When the Titans missed a 47-yard field goal as time expired, giving the Giants a 21-20 victory and allowing Brian Daboll to earn his first win as a head coach, what was he doing?
The head coach was rubbing a charm he wears on a silver chain around his neck that contains the ashes of his grandparents, Chris and Ruth Kirsten, who had raised him in Western New York. Both of them passed away during last year’s season, when he was the Bills’ offensive coordinator.
“When he missed it, I thought about them,” he said, pausing to collect his thoughts. “Those two people helped me get to where I am . . . That was weighing heavy on me after the game.”
That this win came in Nashville was special for Daboll, too. It was during last year’s trip to face the Titans with the Bills that Daboll learned of his grandfather’s passing. He had died while the team plane was in the air, and Daboll landed to a number of voicemails and texts sharing the sad news.
He coached that game on Oct. 18 with a heavy heart and wept in the locker room after the Bills’ loss . . . the same locker room where he celebrated on Sunday.
“It was a tough one,” he said of the previous trip here. “Different story this week.”
Who was the most stressed player on the team during those final moments?
Maybe first-round pick Kayvon Thibodeaux, who did not play because of a knee injury.
“Whoo, I said I need a cigarette after that,” Thibodeaux said. “That had me stressed out. I was standing on the sideline and I couldn’t breathe. It was fun, though.”
Was Daboll yelling at Daniel Jones after his fourth-quarter interception?
At first, Daboll said he was yelling into his headset at someone else, but it sure seemed as if he was miffed at the quarterback’s decision to throw a back-shoulder pass to Saquon Barkley from the 8 that was picked off.
He later admitted he was having a discussion with Jones.
“I said, ‘What did you see?’ and he said ‘I saw potentially back shoulder’ and I said, ‘That’s not what I saw, but you’re in the game,’ ” Daboll said.
Jones said there was a discussion of the play on the sideline and corroborated the substance of it.
Why was Kadarius Toney used so sparingly?
Daboll said it was based on the game plan and had nothing to do with the physical readiness of the wide receiver, who had missed all three preseason games with an apparent leg injury. Toney played only seven offensive snaps and touched the ball twice. Both technically were runs, but one was on a lateral in which he looked to throw a pass but instead pulled the ball down and kept it.
“We had personnel groups for all of our receivers and we’ll do that every game,” Daboll said. “Maybe it’s more, maybe it’s less. It depends on what we’re calling and what we see. He’s in plenty of them and we obviously didn’t get to some of them.”
Toney spent a good portion of the game taking a knee on the sideline with his helmet off.
What happened to rookie wide receiver Wan’Dale Robinson?
He left the game in the first half with a knee injury, but it was unclear how he hurt himself. He walked out of the locker room without much of a limp. He said he will be OK but likely will require tests on Monday.