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Daniel Jones addresses Giants slow starts amid NFL’s worst first-half point differential in more than 30 years


Through their first three games of the season, the New York Giants have entered halftime trailing by double digits three teams. They were down 26-0 to the Dallas Cowboys in the season-opener, 20-0 against the Arizona Cardinals in Week 2, and 17-6 vs. the San Francisco 49ers in Week 3.Β 

Needless to say, that’s not a position you want to be in. The Giants managed to secure a comeback victory against Arizona and are thus 1-2 instead of 0-3, but it’s surely not a great sign that they have performed so poorly in the first half of games. In fact, their first-half performance through three contests is the worst of any team since at least 1991, according to The Associated Press.Β 

It’s worth noting that the seven other teams on that list finished their seasons with records of 2-14, 3-13, 8-8, 7-9, 8-8, 2-14, and 4-12. That’s a combined record of 34-78, which is the equivalent of a 5-12 record in a 17-game season. Again, that is less than ideal.Β 

“Yes, it’s not what we’re trying to do, so we have to find a way to figure that out,” quarterback Daniel Jones said following the loss to San Francisco, per “Execute better early in the game, finish in the end zone, take advantage of opportunities, but it comes down to making plays and executing better in those situations.”

As for what happened early in the game against the Niners, “We didn’t create a rhythm,” Jones said. “We didn’t execute, didn’t take advantage of our opportunities. Certainly is a good defense. It’s a good team. When you’re playing good teams, you can’t afford to do that. We didn’t play well enough.”

Giants coach Brian Daboll was less forthcoming about the first-half deficit against San Francisco. He simply acknowledged that the Giants’ opponent on Thursday night was, well, a very good team.Β 

“We went down there and got points,” Daboll said. “Obviously, you want to start fast. That’s a heck of a team. It usually comes down to making plays when you have an opportunity to make plays. They did a good job, give them credit. That’s a heck of a football team there. We came back out in the second half, had a score, went for two to try to cut it to three. It was a 17-12 game. Just give them credit. They did a lot of good stuff. That’s a good team.”

New York has had the misfortune of going up against two of the best teams and defenses in the NFL in the Cowboys and 49ers so far. In that sense, things should get a bit easier the rest of the way. If you take a look at their schedule, though, the Giants have to face the Dolphins, Bills, Commanders, Jets, Cowboys, and Patriots defenses between now and Week 12 before taking their bye in Week 13. They get a bit of a reprieve next week with the Seahawks and in Week 9 against the Raiders, but things could remain quite difficult for the offense for the next couple of months unless it very quickly snaps out of its funk.

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Author: Jared Dubin
September 22, 2023 | 10:20 am

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