Colt McCoy embodies what makes these Giants different
Colt McCoy has been around long enough to know that it wasn’t his job to play the hero. It wasn’t his job to go out and try to beat the Seahawks by his lonesome.
Joe Judge needed more than a few heroes, more than a few good men, to rise up and raise the level of their game to ride his Colt and let his Colt ride them to the biggest and best win of this wild and wacky pandemic season.
Colt McCoy (13-22, 105 yards, 1 TD, 1 INT) managed himself a game, and that was exactly what Joe Judge needed from him in the day when the Giants, improbable 17-12 winners, announced that they belong:
Belong with the NFL Big Boys.
Belong in a playoff race.
Belong in first place.
The Real McCoys.
There were Colt heroes everywhere you turned.
One Colt, and a team of Secretariats galloping along with him.
“We all rallied around him and rallied around each other,” Alfred Morris said.
The rally started from the very beginning, with Patrick Graham having himself a Bill Belichick kind of day, tormenting and confusing and suffocating Russell Wilson, and throw in Darnay Holmes with his first career interception on a deflected ball, and Niko Lalos — who else? — with a fumble recovery, and sacks from Tae Crowder, Jabrill Peppers and 2.5 sacks from Leonard Williams — who else? Guess what: Dave Gettleman was right about Williams after all.
The upset hung in the air on a fourth-and-18 Hail Mary from Wilson, and when it finally came down at around the NYG 13, there were four Giants — James Bradberry and Peppers and Isaac Yiadom and Julian Love — making sure their prayers were answered at the end of a heroic performance that would have made Lawrence Taylor and Michael Strahan and Harry Carson proud.
“Make sure either we catch it or nobody catches it,” Peppers said.
Big Blue has learned how to finish. Even without Blake Martinez, without Daniel Jones. The standard is the standard.
“The team had a different swagger about ’em. The team had a different juice about ’em today,” Peppers said, “because we know if we played our brand of football, we knew we could shock a lot of people.”
Wilson (27-43, 263 yards, 1 TD, 1 INT) had this one last chance with 1:48 left, after McCoy had converted a pair of clutch first downs before missing a third-down throw for Sterling Shepard.
“Look, this guy’s a ballplayer,” Judge said. “He’s not a guy that’s out of his comfort zone stepping into a huddle. That’s really where he’s meant to be. … That’s not something he’s not prepared to do, he’s been doing that his entire life.”
McCoy had played the game in a phone booth in the first half, a dink here, a dunk there, and while no one should have expected him to transform from a mild-mannered Clark Kent into a strong-armed Superman, maybe he could somewhat remember the way he nearly won a Heisman during his University of Texas glory days a decade ago.
“He played a big-time game for us,” Judge said.
Colt McCoy’s first win since 2014.
“Once we started running the football, I felt a lot better,” McCoy said.
All Aboard the Wayne Train!
Gallman (16-135) cut left behind a tough, evolving offensive line and exploded for a 60-yard run that set up a 4-yard Morris TD run, and it was Giants 8, Seahawks 5 when McCoy hit Sterling Shepard with the two-point conversion.
And after Big Blue stopped Wilson on fourth-and-1 at his 48, Gallman gashed the ’Hawks with runs of 23 and 13 yards, and McCoy bootlegged right and flipped a 6-yard TD pass to Morris, and it was Giants 14, Seahawks 5 on its way to 17-5.
Evan Engram had allowed a throw slightly too far to the inside to deflect off his maddening hands for an interception, at a time when McCoy was driving to erase a 3-0 deficit. It kept McCoy from an error-free game.
He didn’t win the game.
He did nothing to lose it.
It is everything you can ask of your backup quarterback.
“It’s very gratifying,” McCoy said. “Coach Judge let me break down the team at the end, I just told ’em how proud I was to be a part of this and to be with this group of guys. I love the game of football. I’m fortunate to still be playing. I count my blessings every day.
“I played so far from perfect, but I think I did a good job in the second half settling down and seeing things and taking a breath. I feel like, in the first half, I was ahead of the play a lot. I hadn’t done it in a while. … Playing with this group is pretty special.”
The day after Phil Simms broke his foot 30 Decembers ago, and it was sinking in fast that Jeff Hostetler would be the quarterback who would be chasing Super Bowl XXV, Bill Parcells had a message for his Giants:
“We are not losing because we’re playing Jeff Hostetler. I guarantee you that.”
Over the years, Parcells would remind people: “There were ways to win those games,” he would say, “and it was up to us to figure them out.”
The 5-7 Giants figured it out Sunday. They’ve won four in a row.
“Everyone wants it, from the coaches to our owners to the players. … We really want it,” Gallman said. They got it.