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What were the game-changing moments in Sunday's win?

Posted Oct 16, 2017

Giants.com breaks down three game-changing plays from the team's 23-10 win over the Broncos: 


It took the Giants’ entire 53-man roster to record their first victory on Sunday night, and that’s exactly the number of minutes they held the lead in Denver.

From big runs to even bigger interceptions, the Giants grabbed the lead and kept their foot on the pedal for the entirety of a 23-10 win over the Broncos at Mile High. Here are the key moments from the game:

DARKWA BREAKS 47-YARD RUN

Time: 14:28, 2nd QTR
Situation: 1st & 10, NYG 40
Score: Giants lead 3-0

When the Giants ran for a season-high 152 yards last week, naysayers pointed to the Chargers’ last-place rush defense. There was no pretext this time when they racked up 148 yards on Sunday night against the Broncos, who came in with the No. 1 defense in both total yards allowed and rushing yards allowed.

Denver had allowed rushing totals of 64, 40, 75 and 24 yards in its first four games, and Darkwa nearly broke those numbers with one run early in the second quarter. Sprung by a block from D.J. Fluker on Broncos defensive lineman Adam Gotsis, Darkwa ran to daylight for 47 yards, the Giants’ longest run since 2014. Three plays later, quarterback Eli Manning threw a five-yard touchdown pass to tight end Evan Engram for an early 10-0 lead.

“That’s the offensive line right there,” Darkwa said. “When I hit that thing, I didn’t even get touched. That’s a hell of a job on them to secure the blocks and spring me.”

Darkwa, who finished with a career-high 117 yards, was just as proud of his 15-yard run from the Giants’ own goal line midway through the fourth quarter.   

“Closing out the game at the one-yard-line, if you look at the odds, it’s slim,” he said. “And so to close it out and wind the clock down, that was pretty big.”

JACKRABBIT’S PICK-SIX

Time: 1:00, 2nd quarter
Situation: 3rd & 10, DEN 34
Score: Giants lead 10-3


The Giants had just one interception in the first five weeks, but they grabbed two in Denver off Trevor Siemian, the second of which cornerback Janoris “Jackrabbit” Jenkins returned 43 yards for a touchdown to secure a 17-3 halftime lead.

“Basically, we were playing ‘Cleo’ coverage and they ran a high-low route,” Jenkins said. “He threw it to the flat and I broke on the ball. We were talking about it on the sideline that he liked to lock on and stare down the receiver. I told my coach what they were attacking us on and he told me to one time sit on it and just take it.”

The play generated a lot of momentum heading into the locker room and came only two drives after Landon Collins made his first pick of the season. The All-Pro safety, however, was able to return his only 21 yards before being tackled by Jamaal Charles.

“I was mad at [Jenkins] because if I was healthy, I would have taken mine back, too,” said Collins, who was questionable for the game because of an ankle injury he suffered last week against the Chargers. “I’m glad for him. We harp on it. Me and him go back and forth about who’s going to be the best defensive player on our team. That’s what we’re trying to do.”

GOAL-LINE STAND

Time: 8:30, 4th QTR
Situation: 4th & Goal, NYG 1
Score: Giants lead 20-3

Jackrabbit’s prints were all over Sunday night’s victory. While his big guys did the heavy lifting in holding the Broncos to just 46 yards on the ground (Denver entered Week 6 averaging 143.0 rushing yards per game), Jenkins helped plug the final hole in C.J. Anderson’s fourth-down attempt at the Giants’ goal line. The stop kept it a three-possession game with 8:23 remaining.

“I saw everybody block down and the running back tried to bounce,” Jenkins said. “Every day at practice when we do goal line [drills], I always tell my big guys – I’ll be joking around -- to force it to me. It just so happened that they forced it to me this game and I just came up with the stop.”