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Daniel Jones on Giants’ woeful first-half starts: ‘We have to find a way to figure that out’

ByGuillermo Garcia

Sep 22, 2023
Daniel Jones on Giants' woeful first-half starts: 'We have to find a way to figure that out'

The Giants went 49 yards in 12 plays for an opening-drive field goal and bookended the half with a 2-minute drive for another three points. In between, they went three-and-out twice, and the defense couldn’t get off the field, allowing the Niners to score on three of their four first-half non-kneel drives.

“We went down there and got points,” Giants coach Brian Daboll responded when asked about the first-half deficit. “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.”

The -57 scoring margin in the first half through three weeks is the worst of any team since at least 1991, per Josh Dubow of The Associated Press. At least some solace Giants fans can take from that sad start: The 2006 Giants tied for the fifth-worst start in that span with a -51 point differential. That club made the postseason with an 8-8 record.

The Giants’ slow first halves are mostly a product of a sluggish offense. New York is the first team since the 2008 Rams with 100 or fewer total yards in the first half of three straight games to open a season — 81 yards, Week 1 vs. Dallas; 81 yards, Week 2 at Arizona; 88 yards, Week 3 at San Francisco.

“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.”