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Notes & Stats: Dane Belton steps in, forces 3 turnovers


EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. – Notes and statistics from the Giants' 26-25 loss to the Los Angeles Rams in MetLife Stadium:

*The Giants scored their last two touchdowns on an 80-yard pass from Tyrod Taylor to Darius Slayton and a 94-yard punt return by Gunner Olszewski. This was the 1,454th game in Giants history, including postseason games, and it was the first in which they had two touchdowns of 80 or more yards.

*The Giants had played 132 regular-season and three postseason games since their last punt return touchdown. Dwayne Harris scored on an 80-yard return vs. the Jets on Dec. 6, 2015.

*Olszewski's 94-yard return was the second longest in Giants history and the longest in 95 years. On Sept. 30, 1928, Al Youngblood scored on a 95-yard return in a season-opening road game against the Pottsville Maroons.

*The 80-yard touchdown pass was the Giants' longest since Eli Manning and Odell Beckham, Jr. hooked up for an 84-yard score at Miami on Dec. 14, 2015.

*It was the second-longest completion of Taylor's career. Playing for the Bills on Sept. 15, 2016, he threw an 84-yard touchdown pass to Marquise Goodwin against the Jets in Buffalo.

*Taylor started for the fourth time this season and completed 27 of 41 passes for 319 yards, the touchdown to Slayton, and one interception. He was sacked six times. It was the Giants' second 300-yard passing game of the season and first since Sept. 17, when Daniel Jones threw for 321 yards in a victory in Arizona.

*Taylor threw for more than 300 yards for the second time in his career. On Dec. 24, 2016, he finished with 329 yards for the Bills in a 34-31 loss to Miami.

*Taylor also led the Giants with 40 rushing yards on six carries, including a 31-yarder on the Giants final possession.

*Slayton, who caught a 69-yard touchdown pass from Taylor last week in Philadelphia, finished with four receptions for 106 yards. It was his fifth career 100-yard game and first since Oct. 11, 2020, when he had eight receptions for 129 yards at Dallas. Slayton's 100-yard game was the second by a Giants receiver this season; rookie Jalin Hyatt gained 109 yards on five receptions against New England on Nov. 26.

*Slayton is the first Giants receiver with touchdowns of 69+ in consecutive games since Dec. 6-14, 2015, when Beckham did it vs. the Jets (72 yards) and Miami (the 84-yarder).

*Wan'Dale Robinson scored the Giants' first touchdown on a 24-yard run with 13:03 remaining in the second quarter. It was the first rushing touchdown by a Giants wide receiver since Jan. 3, 2021, when Sterling Shepard scored on a 23-yard run vs. Dallas. Robinson's 24-yard score was the longest touchdown run by a Giants wideout since Jerrel Jernigan's 49-yarder vs. Washington on Dec. 29, 2013.

*Entering Sunday's game, 15 different wide receivers had rushed for touchdowns in the NFL this season.

*Robinson scored the Giants' longest regular season rushing touchdown since Dec. 24, 2022, when Saquon Barkley ran 27 yards for a touchdown in Minnesota. Barkley also scored on a 28-yard run in the Giants' NFC wild card victory against the Vikings on Jan. 15.

*Barkley rushed for 39 yards on 12 carries and caught three passes for 19 yards.

*In addition to scoring on an 80-yard touchdown pass, the Giants allowed an 80-yard completion from Matthew Stafford to rookie Puka Nacua, who was stopped at the 2-yard line. The Rams scored on the next play. The 80-yard pass was the longest play allowed by the Giants since Dec. 10, 2017, when Dallas' Dak Prescott threw an 81-yard touchdown pass to running back Rod Smith. It was the longest scrimmage play that was not a touchdown allowed by the Giants since Sept. 4, 1994, when Philadelphia's Randall Cunnigham completed a 93-yard pass to Herschel Walker.

*This was the first Giants game in which both teams had completions of at least 80 yards since Dec. 26, 2010, in Green Bay. Manning threw an 85-yard touchdown pass to Mario Manningham, and Aaron Rodgers countered with an 80-yarder to Jordy Nelson.

*Dane Belton stepped in at safety when Jason Pinnock left the game with a foot injury and intercepted two Matthew Stafford passes and recovered a Demarcus Robinson fumble that was forced by Adoree' Jackson.

