When the Giants scored a touchdown to cut the Titans’ lead to 20-19 late in the fourth quarter of Sunday’s game, head coach Brian Daboll didn’t have to wait long to make a decision about going for two.
Daboll said at his postgame press conference that he resolved to play for the win once the Giants got the ball to start the drive and he knew he wanted the ball in running back Saquon Barkley‘s hands with the game on the line. Barkley came through with the conversion and the Giants held on for a 21-20 win when Randy Bullock‘s field goal attempt at the gun sailed wide left.
“Going for the win,” Daboll said. “We’re going to be aggressive. That’s what we want to do. That’s the mindset I want the players to have. If it didn’t work, I could live with it. I thought that was the right decision. You’re an inch away or whatever it was. I trust Saquon. I grabbed a couple of defensive players and busted their tails out there. I went up to some of the offensive guys that weren’t out there too and I said, ‘Hey,’ we got the ball, wherever it was. I said, ‘If we score, I’m going for two, you guys good with that?’ And they said, ‘F-yeah.'”
Later in the press conference, Daboll said he understood the consequences of his decision not working out but that’s “what you sign up for when you’re a leader.” The reward for his aggressiveness in his first game with a team that’s been losing for years was well worth that risk and playing to win paid off for the Giants.