TEMPE, Ariz. — There already have been sinking lows and rising highs in the first two games of Darren Waller’s time with the Giants.
The veteran tight end tries to remain on course, whether the seas are calm or they are stormy.
Waller sees a kindred spirit in Daniel Jones, the unflappable quarterback.
Jones, Waller said, was the same when the Giants were down 20-0 in the first half against the Cardinals — to that point, the Giants had been outscored 60-0 in the first six quarters of the season — as he was when the offense got cranking and raced to a 31-28 victory, overcoming a 21-point third-quarter deficit.
“There are so many opportunities in the NFL to ride the roller coaster if you want to and I feel he just refuses to get on it,’’ Waller said Monday. “We were like what, 60-0, there’s turnovers, there’s drives that just aren’t getting there and you don’t see him wearing it, you don’t see him pointing at other guys or getting mad on the sideline. He’s just like eventually, as long as we keep plugging into this process and trying to do things the right way it’s gonna turn for us and that energy paid off for us.’’
Jones in the second half at State Farm Stadium was 17-for-21 for 259 yards, two passing touchdowns and one rushing touchdown.
He also ran eight times for 58 yards.
RB Saquon Barkley (ankle) and G Ben Bredeson (concussion) did not practice.
Four players were listed as limited: ILB Micah McFadden (neck) OLB Azeez Ojulari (hamstring) WR Wan’Dale Robinson (knee) and LT Andrew Thomas (hamstring).
The Giants conducted a walk-through on Monday on the fields at Arizona State, so their practice participation is a projection.
No, Brian Daboll said, he did not take over the play-calling from offensive coordinator Mike Kafka in the second half, as the Giants scored 31 points after getting shut out for the first six quarters of the season.
Yes, Daboll did hold a play sheet in front of him after halftime, but that is mostly standard operating procedure.
“Mike did a fantastic job,’’ Daboll said. “The offensive staff did a great job. Moved the ball, scored points. Did their job.”
Asked who signaled the plays into him against the Cardinals, Jones said, “I’m always getting the plays from Kafka.’’
It was another quiet game for OLB Kayvon Thibodeaux. He played 61 of the 65 snaps on defense and did not register a tackle or a sack. His one statistical contribution was one quarterback hit on Josh Dobbs. As Barkley scored to bring the Giants within 28-21 with 8:51 remaining, Thibodeaux did not celebrate. He sat far off to the side, by himself.
“He’s got the right mindset,’’ Daboll said. “He’s working every day to get better. Good teammate and that’s what our focus is on each week.’’
The availability of 49ers WR Brandon Aiyuk is in question after he sustained a left shoulder injury in the Week 2 victory over the Rams. Aiyuk was hurt after diving to make a catch for 13 yards at SoFi Stadium.