Giants OL Jon Feliciano ‘Struggling’ After Playing Through Tragedy vs. Titans

Jon Feliciano New York Giants center Jon Feliciano lost his nephew on Saturday.

On Sunday afternoon, the New York Giants battled back from a 13-point halftime deficit to defeat the Tennessee Titans 21-20 in Week 1. For starting center Jon Feliciano, the struggle was a little more personal.

Feliciano revealed after the game that he and his family were dealing with the tragic loss of his one-year-old nephew, who drowned the day before the game.

Dan Duggan of The Athletic shared the story on Twitter:

“I’ve been struggling since,” Feliciano told Duggan, referring to the moment he got the horrible news on Saturday.

It was an up-and-down performance for the Giants offense as a whole, but Feliciano did a decent job anchoring New York’s offensive line from his center position on Sunday. Although the Giants gave up five sacks on Daniel Jones for a total of 32 yards lost, this unit also paved the way for a phenomenal day on the ground.

Veteran running back Saquon Barkley led the charge with 164 yards on just 18 carries (an astounding 9.1 yards per carry). On Barkley’s longest run of the game — a 68-yarder down the left sideline in the third quarter — Feliciano had a key pancake block at the second level.

Watch Feliciano (No. 76) on this play:

On this play, Feliciano pulls to his left after snapping the ball. He finds Titans linebacker Zach Cunningham (No. 41) and promptly flattens him, clearing the way for Barkley to break the play open. Without this block from Feliciano, Cunningham could have made the stop and turned this play into just a short gain.

A couple plays later, Feliciano and the rest of the Giants offense got a nice push that resulted in a  four-yard touchdown run for Barkley. Then, with the game on the line in the fourth quarter, Feliciano effectively cleared out the left side of the line for Barkley to score the go-ahead two-point conversion.

As a team, the Giants ran the ball 32 times for 238 yards (7.4 yards per carry). Daniel Jones was the second leading rusher with 25 yards on six carries, while backup running back Matt Breida netted 24 yards on five carries. Wide receivers Kadarius Toney and Richie James provided 25 rushing yards on three combined carries.

Feliciano played all 60 of the Giants’ offensive snaps in the win, according to Pro Football Reference. It was a gutty performance considering all he was going through on Sunday.

Giants Made Interesting Switch at Left Guard vs. Titans

When the Giants offense took the field for the first time on Sunday, Ben Bredeson was in the starting lineup alongside Jon Feliciano at left guard. Third-round rookie Josh Ezeudu, however, ended up replacing Bredeson at guard during the first half.

It wasn’t a pretty start for Ezeudu, who gave up this sack-fumble to Pro Bowl defensive tackle Jeffery Simmons.

You can see in the clip, Feliciano was trying to get to his left and help Ezeudu with Simmons but wasn’t quite quick enough. As ugly as this moment was, this offensive line configuration actually pulled it together and played very well in the second half of the game.

Giants to Host Panthers in Week 2 Home Opener

After going on the road and taking down last year’s No. 1 seed in the AFC, the Giants return home to host the Carolina Panthers in Week 2.

The Panthers lost to the Cleveland Browns, 26-24, at home in Week 1. New Panthers quarterback Baker Mayfield completed 16 of his 27 passes for 235 yards, one touchdown and one interception against his former team, while star running back Christian McCaffery averaged just 3.3 yards per carry.

There will be a familiar face in town when the Panthers visit MetLife, as Carolina’s offensive coordinator is former Giants head coach Ben McAdoo. The game will kick off at 1 p.m. ET on FOX next Sunday.

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