EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP) — After five straight losing seasons and three coaching changes, the New York Giants are doing the unexpected under first-year coach Brian Daboll. They are finding ways to win.
The Giants (5-1) stunned another opponent as Julian Love’s interception and 27-yard return set up Saquon Barkley’s 1-yard touchdown dive with 1:43 to play in a 24-20 win over the Baltimore Ravens on Sunday.
The five wins surpassed the Giants’ total from 2021, and New York has rallied from a 10-plus-point deficit in three of those victories. Meanwhile, the Ravens (3-3) blew a game late for the third time this season.
Giants co-owner John Mara was all smiles leaving MetLife Stadium.
“We have lost so many games like that in the last five years, maybe it’s our time,” Mara told The Associated Press.
However, no one could have expected a team that went 4-13 last season to start by winning five of six.
“We’re not shocked that we find ways to win,” said Daniel Jones, who threw for 173 yards and two touchdowns. “I think we’re confident in what we can do. And we’re confident in our toughness, our ability to compete and find ways to win down the stretch.”
There is still a lot to work on. Baltimore outgained New York 406 yards to 238. The difference was the Giants got contributions from all three phases. New York’s only turnover was a meaningless lost fumble on the final play of the first half.
“That’s the biggest story for us, is winning the game at the end of the game,” Ravens coach John Harbaugh said. “Making the plays that need to be made, and not making the errors that cost you an opportunity to win the game.”
New York’s defense, led by Baltimore’s former coordinator Wink Martindale, forced two turnovers by Lamar Jackson late in the fourth quarter. After Barkley’s go-ahead score, rookie K eyvon Thibodeaux sacked Jackson and forced a fumble that Leonard Williams recovered.
Barkley prevented the Ravens from getting the ball back when he went down after getting a first down instead of walking into the end zone.
Jones threw touchdown passes to two rookies: 5 yards to Wan’Dale Robinson and 8 yards to Daniel Bellinger. The second got New York within 20-17 with 6:53 to go.
Kenyan Drake ran for 119 yards, including a 30-yard TD, and Jackson hit Mark Andrews on a 12-yard TD pass early in the fourth quarter for a 20-10 lead.
Baltimore collapsed against Miami in Week 2, allowing four touchdowns in the fourth quarter of a 42-38 loss. The Ravens also blew an early 17-point lead against Buffalo in Week 4, when a late interception by Jackson gave the Bills an opportunity to drive for the game-winning field goal.
The Ravens seemed to have a stranglehold on the game when Jackson had a third-down sneak to the Baltimore 46 for an apparent first down. An illegal formation nullified the play and a premature shotgun snap on third-and-5 went past Jackson. He picked up the ball deep behind the line of scrimmage, and his desperation pass was intercepted by Love and returned to the 13.
“It’s frustrating because we’re losing these games,” said Jackson, who threw for 210 yards and had 77 of the Ravens’ 211 yards rushing. “It happened. It’s over with. We have to move on to the Browns. We just can’t keep beating ourselves up because that’s what it is. It’s not our opponent.”
On a third-and 3 from the Baltimore 3, cornerback Marcus Peters was called for pass interference in the end zone, nullifying his interception. Barkley dived over the goal line on the next play.
Jackson appeared to be getting the better of Martindale’s defense before the Giants stepped up late, sparked by their first interception of the season.
Justin Tucker kicked two short field goals for Baltimore and Graham Gano added one for New York
Despite outgaining Giants 256 yards to 90 in the opening half, Baltimore led 10-7.
Andrews finished with seven catches for 106 yards. He now has 302 career catches, the fourth Raven to his the 300 plateau. The 100-yard game was the ninth, tying him with Mark Clayton for the franchise record.
Barkley finished with 22 carries for 83 yards. He also had three catches for 12 yards. … Bellington led the Giants with five catches for 38 yards. … Robinson had three catches for 37 yards and his first career touchdown in his return to the lineup after missing the last four games with a knee injury.
Ravens: RT Morgan Moses left late in the first half with a heel injury and was carted off. … Harbaugh said RB J.K. Dobbins aggravated a knee injury. Dobbins had 15 yards on seven carries.
Giants: C Jon Feliciano injured a groin in the second half but came back.
Ravens: Host AFC North rival Cleveland next Sunday.
Giants: At Jacksonville next Sunday.