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Notes & Stats: Defense heats up before bye week

XAVIER-MCKINNEY

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. – Notes and statistics from the Giants' 23-16 victory against the Las Vegas Raiders:

*The Giants won for the second time in three weeks and improved to 3-6 entering their bye week.

*The Giants, who defeated Carolina two weeks ago, 25-3, have won consecutive home games for the first time since Nov. 18 and Dec. 2, 2018, against Tampa Bay and Chicago.

*The Giants trailed at halftime, 13-10. This was their first victory in a game in which they were behind after two quarters since Dec. 6, 2020, when they faced a 5-0 deficit in Seattle but rallied to win, 17-12. The Giants had lost their previous eight games when trailing at halftime. The Giants had been 1-15 under Joe Judge when trailing at halftime.

*The Giants were outgained, 403-235; out passed, 286-96; and had eight fewer first downs (24-16).

*The Giants' 96 net passing yards were their fewest since they threw for only 81 yards in a loss to Arizona on Dec. 13, 2020. It was their lowest passing yardage total in a victory since they threw for 94 yards in a 38-21 win in Buffalo on Dec. 23, 2007.

*Conversely, the Giants' 149 rushing yards was their second-highest total of the season. They ran for 163 yards at Washington on Sept. 16.

*The Giants' 31 rushing attempts tied the season-high they set two weeks ago against the Panthers.

*The Giants' 16 first downs were their lowest total since they had 14 vs. Cleveland on Dec. 20, 2020, and their fewest in a victory since they had 13 at Seattle two weeks before that.

*The Giants converted a season-high-tying 50% of their third-down opportunities (six of 12). They also did it in two other home games, against Denver and Atlanta.

*The Giants did not allow a second-half touchdown for the third consecutive game.

*The Giants have one of the NFL's best records in a game prior to a regular-season bye:

  • Seattle Seahawks 27-6 (.818)
  • Minnesota Vikings 23-10 (.697)
  • New Orleans Saints 23-10 (.697)
  • Giants 22-11 (.667)
  • Dallas Cowboys 22-11 (.667)

*The Giants are 15-10 since 1990 when their opponents are coming off a bye and the Giants are not.

*The Giants are 34-36 in games following a Monday night game, including 15-15 since 2000.

*The Giants took the opening kickoff and drove 75 yards in seven plays, the last a 30-yard touchdown pass from Daniel Jones to Evan Engram, who outjumped safety Johnathan Abram for the ball just 4:14 into the game. The touchdown was the Giants' second on an opening offensive possession this season. On Sept. 16 in Washington, they scored on Jones' six-yard touchdown run with 7:25 elapsed. The Giants are 4-2 under Judge when scoring a touchdown on their first possession.

*The Raiders immediately matched Engram's score on a two-yard touchdown pass from Derek Carr to Hunter Renfrow, the first time this season the Giants surrendered a first-possession touchdown. The last Giants opponent to score on their first drive was Baltimore on Dec. 20, 2020, when Lamar Jackson threw a 15-yard touchdown pass to Marquise Brown. Under Judge, the Giants are 1-4 in games in which the opposing team scores a touchdown on its opening possession.

*This was the first Giants game in which both teams scored touchdowns on their opening possession since Dec. 22, 2019, in Washington. The Giants scored first on Jones' 23-yard touchdown pass to Sterling Shepard. Washington responded with a 10-yard scoring throw from Dwayne Haskins to Cam Sims.

*When Daniel Carlson kicked a 32-yard field goal with six seconds remaining in the second quarter, the Raiders became the seventh opponent to score against the Giants in the final 1:33 of the first half and sixth in the final 36 seconds.

*Daniel Jones completed 15 of 20 passes for 110 yards, the lowest total of his 35 career starts. Only three of his completions were to wide receivers – two for 28 yards to Kenny Golladay and one for nine yards to Kadarius Toney.

*Jones tied his career-high by completing 75% percent of his passes. He also hit 75% of his throws (21 of 28) in a victory vs. Philadelphia on Nov. 15, 2020 – also the game prior to the Giants' bye.

*Jones completed all nine of his passes in the first half. He was the first Giants quarterback to complete all of his first-half pass attempts with at least five throws since Oct. 10, 1993, when Phil Simms was nine-for-nine for 101 yards and two touchdowns in a 41-7 victory in Washington.

