The Giants defense finally was going to make a game-saving stop and validate all the preseason hype.
And then Adoree’ Jackson dropped a surefire interception in the end zone with less than six minutes to go, giving the Falcons the second chance needed to tie the game only a few plays later and then steal a 17-14 win as time expired. Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan overthrew a pass for tight end Kyle Pitts and Jackson was the only player in the area — the break the Giants needed after two rough defensive performances.
“I just dropped it,” Jackson said. “I misjudged the ball by jumping and I ended up just dropping the ball. That’s the only explanation. I wanted to make the play, but I just didn’t come down with it.”
Jackson isn’t the only culprit in the Giants’ remarkable 49th loss in the past 67 games. His mistake on second down was compounded when safety Logan Ryan was called for defensive pass interference on third down. Matt Ryan then threw a 1-yard touchdown pass.
“I was real pissed,” Jackson said. “I couldn’t get the team out of that situation where we got the ball back [on offense] and then you don’t know what happens when we’re up by seven and things could’ve gone a different way.”
Logan Ryan didn’t agree with the officials’ call on the penalty when he was covering Pitts on a switch.
“Matt Ryan threw the ball into what felt like the first row — really high,” Logan Ryan said. “That dude is a lot taller than me, can probably jump a lot higher than me. I climbed the ladder to go make a play on the ball. I feel like I’m looking at the ball there. Obviously there was a collision there, but if he was stiff-arming me they are not going to call anything.
“I’m not going to let him come down with it. I think it’s bang-bang, let them play.”
It hurts more that Ryan (three years, $31 million) and Jackson (three years, $39 million) were signed to be playmakers for a defense that is built to be strongest in the secondary.
“I know they are going to give me hell,” Jackson said of his teammates’ reaction for the dropped interception. “Whatever the penalty is that they give me, I have to accept it. I understand that I should’ve made that play and I didn’t — and it’s killing me that I didn’t.”
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