-7 to start the second half, the Giants quickly marched down the field into Broncos territory. Just as it seemed like the offense was figuring things out, Daniel Jones fumbled in the red zone and squandered the team’s momentum. That costly turnover, in typical Danny Dimes fashion, sealed the team’s fate. The game finished 27-13, but Sterling Shepard’s touchdown came as the clock expired, so the supposedly revamped offense was really held to a mere six points. After the game, I found out that since 2017, the Giants are the only team that has never had a winning record at any point in any of those seasons. Not even the Jets. Wow.
Even after the disappointing week one performance, I still held out hope for the week two matchup against the Washington Football Team. For all of the team’s struggles in the past four seasons, the Giants always had Washington’s number. Before last Thursday’s game, the team had won six of their eight previous matchups against their division rivals. As a fan, those are the games you look forward to the most. Even after a three turnover game from Daniel Jones, he always shows up against Washington. He hasn’t lost to them since becoming the starter early in the 2019 season. There was no way they could lose, right?
Of course, the Giants lost 30-29 in heartbreaking fashion on Thursday Night Football. The rollercoaster of emotions was on full display, especially in the fourth quarter. Down 27-26 and needing a stop, the Giants defense came up clutch when James Bradberry jumped a route and intercepted Taylor Heinicke. The offense set up in Washington territory, needing only a first down to milk the rest of the clock and kick a game-winning field goal. Yet, even with a generational talent like Saquon Barkley in the backfield, they somehow managed to sputter and settle for a field goal. This left Washington with two minutes to drive down and hopefully secure the game with either a field goal or a touchdown.
Even writing this part of the article brings me so much pain. I thought this exercise would be therapeutic, but I guess not. Anyway, we all know what happened. Washington drove down to the Giants thirty yard line and set up to kick the game winning field goal. Sitting in the basement common room of Healy, I had seen this too many times before. I remembered the Jake Elliot game-winning field goal versus the Eagles in 2017. I remembered the Graham Gano game winner versus the Panthers in 2018. For some reason, I kept saying, “You gotta believe.” My fellow Giants fans thought I was crazy. When Dustin Hopkins’ kick went wide right, I jumped up and ran down the hallway in pure excitement and joy. Then I heard, “No, there’s a flag”, and my heart dropped. In the most Giants way possible, Dexter Lawrence had jumped offside on the kick. On his second try, Hopkins nailed the forty-three yard field goal and broke all of the Giants fans’ hearts. I never signed up for that rollercoaster of emotions, but it comes with the territory of being a fan of this team. Well, there’s always next year.