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Orleans Darkwa wins Week 17 FedEx Ground Award


RB Orleans Darkwa has won the FedEx Ground Player of the Week award for his performance in Week 17:

Orleans Darkwa saved his best game of the season for the Giants final contest of 2017, an 18-10 home win over the Washington Redskins.

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For his performance, Darkwa, the fourth-year running back out of Tulane University, has been voted the FedEx Ground Player of the Week. Along with the award, FedEx will donate $2,000 to the USO in Darkwa's name through FedEx Cares.

Darkwa, who rushed for a career-high 154 yards on 20 carries and a touchdown, was joined by New England's Dion Lewis (26 carries, 93 yards, one touchdown), and Minnesota's Latavius Murray (20 carries, 111 yards, two touchdowns) as the Week 17 nominees.

Nearly half of Darkwa's 154 yards came on the second play of the game. Facing second-and-10 from their own 25, Darkwa took a handoff from Eli Manning and found a crease between left guard John Jerry and right tackle Adam Bisnowaty. With room to run, Darkwa burst through the hole for a 75-yard touchdown, the longest of his NFL career.

"It was the gap speed," Darkwa said after Sunday's game. "Pulled. Made a nice little block once we got out there it was secondary. Something I've been telling you all I've been trying to focus on making the finishes in the secondary all year…I tried to put on the burners, so I was able to get out there and everybody did their part. That was really it. Everybody made that play."

The 154 rushing yards easily surpassed Darkwa's previous career high of 117, which he totaled in the Giants' Week 5 victory over the Broncos.

Sunday's strong performance capped of a career season for Darkwa. He finished with career highs in carries (171), rushing yards (751), yards per carry (4.4) and touchdowns (5).

"It feels great," Darkwa said. "That's what I was saying as far as this team and the fight that we had, especially heading into the New Year. Kind of seems like a story you write in a book just to end this game with a win. It's definitely great and something to look forward to going into 2018."

Darkwa wasn't the only Giants running back to stuff the stat sheet on Sunday. Rookie Wayne Gallman added 89 yards on 15 carries, both career highs. In total, the Giants 260 rushing yards against the Redskins were their highest total since Dec. 21, 2008, when they ran for 301 yards in an overtime victory against Carolina.

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