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Giants Q&A: Aldrick Rosas gets a kick out of hitting game-winner

Rosas had been struggling for a month, missing four field goals in the past four games and an extra point earlier in this one.

Aldrick Rosas of the Giants celebrates his game-winning

Aldrick Rosas of the Giants celebrates his game-winning field goal in overtime against the Chiefs with teammate Evan Engram at MetLife Stadium on Sunday, Nov. 19, 2017. Photo Credit: Jim McIsaac

When was the last time Aldrick Rosas kicked a walk-off field goal?

Before Sunday’s 12-9 overtime victory over the Chiefs? Never. Well, he did it at the end of regulation in the preseason finale against the Patriots this past summer, but that was not in a game that counted and it certainly was not in a game that the Giants needed as much as they needed this one. It also did not come after Rosas had struggled for a month, missing four field goals in the previous four games and an extra point earlier in this one.

“It was a huge opportunity,” Rosas said of the 23-yard field goal. “We could have won, 10-9 [in regulation had he hit the extra point in the second quarter]. Just to come through for my teammates and for them to put me in a position to win was pretty special.”

What was it like getting mobbed by his teammates?

Rosas said he doesn’t remember who specifically jumped on him after the ball went through the uprights. “I just remember getting hit everywhere,” he said. “It’s a special memory.”

Rosas wasn’t the only one roughed up. On the Giants’ sideline, safety Landon Collins had his arm around Steve Spagnuolo and promised the defensive coordinator he would tackle him if Rosas made the kick. When it went through, Collins was almost true to his word. He wrestled Spags but didn’t bring him to the ground.

Was Rosas ready for a longer kick if necessary?

The Giants had a choice to make on fourth-and-5 from Kansas City’s 36-yard line. They decided to try and convert (which they did on a pass from Eli Manning to Roger Lewis Jr.) rather than try a 54-yard field goal.

“The wind played a factor,” coach Ben McAdoo said of opting for the pass play. But Rosas said he was prepared for the longer game-winning try.

“I think it would have been the same [result] either way,” he said.

Should Rosas even have needed to kick a field goal?

Maybe not. On the long fourth-down completion before the kick, Lewis made a sliding one-handed catch at the 2-yard line and then got up and ran into the end zone. He was ruled down, but it appeared that cornerback Phillip Gaines, flagged for interference on the play, never touched him after Lewis caught the ball.

“It looked to me like he scored,” said McAdoo who, like many Giants, was signaling for a TD after watching the replay on the video boards. “Looked to me like it was a touchdown. They said they looked at it [all replay challenges are initiated by the league in overtime] and they were confident that he was down right there at the spot.”

Asked if he scored, Lewis said: “I thought I did.”

How did rookie right tackle Chad Wheeler do in his first NFL start?

Very well. He did not allow any sacks despite going up against All-Pro linebacker Justin Houston for most of the game. Wheeler admitted that the first few snaps “had a little rush to it” before he found his footing in the first extended playing time of his career, but he quickly settled in without any real slip-ups. He had help from the tight ends quite a bit but got through unscathed.

“I thought Chad had a quiet day from where I was standing,” McAdoo said, “so that’s a good day for your first start.”

Why didn’t cornerback Eli Apple and receiver Sterling Shepard play?

Apple missed two practices this past week because his mother underwent successful brain surgery. “We thought it was the right thing to do this week,” McAdoo said.

Shepard had a migraine headache that began on Friday night and was a late addition to the injury report. He was feeling well enough to be at the stadium on Sunday but did not suit up. “We felt it wasn’t in his best interest to play,” McAdoo said.

New York Sports