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Giants off to best start since 2008 with win over Texans, improve to 7-2

Giants Texans Week 10
New York Giants running back Saquon Barkley (26) celebrates after scoring a touchdown against the Houston Texans during the fourth quarter of an NFL football game, Sunday, Nov. 13, 2022, in East Rutherford, N.J. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)

It wasn’t the prettiest outing for Brian Daboll’s New York Giants, but Big Blue took an early lead over the Houston Texans and never relinquished it despite the back-and-forth third quarter in a 24-16 win for New York. 

The win improves the Giants to a surprising 7-2 on the season, guaranteeing their best start since 2008.

“It’s good to get another win,” Daboll said. “Hard-fought game. We did a lot of things well… We got some timely turnovers… made some bigger plays in the second half. Overall, a good team win.”

The Giants’ defense, which forced Houston to go three-and-out on their first three possessions of the game, held off the Texans’ offense in the second half on two big occasions to headline a two-turnover day. After the Giants had gone 74 yards and taken a 21-10 advantage, which was their largest lead all season, the Texans had gotten down to the New York 9-yard line after Davis Mills completed a 46-yard pass to Jordan Akins. 

But the Giants forced them back for a loss on the next play and then forced a fumble on the next play to halt what had been the Texans’ best drive of the day less than a minute into the fourth. New York forced another turnover on their next drive when a  pass intended for Phillip Dorsett was picked off in the end zone by Dane Belton. 

“Red zone defense, we’ve been playing fairly well this season,” Daboll said. “It starts up front… They’ve been doing a good job for us and they’ll continue to do that.”

Sunday’s game was widely expected to be a game that the Giants were expected to win. New York was the better team at MetLife Stadium and saw Daniel Jones and Saquon Barkley stand out offensively. 

The Giants quarterback completed 13-of-17 passes for 197 yards and two touchdowns. One of his most impressive plays of the game came in the third quarter during the opening drive of the half when Jone got off a throw as he was being hit that Darius Slayton was able to grab and take 54 yards for a touchdown. 

“It was a great play by him,” Jones said. “They brought pressure there and I just tried to get it to him and he did the rest… I felt the pressure, they brought a blitz and twisted up front. It was a great job by [Slayton] losing the guy on the route.”

Slayton finished the game with three receptions for 95 yards. 

Barkley had 32 carries for 152 yards in the win for New York following a Week 8 performance where he had just 52 yards on the ground. It marked the fourth time in his career that Barkley had at least 150 yards. 

“The thing I think with him, he takes a lot of shots so we do the best job we can… of practicing him the right way,” Daboll said of Barkley. “He was fresh and he had a really good week of practice… I thought the stuff that he did in the week carried over. He’s obviously had a big season for us and it continued today.”

The Giants back picked up his sixth touchdown of the season when he punched it in on a 2-yard run with 2:25 left in the third to put New York up 21-10. The score came at a crucial time right after the Texans had cut the Giants’ lead to just four after they went 72 yards to find the end zone on the previous possession. 

“It’s really fun, to be honest,” Barkley said of his high-usage afternoon. “We have to find a way to win games and today that was the mindset we needed to get the job done. I feel good.”

Houston added three final points late in the game on a 34-yard field goal with 2:26 left in the game. The Giants added a field goal of their own just after the two-minute warning. 

The Texans added one more score with just seven seconds left in the game by way of a 46-yarder.

The win came as New York begins to reach the home stretch of the season following their bye week. While New York started off strong, the first half was a less-than-impressive effort that saw them have to punt on all four of their possessions following the first touchdown of the game. 

Kenny Golladay also struggled mightily for the Giants and was booed by the home crowd after he dropped his second ball of the game that appeared to be thrown right at him while he was wide open. 

For more New York Giants news, turn to AMNY.com

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