EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. – Although he missed the first two games with a hamstring injury, Darius Slayton is turning in one of the finest seasons by a rookie wide receiver in Giants history.
The fifth-round draft choice from Auburn leads the team with 690 receiving yards and eight touchdowns and is tied with Evan Engram for third with 44 catches, just two behind team leader Sterling Shepard and one less than Saquon Barkley. Not bad for the 171st overall selection in the 2019 NFL Draft.
Slayton's five-yard touchdown reception in the Giants' 36-20 victory Sunday against Miami was his eighth such score of the season, which is first among NFL rookies. Washington's Terry McLaurin – whom the Giants will face Sunday in Maryland – Tennessee's A.J. Brown and Baltimore's Marquise Brown each have seven scoring receptions. Seattle's DK Metcalf and Kansas City's Mecole Hardman have six.
Slayton caught two touchdown passes against Detroit. He and Tampa Bay's Chris Godwin are the only players this season to catch two touchdown passes in a game three times.
If Slayton can do it twice more, he will tie Odell Beckham, Jr.'s franchise rookie record for touchdown catches:
Most Touchdown Receptions/Giants Rookie
Odell Beckham Jr. (2014): 12
Bill Swiacki (1948): 10
Darius Slayton (2019): 8
Ken MacAfee (1954): 8
Sterling Shepard (2016): 8
Slayton's 44 receptions place him sixth among all rookies and his 690 yards put him fourth.
He needs just five catches to become the third-most prolific rookie wide receiver in franchise history:
Most Receptions/Giants Rookie
Odell Beckham Jr. (2014): 91
Saquon Barkley* (2018): 91
Jeremy Shockey* (2002): 74
Sterling Shepard (2016): 65
Evan Engram* (2017): 64
Bobby Johnson (1984): 48
Hakeem Nicks (2009): 47
Darius Slayton (2019): 44
*Barkley is a running back, Shockey and Engram are tight ends.
With two games remaining, Slayton can rise significantly on the franchise's rookie receiving yardage list:
Most Receiving Yards/Giants Rookie
Odell Beckham Jr. (2014): 1,305
Jeremy Shockey (2002): 894
Bobby Johnson (1984): 795
Hakeem Nicks (2009): 790
Evan Engram (2017): 722
Saquon Barkley (2018): 721
Darius Slayton (2019): 690
Sterling Shepard (2016): 683
*Shepard led the Giants Sunday with game-high totals of nine receptions for 111 yards. The nine catches increased his career total to 236 and lifted him ahead of David Meggett (231) and Lionel Manuel (232) and into 19th place on the franchise's career list. Del Shofner (239) and Alex Webster (240) are just ahead of Shepard.
*Barkley rushed for 112 yards and caught four passes for 31 yards against the Dolphins. The 100-yard rushing performance was the 10th of his two-year career, tying him with Ron Johnson for seventh on the franchise's all-time list. Eddie Price had 11.
*The victory on Sunday was the 18th time in 27 career games in which Barkley exceeded 100 scrimmage yards. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, that is tied for the third-highest total in history:
Most Games With 100+ Scrimmage Yards Through 27 Games
Edgerrin James: 23
Eric Dickerson: 21
Clinton Portis: 18
Billy Sims: 18
Ezekiel Elliott: 18
Saquon Barkley: 18
*Sunday's game was the first in which the Giants had both a 100-yard rusher and 100-yard receiver since the season opener in Dallas, when Barkley ran for 120 yards and Engram gained 116 yards on 11 catches.
*Barkley increased his career totals to 2,029 rushing yards and 3,073 yards for scrimmage. Both of those figures are Giants records for a player in his first two career seasons. The previous marks were 1,674 rushing yards by Price in 1950-51 and 2,793 scrimmage yards by Beckham in 2014-15.
*Barkley is the 20th player to run for at least 2,000 yards in a Giants uniform.
*Barkley had 2,028 scrimmage yards in 2018 and has 1,045 this year. He and Beckham are the only players Giants history to exceed 1,000 yards in each of their first two seasons.
*Barkley has at least one reception in each of his 27 games, the Giants' running back record for consecutive games with a catch to start a career. He had been tied with Johnson.
*Eli Manning improved his career record to 4-0 as a starting quarterback against the Dolphins. Miami is one of three teams against whom he is undefeated. Manning is 4-0 vs, the Houston Texans and 3-0 vs the Oakland Raiders. The Raiders, of course, were the opponents when Manning's streak of 210 consecutive regular-season starts ended two years ago in Oakland.
*Manning threw touchdown passes of 55 yards to Slayton last week in Philadelphia and 51 yards to Golden Tate against the Dolphins. It's the first time he threw scoring passes of at least 50 yards in consecutive games since Dec. 6 and 14, 2015 – and the Dolphins were the opponents in the second game then as well. Manning threw a 72-yard touchdown pass to Beckham vs. the Jets and the following week hooked up with him for an 84-yarder in a Monday night game in Miami.
*The Giants sacked Miami quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick three times on Sunday, increasing their total to 32 sacks, which is two more than they had in the entire 2018 season. Linebacker Markus Golden leads the team with 9.0 sacks, the highest total by a Giants player since Robert Ayers had 9.5 in 2015.