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Inside the Numbers: Giants playing close games at unprecedented pace


EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. – The Giants held double-digit leads in their last three games, though the outcomes in each of them were decided in the final 75 seconds, because they insist on playing close games.

On Sunday, they led the Washington Football Team by 17 points at halftime but did not clinch their 23-20 victory until Logan Ryan intercepted an Alex Smith pass with 1:15 remaining. By recent Giants standards, the game was a blowout; their previous three games were decided by one, one and two points.

The Giants are playing close games at a pace unprecedented in franchise history and rare in the NFL.

The Giants' last five games have been decided by 10 points. This is the first season in their history in which they have played five consecutive games with such a small cumulative margin. The last NFL team with five games decided by no more than 10 points was the 1987 Chicago Bears.

The Giants have also played five straight games decided by three or fewer points in a single season for the first time in their history. No NFL team has played so many consecutive close games in a single season since the San Francisco 49ers in 2017 (who lost all five by a total of 13 points).

*Seven of the Giants' nine games have been decided by a single score (eight points or less). That ties them with Carolina and the Los Angeles Chargers for second in the NFL. Chicago has played eight one-score games.

*On Sunday, the Giants finished with season-high totals of 35 carries for 166 yards, a 4.7-yard average. The 35 attempts were the most by the Giants since they had 37 on Sept. 29, 2019, against Washington. They had their highest rushing yardage total since they ran for 206 yards on Dec. 22, 2019, at … Washington. And the Giants' per-carry average of 4.7 yards was their highest in a game with at least 35 carries since they averaged 5.9 yards (44 attempts for 260 yards) on Dec. 31, 2017, when their opponent was – wait for it – Washington.

*While the Giants ran the ball 35 times, Washington had only nine rushing attempts. That was the lowest total by a Giants opponent since Dec. 8, 1985, when the Houston Oilers had seven carries (for 22 yards).

*The Giants outrushed Washington by 129 yards (166-37), their highest single-game differential since they enjoyed a 143-yard advantage on Dec. 9, 2018 … at Washington.

*The Giants' time of possession Sunday of 36:27 was their highest since they owned the ball for 37:17 on Sept. 25, 2014 at – where else – Washington.

*In each of their last four games, the Giants have rushed for more than 100 yards while holding each of their opponents to less than a hundred. That is their longest such streak since Oct. 3-Nov. 7, 2010, when it happened in five consecutive games.

*Seven different Giants ran the ball on Sunday (four running backs, two wide receivers and quarterback Daniel Jones). That was their highest total in a game since Sept. 4, 1994, when seven players had rushing attempts in a victory against Philadelphia.

*The Giants also had 10 different players catch a pass for the first time since Nov. 19, 2017, in an overtime victory vs. Kansas City.

*On Sunday, Wayne Gallman led the Giants with 68 rushing yards and Alfred Morris was right behind him with 67. It was the first game in which two Giants backs each had that many yards since the Dec. 31, 2017, Washington game, when Orleans Darkwa ran for 154 and Gallman added 89.

*Wide receivers Sterling Shepard (18 yards) and Darius Slayton (two yards) each had rushing attempts on Sunday. It was the first time two Giants wide receivers ran the ball in the same game since Dec. 23, 2018, when Corey Coleman and Shepard did so at Indianapolis.

*Graham Gano has made 18 consecutive field goal attempts since missing a 57-yard try at Chicago on Sept. 20. That ties him with Seattle's Jason Myers for the NFL's third-longest active streak, behind Pittsburgh's Chris Boswell (22) and Miami's Jason Sanders (20).

Gano's streak is the third-longest in Giants history, behind Josh Brown (29 in a row from 2014-15) and Aldrick Rosas (20 from 2018-19).

It is the second-longest stretch of consecutive successes for Gano, who made 28 attempts in a row when he was with the Carolina Panthers in 2017-18.

*Gano kicked field goals of 38, 48 and 42 yards against Washington. It was the fourth game this season and the 40th of his career with at least three field goals, which is the sixth-highest total among active players.

View photos from the Week 9 matchup between the Giants and Washington at FedExField.

*Washington starting quarterback Kyle Allen completed five of seven passes Sunday before leaving the game with an ankle injury. Allen's total was the fewest completed passes by a starting quarterback against the Giants since Dec. 14, 2014, when Colt McCoy hit four of seven throws before he aggravated a neck injury and left the game. McCoy, of course, played for Washington. He is now Daniel Jones' backup on the Giants.

*Allen was replaced by Alex Smith, who completed 24 of 32 passes for 325 yards. That was the highest passing yardage by a substitute quarterback against the Giants since Nov. 2, 1986, when Dallas' Steve Pelluer threw for 339 yards. Pelluer relieved Danny White, who left the Giants' 17-14 victory after throwing just three passes. White suffered a broken throwing wrist and torn ligaments when he was hit by linebacker Carl Banks.

*Smith's 68-yard touchdown pass to Terry McLaurin was the longest completion against the Giants since Dec. 9, 2018, when Josh Johnson threw a 79-yard touchdown pass to Jamison Crowder – in Washington.

*The Giants won on Sunday despite Jones getting sacked five times. It was their first victory in a game in which their quarterback absorbed at least five sacks since Sept. 22, 2019, when Jones made his first career start at Tampa Bay.

*On Sunday, Alfred Morris became the 23rd different player to catch a pass from Jones.

*The game Sunday was the Giants' 12th since the start of the 2018 season in which they did not score a fourth-quarter point. They won four of those games – all against Washington – on Dec. 9, 2018; Sept. 29, 2019; Dec. 22, 2019 (when they won on an overtime touchdown); and Sunday.

*In keeping with the theme of the day:

The Giants last finished with four takeaways on Sept. 29, 2019, vs. Washington

The Giants last finished with five takeaways on Nov. 8, 2020, at Washington

The Giants last finished with six takeaways on Sept. 25, 2014, at Washington

The Giants last finished with seven takeaways on Sept. 19, 2004, vs. Washington

*The Giants defeated Washington after its bye week and on Sunday will host the Philadelphia Eagles after their bye. The Giants are 13-10 since 1990 when their opponents are coming off a bye and they are not.

*The Giants' victory in Washington improved their record to 33-36 in games following a Monday night game, including 14-15 since 2000.


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