Daniel Jones and the 4-1 New York Giants took the field in Week 6 as underdogs to Lamar Jackson and the 3-2 Baltimore Ravens despite their unlikely hot start to the 2022-23 NFL season. With a win over a third playoff team and a 5-1 record, the Giants had the chance to silence the doubters and make a huge statement.

On a 60-degree afternoon at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey, the two teams traded punts on shot drives, with the Ravens receiving the opening kickoff. Baltimore mustered a 56-yard Justin Tucker field goal attempt after an 11-play second drive, but the elite kicker’s attempt clanked off the crossbar.

After forcing a three-and-out, Baltimore took the ball back and drove 89 yards in eight plays, with Lamar Jackson ripping off a 14-yard run to start the drive, Devin Duvernay and Mark Andrews picking up big gains, and Kenyan Drake breaking free from 30 yards out for the game’s first touchdown.

Needing an answer and a sustained drive, the Giants took over with 9:14 left in the second quarter. The offense overcame an offensive pass interference penalty called on Darius Slayton with a 18-yard strike from Daniel Jones to Slayton on the very next play to pick up a first down on 3rd-and-14.

Later on the drive in Baltimore territory, Jones picked up another crucial first down on 3rd-and-12, finding rookie wide receiver Wandale Robinson for a 15-yard pickup. After a Baltimore too many men on the field penalty set up first-and-goal from the 5-yard line, the Giants couldn’t move the ball much on first and second down. But on third down, once again, Jones came through, connecting with Robinson on the outside for the 21-year-old out of Kentucky’s first NFL touchdown.

The Giants defense had been doing a decent job containing Jackson and the Ravens offense, but weren’t very disciplined on the next drive. The defense allowed Jackson to complete a 16-yard pass to Mark Andrews, allowed Kenyan Drake to break off a 30-yard rush, and allowed another 18-yard pass to Andrews on the very next play. But New York clamped down in the red zone, and held Baltimore to a 34-yard Tucker field goal, giving the Ravens a 10-7 lead with 1:45 to play in the first half.

The Giants and Ravens both got another attempt in the half, trading three-and-outs and punts, with the Giants getting a second possession and Jones fumbling on the final play of the first half.

New York received the second half kickoff, but struggled to move the ball again, gaining a net four yards on five plays after an offensive holding penalty on long snapper Casey Kreiter.

Baltimore took over on their own 31-yard line, and started hot with a 21-yard rush by Drake, the running back’s third 20+ yard run of the afternoon. After back-to-back first down throws from Jackson to Andrews, the Ravens were knocking on the Giants door once again. But New York’s defense held strong for three plays from the 5-yard line, forcing another Tucker field goal to increase the Ravens lead to 13-7 early in the third quarter. Dane Belton tipped a second down Jackson pass intended for Andrews and Fabian Moreau nearly had a points-saving interception.

The Giants finally sustained a drive on their next possession, advancing the ball 59 yards on 14 plays. Saquon Barkley pounded the rock for 14 yards on two carries to get the drive started, Jones found Richie James and Daniel Bellinger for intermediate gains, and the Giants got the ball across midfield. On 3rd-and-5, Jones passed to Barkley for a four-yard pickup, short of the chains, but Odafe Oweh was flagged for unsportsmanlike conduct, giving New York an extra 15 yards and another first down.

Barkley kept chipping away at the Raves defense, with an 8-yard run, a 7-yard run, and a 5-yard run. But the Giants offense stalled at the Ravens 5-yard line, with Baltimore bringing heavy pressure and forcing a Jones throwaway on second down and an 11-yard sack by Calias Campbell .New York settled for a 34-yard Graham Gano field goal to cut the Ravens lead to 13-10 with 2:00 left in the third quarter, keeping Baltimore within striking distance.

Jackson got involved on the ground to start the Ravens next drive, juking out Giants defenders for a 25-yard yard gain.

Kenyan Drake continued eating up the Giants defense, rushing the ball for 3, 7, and 15-yard gains to enter the Giants red zone once again. This time, the Ravens wouldn’t be denied, with Jackson connecting with his favorite target, Mark Andrews, for a 12-yard touchdown reception over Moreau.

Desperately needing a spark, Jones woke up the Giants offense with an 18-yard hookup to Marcus Johnson and a 17-yard strike to Wandale Robinson. Jones continued to spread the ball, finding David Sills for eight yards on first down from the Ravens 23-yard line. Barkley hit the sideline with apparent shoulder discomfort, but re-entered the game, perhaps as a decoy for a moment, on a Jones QB sneak that picked up a first down.

