Santa Clara, Calif. – For the Giants, Monday night’s win was a relief. They hadn’t tasted victory since Week 3.
For the newest Giant, though, it was nothing new.
Jamon Brown, in fact, may be one of the NFL’s last undefeated players. He was waived by the Rams two weeks ago when they were still 7-0 and claimed by the Giants who are now 1-0 with him on the field.
“A couple of guys were saying that to me in the shower,” Brown said after the 27-23 win over the 49ers. “It feels great just bringing that vibe or whatever to this team. It has been something that all the guys have been joking with me about. Hopefully I can help us in any way possible try to create that for the remainder of the season.”
Brown brought more than just a vibe. In his first game and first start for the Giants at left guard, he had a key block on the Giants’ first touchdown of the game in the first quarter, sweeping up an inside stunt from lineman Cassius Marsh to give Eli Manning extra time to find Odell Beckham Jr. in the back of the end zone.
“It was more of a feel thing,” Brown said. “Me and Chad [Wheeler], we felt that they ran that stunt kind of late to the point that we felt it was a natural kind of thing to fall into it. For me, inside, I can see both guys. I have the advantage. My antennae went up against the stunt and low and behold there it was and I was able to sit inside and collect the D-end.”
Brown made it sound matter-of-fact, but that’s the kind of play that has been missing from the Giants’ line play all season. It was so significant that it pretty much erased the fact that Brown committed a costly penalty in the fourth quarter and allowed the only sack of the game.
Giants coach Pat Shurmur and Manning both said that the offensive line as a whole played their best game of the season. Center Spencer Pulley even nearly had a reception, diving for a tipped pass in the first quarter and appearing to come down with the catch (it was ruled an incompletion on the field and not challenged).
“I thought the offensive line played great,” Manning said. “Had a good game plan and tried to just stick with the run. We were good with it, we were patient with it. Got us into some third and manageables. Got the ball out on time and hit some play-action. Hit a few things down the field.”
And with Brown, they were able to function against the basic stunts that had been befuddling them.
“That’s something that as we continue growing and continue playing together, hopefully we can build off the good things we did tonight,” Brown said. “Hopefully we can make sure [Manning] is protected for the remainder of the season. At the end of the day that’s what matters. If we protect, we win.”