*Belton joined linebacker Micah McFadden as Giants defenders with an interception and fumble recovery in the same game; McFadden did it at Buffalo on Oct. 15.

*Belton's picks were his first since the 2022 season finale in Philadelphia and increased his career total to four.

*Belton is the first Giants player with two interceptions in a game since Xaiver McKinney had two vs. Las Vegas on Nov. 7, 2021. He is the first Giant with two picks and a fumble recovery since Stevie Brown on Oct. 28, 2012, at Dallas.

*Jackson's forced fumble was his first of the season, fifth of his career (including three as a rookie in 2017), and first since Oct. 30, 2022, at Seattle.

*Linebacker Bobby Okereke led the Giants with 10 tackles (two solo), including his first 1.5 sacks of the season, a career high. He recorded his first sack when he took down Stafford for a 6-yard loss in the second quarter. It was first sack since Sept. 26, 2021, for Indianapolis at Tennessee.

*Isaiah Simmons started at inside linebacker in place of McFadden, and had four tackles, including a 10-yard sack.

*Jihad Ward had a full sack and Rakeem Nunez-Roches had a half-sack.

*The teams combined to miss three extra points, two by the Rams' Lucas Havrisik and one by Mason Crosby of the Giants. Crosby kicked field goals of 31 and 32 yards but was short and wide left on a 54-yard attempt with 30 seconds remaining in the game.

*Nick McCloud started at right cornerback for Deonte Banks, who missed his first game of the year with a shoulder injury. McCloud had eight tackles (six solo) and one forced fumble. The start was McCloud's second of the season; he also started on Nov. 12 in Dallas. He started eight games for the Giants in 2022.

*Pinnock, who had missed only six defensive snaps in the first 15 games, hurt his foot with 4:51 remaining in the first quarter. He was declared out of the game in the second quarter.

*Right tackle Tyre Phillips was carted off with an apparent serious right knee injury with 13:47 remaining in the fourth quarter. Phillips first hurt his left knee with 7:57 left in the first quarter, walked off the field and was replaced by Matt Peart, but returned at the start of the next series.

*This was the Giants' first one-point loss since a 22-21 defeat in Philadelphia on Oct. 22, 2020.

*The Giants' 389 yards of total offense was their second-highest total of the season. They gained 439 yards at Arizona on Sept. 17.

*Brian Daboll challenged two Los Angeles pass completions less than a minute apart in the first quarter – and both calls were overturned.

The first was a 13-yard reception by Demarcus Robinson with 9:27 remaining in the quarter. On second-and-11, a diving Robinson reached out with his right hand to grab the pass thrown by Stafford. But after review, referee Tra Blake announced the call on the field was reversed and the pass was incomplete.

Two plays later, on fourth-and-three, Stafford threw a low strike to rookie Nacua, who was originally credited with a 4-yard catch for a Rams first down. But Daboll again threw the challenge flag, and after review Blake announced the pass was incomplete and the call was reversed with 8:40 remaining in the quarter.

Daboll is 4-3 this season and 7-4 in two years as the Giants coach on replay challenges.

*The Rams' Kyren Williams rushed for three touchdowns, on runs of four, two and 28 yards. He is the first Giants opponent to rush for three touchdowns since Detroit's Jamaal Williams did it on Nov. 20, 2022.

*Stafford completed 24 of 34 passes for 317 yards, the third Giants opponent to throw for more than 300 yards this season. The others were San Francisco's Brock Purdy (310 yards on Sept. 21) and Miami's Tua Tagovailoa (308 yards on Oct. 8).

*Nacua gained 118 yards on five catches and was the seventh Giants opponent this season with at least 100 receiving yards, joining Deebo Samuel, Tyreek Hill, Stefon Diggs, Garrett Wilson, Ceedee Lamb and Brandin Cooks.

*The Giants' inactive players included cornerback Deonte Banks, the 2023 first-round draft choice who is sidelined with a shoulder injury he suffered last week in Philadelphia. He started each of the first 15 games as rookie. Also inactive were wide receiver Parris Campbell, safety Gervarrius Owens, center Sean Harlow, linebacker Benton Whitley, defensive tackle Timmy Horne and wide receiver Dennis Houston.

View photos from the Giants' Week 17 matchup against the Los Angeles Rams.

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