EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. – Four quarterbacks are listed among the NFL's top 40 rushers this season. The Giants have faced two of them this month. On Sunday, they will try to restrain a third, and he happens to be the league's reigning MVP and the most productive runner at his position.
Lamar Jackson is 12th in the NFL and leads the Baltimore Ravens with 828 yards and seven touchdowns on the ground. In his breakout 2019 season, he rushed for 1,206 yards and seven scores. Jackson is the first quarterback in NFL history with at least 800 rushing yards in consecutive seasons.
The Giants' defense is getting accustomed to playing against dual-threat quarterbacks. On Dec. 6, Russell Wilson ran for 45 yards on seven carries, the longest a 19-yarder, in the Giants' 17-12 victory in Seattle. Wilson is currently 40th in the league with 475 rushing yards.
One week after facing Wilson, the Giants went up against Arizona's Kyler Murray, who ran for 47 yards on 12 attempts, none longer than 12 yards. Murray averaged 3.6 yards a carry vs. the Giants, well below his season average of 6.0 yards.
Murray is tied with New England's Cam Newton for the league lead among quarterbacks with 11 rushing touchdowns, but like Wilson, did not score on the ground vs. the Giants. Murray's 741 yards place him 18th in the NFL.
Jackson has twice exceeded 100 yards in a game this year, including a season-high 124 against the Browns eight days ago. He averages 6.1 yards a carry. Jackson has rushed for four touchdowns in the last three games.
The Giants will present Jackson, as well as running backs Gus Edwards and rookie J.K. Dobbins, with one of the NFL's best run defenses. They are sixth in both yards allowed per game (101.8) and per carry (3.9), their best ranking and lowest average since 2016, when they tied for third by giving up 88.6 yards a game on the ground. That was the only season between 2011 and 2019 in which the Giants ranked higher than 14th and allowed fewer than 108.9 rushing yards a game.
Opposing teams have rushed for less than 100 yards in half of the Giants' 14 games. Only one individual runner, Pittsburgh's Benny Snell, Jr. on opening night, has exceeded the century mark. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, the Giants are one of 10 teams to allow one or less 100-yard rushers this season, including four with zero. Their 13 consecutive games not allowing one is the NFL's fifth-longest current streak.
The Giants will do all they can to keep Jackson in line with the other outstanding running quarterbacks they've faced this month.
*The Giants can win the division with victories in their final two games and Washington loses at least once.
*Thursday will be the ninth anniversary of Victor Cruz catching a short pass from Eli Manning and turning it into 99-yard touchdown against the Jets. It is still the NFL's most recent 99-yard touchdown pass. There has been only 99-yard play from scrimmage since then, Derrick Henry's touchdown run against Jacksonville two years ago.
*On Sunday night, Cleveland scored touchdowns to cap a pair of 95-yard drives. It was the first time the Giants allowed two touchdown drives of 90+ yards in the same game since Dec. 5, 2004, when Washington had possessions that covered 93 and 91 yards.
*Baker Mayfield completed 84.3% of his passes (27 of 32) Sunday, the highest ever by a Giants opponent with at least 25 attempts. The previous high was 82.1% by Atlanta's Matt Ryan on Dec. 16, 2012 (23 of 28).
*The Browns converted nine of 13 third-down opportunities Sunday, a 69% success rate that was the highest by a Giants opponent with at least that many chances Jan. 3, 2016, when Philadelphia converted 10 of 13 third downs (76.9%) in Tom Coughlin's final game as head coach.
*It's safe to say the Giants are looking to begin games more productively. In their last three games, they scored zero, zero and three first-half points, the first time they scored three or fewer points in the first half in three consecutive games since Nov. 26-Dec. 12, 1992.
*The Giants' 14 first downs on Sunday gave them 37 this month, their lowest three-game total since Dec. 5-18, 2004, when they had 36 - also in their first three December games – against Washington, Baltimore and Pittsburgh.
*The Giants have finished with fewer than 20 first downs in four consecutive games, their longest such streak since a seven-gamer from Oct. 28-Dec. 16, 2018.
*The Giants had just two accepted penalties in each of the last two games, the first time that's happened since Dec. 9-15, 2001. They last totaled four or fewer penalties over a two-game span on Nov. 10-17, 2013.
*Balanced scoring: The Giants have scored 123 points in the first half and 121 in the second. Their opponents have scored 156 points in the first half and 155 in the second.
*The Giants have 34 sacks this season and need two to match their 2019 total of 36. They have at least one sack in 18 consecutive games.
*The Giants have had seven offensive possessions this season in which they've held the ball for more than 6½ minutes. They scored a touchdown on just one of them, on a series that took 7:50 in Philadelphia. The other long possessions have ended in three interceptions, two field goals and once turning over the ball on downs.
*Blake Martinez's 128 total tackles tie him with Chicago' Roquan Smith for fourth in the NFL.
*Pro Bowler James Bradberry is tied with Miami's Xavien Howard for second in the league with 17 passes defensed, one behind Tampa Bay's Carlton Davis.
*The Giants' fake field goal Sunday – which ended unsuccessfully when Riley Dixon threw an incomplete pass in the end zone to Nick Gates – was their first since Nov. 5, 2006 vs. Houston. On the first series of the third quarter, the Giants faced a fourth-and-nine when Jay Feely came on to try what would have been a 37-yard field goal. But Jeff Feagles mishandled the snap as Feely stopped his kicking motion before he reached the ball. Feagles threw a pass to Feely, who had run to his left and was quickly hit by C.C. Brown. The officials ruled an incomplete pass, a call that was challenged by Houston coach Gary Kubiak (who hoped to pick up additional yardage on a completion). After review, Bill Vinovich said Feely did not perform a football act and upheld the call on the field.
The Giants' most recent successful fake field goal is believed to have occurred on Oct. 8, 1989, when Jeff Hostetler threw a 22-yard touchdown pass to Carl Banks in Philadelphia.
*The game against Cleveland Sunday night was the 1,400th in Giants history, including postseason games. They are 725-642-33, including 402-299-16 at home.
View rare photos of the all-time history between the New York Giants and Baltimore Ravens.