The Giants flew south to Jacksonville and defeated the Jaguars, 23-17, in Week 7.
The win moves the Giants to 6-1 under Brian Daboll, making him the first head coach to start his Giants career 6-1 since LeRoy Andrews in 1929. It marked the fourth consecutive victory for the Giants. The 6-1 start is their best record through seven games since 2008 when they began 11-1.
Here are five things we learned in the Week 7 win.
1. No quit in these Giants
Some teams seem to crumble when facing a deficit late in the game. Not the 2022 New York Giants, who have thrived with their backs on the wall. For the fourth time this season, the Giants overcame a fourth quarter deficit to win the game.
Brian Daboll's squad was down 17-13 going into the final quarter, but Daniel Jones led the offense on a 10-play, 79-yard touchdown drive to give them 20-17 lead with 5:31 remaining. After forcing a three-and-out on the following drive, the offense then moved 61 yards down the field on nine plays, taking another 3:25 off the clock, and finished it off with a Graham Gano field goal to extend the lead to six. While the Jaguars made it exciting at the end, the defense was able to stop Christian Kirk on the one-yard line to seal the victory.
"You know it's always on to the next week," Daboll said following the win. "I'm glad we won, but like I say every week, there's certain things to clean up, and this week is no exception. There were some good things we did. I thought offense got off to a fast start, did a good job of converting 3rd downs, did a good enough job in the red zone, took care of the ball defensively, got the ball out there when they were going into the red zone, had a critical 4th down stop. At critical moments that was good, but we gave up too many yards, we didn't capitalize in the red zone. Didn't finish the game we should have finished the game. There're always things to clean up."
"I think there's just a competitive spirit," added Daniel Jones about the team's perseverance. "There's a mental toughness to our group, and regardless of what's happened earlier in the game or regardless of the situation, we've got confidence that we're going to execute and find ways to win. Like I said, there's a lot of points in the game, a lot of plays that we would like to have back, to clean up, and hopefully make a couple more plays so we're not in that situation, but credit to Jacksonville. They're a good team, good defense, and they played well today."
View photos from the Giants' Week 7 game against the Jacksonville Jaguars.
2. DJ does it again
Daniel Jones has done everything the Giants have needed from him this season. Against the Jaguars, the fourth-year quarterback completed 19 of 30 passes for 202 yards, one touchdown and no interceptions, which earned him a passer rating of 94.0. However, the ground game is where Jones was able to make a huge impact
Jones gained a career-high 110 yards on the ground on just 11 carries, good for an average of 9.7 yards per carry, and scored an additional touchdown. He became the first Giants quarterback to rush for 100+ yards in a game since Frank Filchock in 1946, according to the Elias Sports Bureau. He had 50 rushing yards on the final two scoring drives alone.
"I think that was a big piece of it," Jones said about his rushing being a part of the game plan. "(Saquon Barkley) attracts a lot of attention, rightfully so, and then some things opened up off of it. I thought the offensive line did a great job controlling the line of scrimmage throughout the game and cleared some opportunities for us to make plays."
We are now seven games into the season, and Daniel Jones leads the NFL with five game-winning drives.
"We've got guys that want to be in that situation down the stretch," the quarterback said about the Giants' comebacks this year. "We've done it different ways, different points of the year, but ultimately, we found a way to make enough plays to win."
3. Saquon keeps rolling
Another game, another strong outing out of Saquon Barkley. The talented running back rushed the ball 24 times for 110 yards, an average of 4.6 yards per carry, and added four receptions for 25 yards. Barkley entered this game as the league's leader in total yards from scrimmage at 771. He has now added to the lead with his 135 total yards today. Barkley came up clutch when the Giants needed him most, as he gained 72 yards on the ground on the final two drives.
Barkley's 28 touches were the most he's had in a game since suffering a shoulder injury against the Green Bay Packers in Week 5. It's also the second-most touches he's had in a game all season (31 carries and two receptions against the Bears in Week 4). This was also the first time the Giants had two 100-yard rushers in the same game since Brandon Jacobs and Ahmad Bradshaw did it in Minnesota on Dec. 13, 2010.
