The New York Giants offense was driving as the second quarter of their game against the Dallas Cowboys at MetLife Stadium.
The score was tied 3-3 when rookie quarterback Daniel Jones dropped back after taking the shotgun snap from the Cowboys 18-yard line. Jones lofted a pass to the right side of the end zone.
The ball was short but high enough that defended Byron Jones had no chance. Giants wide receiver Golden Tate III did have a chance.
The 5-foot-10, 197 pounder climbed an invisible ladder and snatched the ball one-handed out of thin air.
Tate came down about with both feet in bounds by about a foot, but a full yard short of the a touchdown.
The Giants need a few tries but did score on a one-yard pass from Jones to Cody Latimer. Big Blue's Pro Bowl kicker Aldrick Rosas missed the extra point, so the Giants led 9-3.
The Giants kept the game close through three quarters when the Cowboys exploded for three fourth-quarter touchdowns to make the final score 37-18. The loss was a tough one as the G-Men fell to 2-7 on the season.
The catch though was a great one. Tate was asked to go through the play and how it unfolded.
“It was against a really, really good cornerback,” the 31-year-old receiver said after the game. “Savvy guy, long guy who had a decent release and DJ just placed a great ball where only I can catch it and you know, it was the spark I thought that we needed, that helped us and a few plays later we were able to score and I’m just thankful for the opportunity to be able to make a play, help our team.”
The Giants had three turnovers in the game: two lost fumbles and a Jones interception. Tate was blunt about how turnovers can ruin any game plan.
“You have to collectively be better, point blank, end of story,” Tate said. “I haven’t seen it yet, but the quickest way to lose the game is to turn over the ball. Point blank, end of story.”
Tate was asked why his thinks the Giants can’t close out wins?
“Obviously you’re feeling that, but I just feel like talking about tonight,” said Tate who finished with six catches on six targets for 42 yards. “We played extremely undisciplined football. It’s hard enough to win in this League, but when you’re doing, I guess, knuckleheaded things, it certainly didn’t work in your favor. We’ve just got to play like a smart team. You look at this game going into halftime we were up—at one point we were up, what seven, eight?”
Tate was reminded the Giants were up nine points with a minute left in the first half.
“Nine, three. You know, I guess a minute to go, they catch a drag route at the sideline to score,” he said. “Okay, fine. We come back and they’re ready to get on the field and we pretty much go two plays and throw a pick to them and they run it back into decent field position, they kick a field goal, and all of a sudden they’re up by one.
“That’s a halftime swing that definitely worked against us,” Tate continued. “We come back out—did we go three and out? I don’t know what happened, but we didn’t move the ball the way we expected, still, still in the game and then from there I think things just kind of snowballed, you know, and kind of shot ourselves in the foot, but still we were still in the game, we still have a chance. I think it might have been one score at one point or maybe six points or eight points, we still have a chance, and we make another mistake and it’s just we cannot do that.”
Tate was asked about the Big Picture. When it’s offense and defense making similar mistakes, does that say the team meeting didn’t get through the players?
“Look, I think football is important to every single person in this organization. No doubt,” Tate said. “And I don’t think any of us go out there with an intention on playing not intelligent, undisciplined football, but we’ve just got to think and understand situations and make the plays we’re supposed to make and, you know, just not make mistakes, and I’m very, I’m trying to put this very delicately because there is no one to blame. Not one single person. It’s a collective effort, but just play disciplined football.”
The Cowboys did everything they could to give the Giants a chance to take control of the game. On the very first play of the game Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott threw a brutal interception to Giants safety Antoine Bethea at the Dallas 15-yard line.
Bethea returned it to the eight yard line. The Giants only got a field goal.
The Cowboys fumbled two more times, losing one and still Big Blue could not take control of the game.
The Cowboys, who were leading the NFC East coming into the game, led by one point 16-15 after three quarters.
Tate was asked about how frustrating that was. “We had more missed opportunities,” he said.
“After our screw-ups, we were still in the game. We still had a chance to do something and we didn’t. We just, we didn’t. We made some very crucial mistakes that hurt. I mean, look, I said it earlier. It’s hard to win in this League, but then when you make key mistakes in key moments, that’s not going to help you.”
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