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Giants Q & A: To whom did Shurmur dedicate his first win?

Eli Manning of the Giants throws as he

Eli Manning of the Giants throws as he rolls out on September 23, 2018. Credit: Getty Images/Bob Levey

To whom did Pat Shurmur dedicate his first win as head coach of the Giants?

The man who hired him. Shurmur held up the game ball in the postgame locker room and said he would bring it back to New Jersey on Sunday night to present it to Dave Gettleman. The general manager did not make the trip as he continues to battle lymphoma. Surrounded by the players, Shurmur told them he was going to give the ball to “the guy who has kind of assembled all of us.” Later he noted that Gettleman is doing a good job not only leading the Giants but “fighting for his life.”

Anyone else get a game ball?

Yes. After Shurmur ended his postgame speech, Eli Manning delivered a game ball to the head coach for his first win as a Giant. “The next one is going to Coach right here,” the quarterback said. That left Shurmur standing in the room with a football in each hand and a big smile on his face.

What happened to Evan Engram?

The  tight end left the game in the second quarter after taking a hit on his right knee near the Giants’ sideline. He walked out of the locker room wearing a brace. While Engram was able to do some jogging on the sideline to test the knee, he never returned to the game and will undergo an MRI on Monday. “It just didn’t feel right,” Engram said. “It wasn’t good enough to be out there to give it my all. We just have to wait and figure out more [Monday].”

Who replaced Engram?

Rhett Ellison, who caught a touchdown pass late in the second quarter. “We just kept doing what we were doing,” Ellison said. “Obviously, it hurts you when a guy like Evan goes down because that’s a weapon that I don’t think any other team has… We just focused on what we were good at and it worked out.”

How about Saquon Barkley? It looked as if he got hurt on the first play of the game.

Yes, he was hit hard on the knee during a tackle and spent some time on the sideline. At one point, he even went into the injury tent. But he returned later in the drive to score a touchdown  and wound up playing most of the rest of the game. “It was a pretty good hit in the beginning, but I was able to fight through it,” Barkley said. “I just wanted to go out there and play for my teammates and show them that it’s going to take a lot more than that to get me to sit out. When I’m in there, I have heart and I’m playing for my teammates.”

Why did the Giants have to burn their first timeout in the second half?

Because right guard Patrick Omameh’s cleat came off and he couldn’t get it back on. With the play clock ticking down, Omameh was struggling to slide his heel back into his shoe while fumbling with the footwear. “My fingers were taped together and the shoes were double-knotted,” Omameh said.  Chad Wheeler tried to help, but they couldn’t get the shoe back in place. Omameh said a similar situation occurred to him last season in Pittsburgh as a member of the Jaguars, but that play was near the sideline, so he just stepped off the field and was replaced for a snap while making the proper adjustment.

Who the heck was that returning punts and kickoffs?

Stacy Coley, the former Vikings receiver who was picked up on waivers by the Giants earlier in the week. He replaced Kaelin Clay, who did not make the trip because of  an ankle injury. Coley muffed his first attempt at a punt but recovered the ball himself. “I just took my eyes off it,” he said. “I tried to run first.” The most important play Coley made probably was the last one, when the Texans attempted to pooch the kickoff and pick up the live ball with one second remaining. “My mindset was to get the ball, fall on it and secure it,” Coley said. It was the most important kickoff return for zero yardage of his career.

New York Sports