After a Barkley rush, Jones found tight end Daniel Bellinger on an easy 8-yard touchdown pass after a play fake to Barkley. Jones was 5-5 passing on the drive, and the Giants trailed 20-17 with 6:01 left in the game. New York’s 12-play, 75-yard touchdown drive took 6:53 off the clock.

The Giants got their much-needed touchdown, but considering Batlimore’s elite rushing abilities, might have left too little time on the clock. The Ravens appeared to pick up a first down on 3rd-and1 on a 2-yard Jackson keeper, but the play was called back due to illegal formation. On the ensuing 3rd-and-5, the snap slipped through Jackson’s hands, and though the Baltimore quarterback recovered, his ensuing pass was intercepted by Giants safety Julian Love.

The interception (the first of the season for New York) gave the Giants new life and excellent field position, starting their drive at Baltimore’s 13-yard line with 2:50 left to play: the Giants had the keys to the pace of the game’s regulation conclusion.

On second down, Jones appeared to throw a back-breaking interception to Marcus Peters, forcing an awkward throw to Darius Slayton to evade pressure. No one touched Peters in the endzone or played immediate defense on his return, and the cornerback returned the ball 47 yards, which would have further put the game out of reach.

But Peters was called for defensive pass interference on the play: a penalty that would severely hurt Baltimore. On the next play, Jones handed the ball off to Barkley, who promptly launched himself over the pile and in to the end zone for a go-ahead Giants touchdown.

New York had completely flipped the script: from 20-10 deficit, a lackluster offense and a defense that appeared on the verge of breaking to a super efficient offense, game-changing defensive takeaway, and a 24-20 lead.

But with 1:43 left to play and Baltimore possessing all three timeouts, the defense’s task was far from over.

While commentators and fans alike may have been expecting a long game-winning drive attempt from the Ravens, it didn’t last long: on the second play of the drive, Kayvon Thibodeaux strip-sacked Jackson, Leonard Williams recovered the bouncing fumble, and the Giants all but ended the game on a second monster defensive play.

To cap off the game, Brian Daboll’s team showcased its football IQ, with Barkley unselfishly giving himself up after a first down run rather than scoring a touchdown to put the Giants up 31-20. At first glance that may seem ideal, but even if that would give the Ravens an 0.1% chance of winning, the only way to guarantee a win is by preventing the Ravens from ever touching the ball again. The immediate Giants memory that comes to mind is Ahmad Bradshaw *attempting* not to score against the New England Patriots in Super Bowl 46.

Jones kneeled out the clock, and the Giants scored the game’s final 14 points to win 24-20 in upset, comeback fashion. The victory puts the Giants record at 5-1, allowing them to keep pace in a super-crowded NFC East ahead of Sunday night’s Dallas Cowboys-Philadelphia Eagles tilt.

Key Statistics

Quarterback Comparison

NYG Daniel Jones: 19-for-27, 173 yards, 2 TD, 0 INT (6.4 YPA, 112.1 Passer Rating), 4 sacks taken, 6 rushes, 6 rushing yards

BAL Lamar Jackson: 17-for-32, 210 yards, 1 TD, 1 INT (6.6 YPA, 71.1 Passer Rating), 2 sacks taken, 7 rushes, 77 yards, fumble lost

Standout Players

BAL Kenyan Drake: 10 rushes, 119 yards, 1 rush TD, 1 catch, 8 yards

BAL Mark Andrews: 7 catches, 106 yards, 1 receiving TD

NYG Saquon Barkley: 22 rushes, 83 yards, 1 rush TD, 3 catches, 12 yards

NYG Daniel Bellinger: 5 catches, 38 yards,1 receiving TD

NYG Wandale Robinson: 3 catches, 37 yards, 1 receiving TD

NYG Julius Love: 1 interception, 5 tackles, 2 passes defended

NYG Kayvon Tibodeaux: 1 forced fumble, 1 sack, 3 tackles

BAL Patrick Queen: 7 tackles, 1 sack

Looking Forward

The Baltimore Ravens are probably kicking themselves for falling to 3-3 despite some pretty good play through six weeks, with three one-score losses. Baltimore hosts the Cleveland Browns next week before a quick turnaround to a Thursday night matchup with Tom Brady and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

The New York Giants improve to an unlikely 5-1, with Brian Daboll emerging as a runaway Coach of the Year candidate. The Giants have the opportunity to extend their hot start, with the Jacksonville Jaguars, Seattle Seahawks, and Houston Texans on the docket for their next three games, and all three teams currently holding losing records.




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Header Photo Credits: Getty Images via Giants Wire/USA Today

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