The Notorious B.I.G. wasn’t blaring from the Giants’ locker room Sunday. There was no dance party with coach Brian Daboll at the center of a jubilant crowd of players.
The scene after Sunday’s 20-20 tie against the Commanders was a stark contrast to the celebration that followed the Giants’ season opener when Daboll aggressively went for a two-point conversion that running back Saquon Barkley scored for an inspiring 21-20 win over the Titans.
Players had rallied around Daboll’s fearless coaching style, which instilled an attitude that helped propel the Giants to a surprising 7-2 start. But given another opportunity to show faith in his offense in a critical spot Sunday, Daboll declined.
The Giants had fourth-and-3 at Washington’s 45-yard line with 1:42 remaining in overtime. Rather than go for it, Daboll called for a punt. The punt pinned the Commanders deep in their territory, and the Giants got the ball back at their own 44-yard line with 28 seconds left. But with no timeouts remaining, the Giants could only advance far enough for a 58-yard field goal attempt by Graham Gano that fell short as time expired.
“There was conversation to go for it versus not go for it,” Daboll said. “We had the two timeouts. (If) we go for it, miss it, there was a short field. They go and get a win against a division team. So, that’s what we decided to do.”
Going for it on fourth down in that situation wasn’t a slam-dunk decision. As Daboll mentioned, if the Giants failed, Washington would have needed only about 20 yards to get into range for a potential game-winning field goal. And the preceding third-and-3 play didn’t inspire much confidence, as Barkley and wide receiver Richie James collided with one another in the backfield, forcing quarterback Daniel Jones to scramble for no gain.
But still, where was the coach who explained the two-point decision three months ago by saying he was “going for the win”?
This content was originally published here.