"A lot of teams will come and do different things to make sure to slow down the run game, but when that happens, guys got to step up and make plays, which they've been doing all year," Barkley told the media. "DJ has been balling, Slay (wide receiver Darius Slayton) going up top, David (wide receiver David Sills V), Richie (wide receiver Richie James), all the guys, the tight ends, all those guys coming in and making plays when we need them. As that continues to happen, you soften up a little bit, you can get back to just getting downhill and trusting the run. You're able to do that when Kaf (offensive coordinator Mike Kafka) and Dabes (head coach Brian Daboll) and all the guys, the coaches don't give up on the run, especially when you're behind, having trust in them, continuing to trust it, and for us as players making it work."
4. DBs come up big
The Giants saw several defensive backs step up big in today's win. Safety Xavier McKinney had one of the biggest plays of the game towards the end of the first half. With the Jaguars driving deep into Giants territory, McKinney was able to punch the ball out of Jaguars running back Travis Etienne's hands. The ball bounced into the end zone, where Julian Love recovered it for a touchback. The Giants were then able to drive down the field for a Graham Gano field goal which gave the Giants a 13-11 lead heading into halftime. McKinney finished with three total tackles.
"It was just one-on-one situation, and it was kind of one of those things where I knew we needed a play," said McKinney. "[I] just did my best to try to hit the ball out. We've been practicing it in practice. [Giants Defensive Backs Coach Jerome Henderson] Rome has done a great job of just bringing us aside and kind of doing things like that of practicing on punching a ball out. We haven't gotten a lot of picks, so we're just trying to generate turnovers any way we can, and we knew they were loose with the ball, so for me, I just punched at the ball, got it out, and it was a big play for us. [Giants S Julian Love] J- Love got the ball back for us."
Speaking of Love, the other starting safety finished the game with nine tackles (five solo), which was tied for the most on the team. As mentioned above, Love recovered the fumble forced by McKinney and wisely stepped out of bounds in the end zone for a touchback instead of taking the ball across the goal line. But most importantly, the Giants' two young safeties combined for the game-winning tackle of Christian Kirk on the one-yard line, which preserved the win for Big Blue.
While the safeties made the splash plays, the starting cornerbacks also played well in Week 7. Fabian Moreau matched Love with nine tackles, seven of which were solo, and added a pass breakup. Adoree' Jackson registered seven tackles (six solo) and broke up two passes himself.
5. Injury updates; three ruled out
The Giants saw several starters go down with injuries, most of which came on the offensive side of the ball. Left guard Ben Bredeson suffered a knee injury in the first quarter and was quickly ruled out for the remainder of the game. Not long after, right tackle Evan Neal got rolled up on and hurt his knee. He too was ruled out almost immediately after. Rookie Joshua Ezeudu stepped in for Bredeson at left guard, while Tyre Phillips filled in for Neal at right tackle.
"We had a couple different personnel groups we couldn't get into," the head coach said about the injuries. "I thought Bobby [Offensive Line Coach Bobby Johnson] did a great job. Again, Phillips had to jump in and then Ezeudu, so again, young players that haven't played a lot of football, in this environment, in a close game. We'll go in there and see how it looks, but that's why we talk to all our players every week and I talk to you guys about it, whether it's 7-on-7 or one-on-one stuff. We've got to continue to develop the depth of our roster and the young players, and they've got to be ready to play when called upon."
A little while later, rookie tight end Daniel Bellinger got poked in the eye after making a catch. He was also ruled out rather quickly and was taken to a local hospital for further evaluation. After the game, Daboll said Bellinger's eye looked 'terrible', but the 22-year-old was back in the locker room with the team.
Cornerback Adoree' Jackson also briefly left the game to be evaluated for a concussion, but returned to the field.
Prior to the game, four defenders were ruled out due to injuries: cornerback Cor'Dale Flott (calf), safety Jason Pinnock (ankle), and outside linebackers Oshane Ximines (quad) and Azeez Ojulari, who was placed on injured reserve with a calf issue.