The defense had their shot.
For one meaningless Sunday in November, the New York Giants defense could right so many of the wrongs that had plagued the team throughout the 2014 season. All it needed to do was not let rookie quarterback Blake Bortles lead the 1-10 Jacksonville Jaguars into field goal range.
11 plays and 55 yards later, Jacksonville kicker Josh Scobee trotted onto the field and kicked a 43-yard field goal to give the Jaguars a 25-24 victory over New York in Jacksonville. The loss drops drops New York’s record to 3-9, with seven straight losses.
“I’m upset with everyone,” Giants coach Tom Coughlin said. “I’m upset with me.”
When the game began, it appeared as if the Giants were going to snap their six-game skid. After punting on their first possession, New York scored touchdowns on its next three. Manning took the Giants on drives of 91, 54 and 63 yards. Rashad Jennings rushed for a pair of touchdowns and Manning found Preston Parker for a three-yard score in between.
With the Giants defense matching its offense’s success, shutting down the Jaguars through the early portions of the game, it was the New York offense that began to struggle. On the team’s remaining nine possessions, the Giants punted four times, missed a field goal, made a field goal, and fumbled three times, two of which were returned for touchdowns.
“We could have knelt on the ball in the second half and had a better chance to win,” said Coughlin.
Jacksonville’s comeback began with a Scobee field goal at the end of the first half. Then, a Manning fumble was recovered by J.T. Thomas in the end zone. Bortles found Marqise Lee for a 30-yard touchdown in the third quarter and then Aaron Colvin returned a Larry Donnell fumble 41 yards to put the Jaguars in front by two.
Trailing late in the fourth quarter, Manning brought the Giants back. The quarterback took New York 54 yards in eight plays to set up a Josh Brown field goal. The kick put New York up one with 3:26 to play, but Bortle’s heroics would provide the final say.
Video highlights/lowlights of the game are available at Giants.com.
Quick Hits and Observations
- QB Eli Manning completed 24-of-34 passes for 247 yards and a touchdown. RB Rashad Jennings rushed for 91 yards on 26 carries. As a team, the Giants averaged 3.3 yards per carry.
- WR Odell Beckham Jr. led all Giants receivers with seven catches for 90 yards.
- LB Jameel McClain (1), S Stevie Brown (1), DE Jason Pierre-Paul (1.5), LB Devon Kennard (2), DE Kerry Wynn (0.5) and DT Johnathan Hankins (1) all recorded sacks for the Giants defense.
- For the first time in his career, Jaguars quarterback Blake Bortles finished a game without throwing an interception. He came in leading the league. Bortles finished 21-of-35 for 194 yards with a touchdown.
- RB Rashad Jennings (ankle), OG Geoff Schwartz (ankle), OT James Brewer (concussion), DE Robert Ayers Jr. (pectoral) and LB Terrell Manning (ankle) all left the game with injuries and didn’t return. The status of all five is unknown, but Schwartz is said to have tendon damage.
- The last time Giants lost seven straight game was 2003, the last year of of the Jim Fassel era, when they dropped eight straight to end season and finished 4-12.
- Inactive for the Giants were OT Justin Pugh (quadriceps), OG Adam Snyder (knee), OG Brandon Mosley, DE Mathias Kiwanuka (knee), DT Cullen Jenkins (calf), LB Jacquian Williams (concussion), and CB Jayron Hosley.
— New York Giants (@Giants) November 30, 2014