View photos from the New York Giants' Week 9 matchup against the Las Vegas Raiders.

*The nine straight completions tied Jones' career-high, which he had achieved three times previously: Sept. 29, 2019, vs. Washington; Oct. 27, 2019, at Detroit; and last Monday night in Kansas City. His 10th throw was an incompletion to tight end, Kyle Rudolph.

*Jones did not throw an interception, but he did lose a fumble.

*With Saquon Barkley sidelined with an ankle injury for a fourth consecutive game, Devontae Booker led the Giants with 21 carries for a career-high 99 yards. His previous best was 83 yards for Denver against Houston on Oct. 24, 2016, in his rookie season. Booker had a career-high 24-carry game twice that season, Nov. 13 at New Orleans and Nov. 27 vs. Kansas City.

*Booker also caught three passes for 23 yards for a total of 122 scrimmage yards. he had a career-best 130 yards from scrimmage on Monday in Kansas City.

*When Booker left the game with a hip injury in the fourth quarter, Eli Penny replaced him and capped off a five-carry, 35-yard game. It was the third-highest rushing total of his career and his most yards running the ball since he had 39 for Arizona at Seattle on Dec. 17, 2017.

*Toney was sacked for a six-yard loss by fellow rookie Nate Hobbs. He was the first Giants receiver to get sacked since Oct. 9, 2016, when Odell Beckham, Jr. was tackled by Micah Hyde attempting to pass in Green Bay – and also lost six yards.

*Rudolph led the Giants with a season-high four receptions for 20 yards. Engram had three catches for 38 yards. Engram, who scored on a five-yard catch against the Chiefs, has touchdowns in consecutive games in the same season for the first time since reaching the end zone in four consecutive games from Oct. 15-Nov. 12, 2017, in his rookie year.

*Safety Xavier McKinney scored the Giants' second touchdown when he intercepted a Carr pass intended for Renfrow and returned it 41 yards with just 1:32 elapsed in the third quarter. It was the first touchdown of McKinney's career and the Giants' first defensive touchdown of the season.

Their most recent score by a defensive player was Tae Crowder's game-winning 43-yard fumble return against Washington on Oct. 18, 2020. Their last interception return touchdown was a 46-yarder by linebacker Kyler Fackrell at Dallas on Oct. 11, 2020.

*McKinney also picked off a Carr pass with 5:12 remaining in the third quarter. It was his team-high fourth interception, one more than James Bradberry.

*McKinney intercepted two passes against the Rams on Oct. 17. He is the first Giants player with a pair of two-interception games in a single season since Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie in 2016.

*The Giants clinched the game with a third takeaway on the Raiders' final offensive play when Quincy Roche sacked Carr for a seven-yard loss and forced a fumble that was recovered by Leonard Williams with 37 seconds remaining.

*It was the Giants' only sack of the game and the first sack and forced fumble of Roche's career, in his sixth game. Williams picked up his second career fumble recovery.

*The Giants and Indianapolis Colts are the only teams with a takeaway in every game this season.

*Safety Logan Ryan and linebacker Tae Crowder led the Giants with nine tackles apiece. Ryan had six solo tackles and Crowder had five unassisted stops.

*Graham Gano kicked field goals of 35, 32, and 38 yards and has made 19 of 21 attempts this season.

*On their second third-quarter possession, the Raiders drove 85 yards to a field goal while holding the ball for 15 plays and 8:08. The 15 plays tied for most against the Giants on one possession this season; Atlanta also had a 15-play field goal drive on Sept. 26.

*Tight end Kaden Smith left the game to be evaluated for a possible concussion.

*Pharoh Cooper, elevated off the practice squad yesterday, returned three kickoffs for 45 yards and two punts for 26 yards in his Giants debut.

*Outside linebacker Elerson Smith, the Giants' fourth-round draft choice, made his NFL debut but did not record a statistic. All six of the Giants' 2021 draft choices have now played in a regular-season game.

*Defensive back J.R. Reed had an assisted special teams tackle in his Giants debut.

*The Giants' inactive players were running back Saquon Barkley (ankle), wide receiver Sterling Shepard (quad), linebackers Lorenzo Carter (ankle) and Oshane Ximines, and safety Nate Ebner (ankle).

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