EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. – After Saquon Barkley suffered a season-ending knee injury in the Giants' Week 2 loss in Chicago, the team needed someone to gain the yards on the ground that would have been his.
It's doubtful many believed Daniel Jones would be foremost among those players to fill the void.
But there's the second-year quarterback, leading the team in rushing yards and per-carry average and owning its longest run through six games. Jones has rushed for 204 yards on 27 carries, a 7.9-yard average. His 49-yard gain around left end in the Giants' victory against Washington on Sunday was the team's longest by a quarterback in the 55-year Super Bowl era.
Jones is the only quarterback to lead the Giants in rushing through six games since the Super Bowl was first played following the 1966 season.
Though he likely won't maintain it through the end of the season, Jones currently has the highest per-carry average of any Giants player with at least 27 rushing attempts. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, the full-season mark is held by quarterback Gary Wood, who averaged 7.0 yards (196 yards on 28 carries) in 1966.
Jones' 204 yards are just 75 less than his 2019 rookie season total of 279. That was the third-highest figure by a Giants quarterback in the Super Bowl era. Pro Football Hall of Famer Fran Tarkenton holds the first two spots with 306 yards in 1967 and 301 yards in 1968. Jones needs 103 yards in the team's final 10 games to top Tarkenton's record.
The quarterback single-season rushing record for the entire 95-year history of the franchise is harder to establish, because there is doubt whether some players actually played much at the position in the team's early years. Elias – the official statistician of the NFL – considers Harry Newman's 483 yards in 1934 to be the record, because Newman accounted for more than 60% of the team's pass attempts that season. Other listed quarterbacks threw as few as five passes in a season.
On Sunday, Jones led the Giants with 74 yards on seven carries. The yardage total was the highest by a Giants quarterback since Jeff Hostetler ran for 82 yards at New England on Dec. 30, 1990. The seven rushing attempts were the most by a Giants quarterback since Kerry Collins ran seven times at St. Louis on Sept. 15, 2002.
Since becoming the starter in Week 3 last year, Jones has led the Giants in rushing in seven games, the most by a Giants quarterback in the Super Bowl era. The only other NFL quarterback to be his team's rushing leader during that span is Baltimore's Lamar Jackson, the 2019 NFL MVP, who has done it 12 times.
Including his 49-yarder, Jones has the Giants' longest run in a game six times, the most by a Giants quarterback in a two-season period since Hostetler did it six times in 1990-91.
*Against Washington, Jones also completed 12 of 19 passes for 112 yards, one touchdown and one interception. The 19 attempts were the Giants' fewest since they threw 18 passes against Tampa Bay on Nov. 18, 2018 and the 12 completions was their lowest total since they had 10 against Washington on Dec. 31, 2017. The Giants won both of those games.
*Washington quarterback Kyle Allen completed 31 of 42 passes. This was the first game in which the Giants had at least 23 fewer pass attempts (54-19) and 23 fewer completions (31-11) than their opponents since Oct. 15, 2017 at Denver. Yes, the Giants won that game, too.
*Darius Slayton caught two passes and Golden Tate one against Washington. They share the lead for the most receptions on passes thrown by Jones, with 66 each. Slayton has 961 yards and eight touchdowns on those catches, while Tate has 770 yards and five scores.
*On Sunday, the Giants converted 63.6% of their third-down opportunities (seven of 11), their highest percentage since Oct. 11, 2015, when they succeeded on 64.3% (nine of 14) in a victory against San Francisco.
*The Giants have had eight offensive possessions this season in which they've held the ball for at least 5:11 – and didn't score a touchdown on any of them. Their two longest drives in terms of time – 9:14 vs. Washington and 8:50 against Pittsburgh – ended with interceptions. The Giants kicked field goals to conclude the other six series.