NEW YORK GIANTS 23 – JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS 17…
Another weekend, another 4th-quarter comeback for the New York Giants as they defeated the Jacksonville Jaguars 23-17 on Sunday afternoon at TIAA Bank Field in Jacksonville, Florida. The Giants have now won four games in a row and have improved their overall record to 6-1. However, the team may have suffered significant injuries to offensive linemen Evan Neal (knee) and Ben Bredeson (knee) as well as tight end Daniel Bellinger (eye).
Overall team statistics were close. Both teams had 27 first downs. The Jaguars slightly out-gained the Giants 452 to 436 in total net yards, with the Giants out-rushing the Jaguars 236 to 142 and the Jaguars out-passing the Giants 310 to 200. The Giants did hold a big advantage in time of possession (34:10 to 25:50) and won the turnover battle (1-0).
Both offenses started off hot. The Giants received the ball to start the game and promptly drove 75 yards in nine plays, with quarterback Daniel Jones completing 6-of-7 passes for 65 yards. Jones also ran for 14 yards and finished the drive with a 32-yard touchdown throw to wide receiver Darius Slayton.
Not to be outdone, the Jaguars immediately responded with a 6-play, 70-yard effort that resulted in a 7-yard touchdown run by running back Travis Etienne. The Giants were flagged with an illegal formation penalty on the extra point. The Jaguars then went for two instead, and Etienne also scored on the 2-point conversion. Jaguars 8 – Giants 7.
The Giants gained a couple of first downs on their second possession but punted. Bredeson also left the game with a knee injury on this drive. New York’s defense continued to struggle early as the Jaguars drove 70 yards in 12 plays to set up a 27-yard field goal. The Jaguars converted on 4th-and-1 on this possession. Jacksonville now led 11-7 early in the 2nd quarter.
The Giants’ offense responded with a field-goal drive of their own on their third possession. New York gained 60 yards in 10 plays to set up place kicker Graham Gano from 33 yards out. Unfortunately, Neal injured his knee on the first play of this drive and did not return. Jaguars 11 – Giants 10.
Meanwhile, the Giants’ defense continued to struggle. Having already scored 11 points on their first two possessions, Jacksonville easily drove 64 yards in seven plays to reach the New York 17-yard line. Then Etienne broke through the line on what looked to be a 17-yard touchdown run, but safety Xavier McKinney punched the ball out at the 5-yard line. Fellow safety Julian Love recovered in the end zone for a touchback.
The Giants lost their third offensive starter on the ensuing drive as Bellinger received what looked to be a serious eye injury after a 13-yard catch. New York did gain 65 total yards on this possession to set a 33-yard field goal by Gano with 28 seconds left in the 2nd quarter. At the half, the Giants led 13-11.
Jacksonville received the football to start the second half, and Defensive Coordinator Don “Wink” Martindale’s defense simply could not stop the Jaguars again. Etienne broke off a 49-yard run on the first play of the drive. Six plays later, quarterback Travis Lawrence scored from one yard out. The extra point was blocked by cornerback Nick McCloud. The Jaguars regained the lead 17-13.
New York’s first drive of the second half did not end so well. The Giants drove 72 yards in eight plays, reaching the Jacksonville 3-yard line. This possession was aided by a roughing-the-passer penalty that wiped out an interception by the Jaguars. However, despite one run and two passes from the 3-yard line, the Giants could not reach the end zone, turning the football over on downs.
After both teams exchanged punts, the Jaguars appeared to be on the verge of putting the game away as they gained 60 yards in 10 plays to reach the New York 20-yard line. However, on 3rd-and-1, Etienne was stuffed by linebackers Tae Crowder and Quincy Roche. Then on 4th-and-1, Lawrence was tackled short of the first down by linebacker Jaylon Smith and Love. These two plays proved to be the turning point of the game.
Jones and the Giants proceeded to complete their fifth game-winning drive in the 4th quarter this year. Jones gained 24 yards on one run that he almost broke for a 64-yard touchdown. After running back Saquon Barkley gained three yards on 3rd-and-2, he followed that up with an 18-yard run down to the Jacksonville 11-yard line. Slayton was interfered with in the end zone and Jones scored on 1-yard sneak as New York went ahead 20-17 with 5:31 left in the game.
The Giants’ defense rose up and forced a quick three-and-out. The offense now had the ball back with 4:29 left to play. Barkley began to take over with runs of 13, 7, and 20 yards on the first three plays. Two plays later, Jones ran for 15 yards to the Jacksonville 20-yard line at the 2-minute warning. However, the Giants could get no closer and the officials ruled that Barkley had run out of bounds at the 16-yard line, stopping the clock at 1:07. Gano’s third field goal of the game extended the score to 23-17.
The Jaguars and very questionable officiating made the final 64 seconds a nail-biter. The officials did not call an obvious holding penalty against linebacker Kayvon Thibodeaux. Jacksonville converted on 3rd-and-10. Then came two defensive penalties, including defensive holding that wiped out a sack and illegal hands to the face that wiped out an interception by cornerback Fabian Moreau. Lawrence then completed a 28-yard pass on 4th-and-15 and an additional 15-yard roughing-the-passer penalty gave the Jaguars a first down at the New York 17-yard line with 16 seconds left. After two incomplete passes, Lawrence threw one more pass with seven seconds left. Wide receiver Christian Kirk caught the ball for 16 yards down to the 1-yard line, where he as tackled as time expired.
Jones finished the game 19-of-30 for 202 yards, one touchdown, and no interceptions. He also rushed 11 times for 107 yards and a touchdown. His leading target was wide receiver Wan’Dale Robinson who caught six passes for 50 yards. Barkley ran 24 times for 110 yards after being held to 18 yards on nine carries in the first half.
The defense allowed 452 yards and 27 first downs. The Giants did not have a sack and were credited with only two quarterback hits. The also had no tackles for losses. The starting safeties did combine for the one turnover, however, and there were six pass defenses.
GAME VIDEO HIGHLIGHTS are available on YouTube.
ROSTER MOVES, PRACTICE SQUAD ACTIVATIONS, INACTIVES, AND INJURY REPORT…
On Saturday, the Giants placed OLB Azeez Ojulari (calf) on Injured Reserve. He will have to miss at least four games. The team also signed OLB Quincy Roche to the 53-man roster from the Practice Squad.
The Giants activated (standard elevation) LB/S Landon Collins and DL Ryder Anderson from the Practice Squad to the 53-man roster on the same day.
Inactive for the game were WR Kenny Golladay (knee), WR Kadarius Toney (hamstring), OLB Oshane Ximines (quad), CB Cor’Dale Flott (calf), S Jason Pinnock (ankle), and ILB Austin Calitro.
LG Ben Bredeson (knee), RT Evan Neal (knee), and TE Daniel Bellinger (eye) left the game in the first half and did not return. The NFL Network reported that the belief is that Neal suffered a sprained MCL. ESPN reported that both Bredeson and Neal avoided serious knee injuries. Bellinger was taken to the hospital for further evaluation and later released. CB Adoree’ Jackson (evaluated for concussion) left the game in the second half, but later returned.
Transcripts and video clips of post-game media sessions with Head Coach Brian Daboll and the following players are available in The Corner Forum and at Giants.com:
- Head Coach Brian Daboll (Video)
- QB Daniel Jones (Video)
- RB Saquon Barkley (Video)
- WR Darius Slayton (Video)
- S Julian Love (Video)
- S Xavier McKinney (Video)
WHAT’S UP NEXT…
Head Coach Brian Daboll and select players will address the media by conference call on Monday.