Sam Darnold led New York to two touchdowns in his NFL debut, but the New York Giants dropped their opener to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, 30-10.
It was a forgettable start for the quarterback who supplanted Eli Manning as the Giants’ franchise quarterback.
Darnold threw his first two NFL interceptions, both of which led to scores by the Bucs, and he was sacked twice as the 20th overall pick in the draft — New York’s first No. 1 overall pick since Dave Brown in 1991 — failed to take advantage of a strong offensive line.
The rest of the Giants’ offensive line was raw and overwhelmed, but Darnold was badly off mark as he had a rough debut in the ‘Giant’ City.
Darnold finished 7 of 16 for 43 yards. He was sacked five times, but also threw for a touchdown.
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New York rookie Saquon Barkley rushed for 61 yards, a touchdown and caught six passes for 36 yards. Eli Manning missed the entire first half with a strained right calf and then had to leave after being sacked on New York’s first two plays of the second half. He finished 4 of 8 for 32 yards and was sacked five times, but threw a touchdown pass to Russell Shepard in the final seconds to make the final score more respectable.
The Giants had the ball for 20 minutes, 24 seconds and ran three times for 2 yards. Their longest gain was the 21-yard run by Barkley in the second quarter.
The Giants also made a late attempt to acquire Buffalo Bills defensive tackle Kyle Williams, but the offer was rejected, according to a person familiar with the situation. The person spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because the Bills did not announce the deal.
The loss was a disappointing home debut for New York after opening with a win at Detroit last week. The Giants haven’t won their home opener since Sept. 10, 2015, when the Giants beat the Denver Broncos 36-7.
The Giants signed former running back Wayne Gallman to the active roster from the practice squad.
Despite the absence of the 6-foot-4, 245-pound Darnold, the Giants controlled the ball for 26 minutes. Their biggest threat came when Barkley powered over from 2 yards out to give the Giants a 10-0 lead with 1:10 left in the half. New York could not convert a 2-point try and failed to get off a 56-yard field goal after Darnold’s first interception.
The Giants drove 75 yards in eight plays and scored on Manning’s 16-yard pass to Shepard with 28 seconds left to go up 13-0.
New York started the second half with a 5-play, 70-yard drive on which Barkley ran twice for 12 yards and Manning found Sterling Shepard for a 10-yard gain. A third-down pass for Shepard dropped incomplete.
The Bucs answered on their first possession after the Giants went three-and-out on their first two. EJ Manuel hit O.J. Howard on a 10-yard pass to make it 13-10 and then tied it on their next possession on a 7-yard pass to Cameron Brate.
Sterling Shepard’s 27-yard punt return set up Darnold’s touchdown pass to Shepard with 13 seconds left in the third quarter to put the Bucs ahead 20-10.