Giants kicker Graham Gano drills game-winning field goal, aims to 'represent the Lord'

The New York Giants found themselves trailing the Arizona Cardinals 20-0 at halftime and 28-7 in the third quarter of Sunday’s game. Then, they began to mount their comeback. After three consecutive touchdowns to tie the score, the Giants were moving the ball again in the final minute when the drive sputtered out at Arizona’s 16-yard line with 23 seconds remaining.

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Whether the Giants would be able to complete the franchise’s largest comeback in the Super Bowl era would all rest on the right foot of kicker Graham Gano. He didn’t disappoint.

Thanks to the comeback capped off by Gano, New York avoided what would have been a disastrous start to the 2023-24 campaign. The Giants lost their Week 1 opener to the Dallas Cowboys, 40-0.

But making clutch kicks is one big reason why the Giants signed the 36-year-old to a three-year contract extension right before the regular season began. A 2017 Pro Bowler and the 2008 Lou Groza Award winner as the best kicker in college football, Gano is renowned around the league for his powerful leg, and he’s been in many such situations since entering the league as an undrafted free agent out of Florida State in 2009.

Gano has also been consistent in giving glory to God through his sport as he’s established himself as an NFL veteran.

“I know in the games that’s when I’m on national TV,” Gano told the Christian Broadcasting Network after emerging on the NFL scene with Washington (2009-11). “I’m able to represent the Lord and what He’s done in my life.”

Gano, who shared a message of faith at Camp Christ on Long Island in 2021, describes himself as “Saved by Grace” on his X (formerly Twitter) and Instagram accounts. He knows God has been directing his steps in the NFL ultimately for His own glory.

Gano explained to CBN his commitment to staying devoted to God in the moments during and after a pressure-packed kick — like Sunday’s.

“After I make a kick, when I do point up to the sky, I’m just giving God the praise,” he told CBN. “That’s my moment with Him on the field thanking Him for everything. If I miss a field goal, it’s not like I’m not giving the Lord the praise. I’m constantly thanking Him for giving me this ability, for keeping me healthy and keeping me out here. Whenever I make the field goal, I’m giving Him all the praise, because it’s not me that has made that field goal. It’s Him through me.”

He continued later: “You have to trust in the Lord. No matter what. Things aren’t always going to be going right like you want them to go. As long as you have faith and trust and you’re in your Word every day, even when you’re going through hard times or good times, praise God no matter what.”

Gano will seek to continue to do just that as he and his Giants teammates attempt to build on their first win of the season. They don’t have much time to celebrate Sunday’s thrilling victory, as they will remain out west to prepare for a matchup with the San Francisco 49ers (2-0) in the Bay Area on Thursday night. The game is set for 8:15 p.m. ET.

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