David Wilson treated Giants fans to several rare and distinctive statistical milestones on Sunday. They included his team-record 327 total yards, becoming the first Giants player in 64 years to score via rushing and kickoff return touchdowns in the same game and joining three others as the only players in NFL history with two rushing touchdowns and a kickoff return for a score in a game.
Almost lost amid the accomplishments was the kickoff return itself.
It was just the 20th regular-season kickoff return touchdown in the 88-season history of the Giants. They also have two postseason scores on kickoff returns. Wilson's 97-yard runback – the Giants' first touchdown in a 52-27 thrashing of the New Orleans Saints – broke the team's streak of 76 consecutive regular-season games without a kickoff return touchdown. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, that was the second-longest drought in the NFL, behind St. Louis (119 games) and Jacksonville (84). The Giants had not scored on a kickoff return since Domenik Hixon brought one back 74 yards vs. New England on Dec. 29, 2007.
Seventeen different players have scored on regular-season kickoff returns for the Giants, beginning with Jack Hagerty vs. the Buffalo Bisons on Nov. 5, 1929. Clarence Childs, Rocky Thompson and Willie Ponder all did it twice (plus Ron Dixon, who returned two kickoffs for touchdowns in the 2000 postseason).
Wilson's 97-yard return was the longest by a Giant in the regular season since Childs' 100-yard runback on Dec. 6, 1964. Both of Dixon's postseason kickoff returns touchdowns were 97 yards. Childs shares the Giants' record for longest runback with Hall of Famer Emlen Tunnell, who had a 100-return against the New York Yankees on Nov. 4, 1951.
The Giants' shortest kickoff return touchdown was a 38-yarder by Jason Sehorn, who picked off an onside kick by Tom Coughlin's Jacksonville Jaguars on Dec. 23, 2000.
Sehorn's score came in the regular-season finale. The Giants earned a first-round postseason bye and when they returned to action, Dixon scored against Philadelphia – the only time in their history the Giants returned kickoffs for touchdowns in consecutive games. Dixon also accounted for the Giants' only points in Super Bowl XXXV against Baltimore, giving the team three kickoff return scores in four games.
Derrick Ward (92 yards at Washington on Dec. 5, 2004) and Ponder (91 yards vs. Pittsburgh on December 18) ran back kickoffs for touchdowns within a three-game span.
The Giants' longest drought without a touchdown on a kickoff return stretched more than 20 years, from Sept. 17, 1972 (Thompson 92 yards at Detroit) to Nov. 22, 1992 (David Meggett 92 yards vs. Philadelphia).
Five of the 20 regular-season returns have been against the Redskins.
The Giants' record when they score a touchdown on a kickoff return is 11-9 in the regular season and 1-1 in the postseason.
*On Nov. 14, 1948, Jack Scott scored on a nine-yard run and a 99-yard kickoff return. He was the last Giant with a rushing touchdown and kickoff return touchdown in the same game until Wilson did it on Sunday. But Scott went one better. He also caught a 19-yard touchdown pass in a 52-37 loss to the Los Angeles Rams. Scott is the only player in Giants history with rushing, receiving and kickoff return touchdowns in the same game.
*On Sunday, New Orleans' Elbert Mack opened the scoring with a 73-yard interception return, followed 13 seconds later by Wilson's 97-yard kickoff return. It was the first time two return touchdowns were scored no more than 13 seconds apart in a Giants game since Sept. 18, 1983, when Dallas' Dexter Clinkscale intercepted a Scott Brunner pass and returned it 68 yards for a score and, on the ensuing kickoff, Bill Campfield fumbled and the ball was recovered by Michael Downs, who returned it 10 yards for a score.
*The Giants scored seven touchdowns against New Orleans, the first time they've done that since Dec. 20, 1986 in a 55-24 rout of Green Bay – the last time they had scored at least 50 points.
*They scored six offensive touchdowns for the first time since Dec. 22, 2002 in a 44-27 victory in Indianapolis.
*The Giants scored 14 points in the first and third quarters and 17 in the fourth against the Saints. It was the first time they scored at least 14 points in each of three quarters of a game since they clobbered the Packers in the 1986 regular-season finale.
*The Giants scored 31 points in the second half, their highest total in the last two quarters since Sept. 11, 2005, when they scored 35 vs. Arizona.
*Sunday's game was the 10th in their history in which the Giants scored at least 50 points.
*Wilson rushed for 100 yards Sunday to become the sixth Giants back in Tom Coughlin's nine years as head coach to hit the century mark, joining Tiki Barber, Brandon Jacobs, Derrick Ward, Ahmad Bradshaw and Andre Brown. Under Coughlin, the Giants are 40-11 when at least one back rushes for at 100 yards.
*Wilson's 52-yard touchdown was the Giants' longest run from scrimmage since Jacobs' 73-yarder against Minnesota in Detroit on Dec. 13, 2010.
*The Giants did not allow a sack Sunday and are 4-1 this season when Eli Manning is not sacked. The only loss was at Philadelphia on September 30. The Giants are 22-8 in regular-season games when Manning is not sacked.
*Hakeem Nicks had four receptions Sunday, increasing to 247 the number of Manning passes he has caught. That is the highest total of any of the 46 different receivers that have caught at least one Manning pass. Plaxico Burress had been the leader with 244 receptions of Manning passes.
Nicks will soon take over the receiving yardage leader on Manning passes; he trails Burress, 3,681-3,602.
Burress had 33 touchdown receptions on Manning passes. Nicks is second with 26.
*Nicks' touchdown vs. New Orleans was the 27th of his career (including one from David Carr in 2009). That left him in a five-way tie for 11th place on the Giants' career list, with Chris Calloway, Earnest Gray, Ike Hilliard and Jeremy Shockey.
*Stevie Brown had two interceptions on Sunday, his second two-pick game of the season. The last Giant with a pair of two-interception games in a season was Percy Ellsworth in 1998.
*Victor Cruz caught eight passes for 121 yards and a touchdown vs. New Orleans. It was his 12th career 100-yard game, tying him with Kyle Rote and Gray for fourth place on the Giants' career list. Del Shofner is third with 13. Amani Toomer holds the team record with 22 100-yard games.
*The Giants are first in the NFC and second in the NFL with a plus-16 turnover differential. New England leads the league at plus-24.
*Lawrence Tynes continues to lead the league in points (137) and field goals (33).
*The Giants today exchanged guards on their practice squad, signing Levy Adcock of Oklahoma State and terminating the contract of Paul Fenaroli, who was signed last week. Adcock, 6-5 and 326 pounds, was signed as a rookie free agent by the Dallas Cowboys on May 4. He played in two preseason games and was waived on August 27.