The New York Giants earned another come-from-behind victory on Sunday over the Jacksonville Jaguars. The 23-17 win was turbulent at times and downright nail-biting at others. The Giants channeled Super Bowl XXXIV on the final play as cornerback Fabian Moreau tackled wide receiver Christian Kirk at the 1-yard line to end the game and secure the Giants' victory.
The Giants set a season-high mark in yards with 436, as quarterback Daniel Jones threw for 202 yards and rushed for 107. Running back Saquon Barkley also went north of the century mark with 110 yards on 24 carries.
New York continued to display resilience in the face of late-game pressure. Here are the five plays, or sequence of plays, that helped Big Blue earn their sixth win in seven games.
Play 1: Kevin Dyson and Mike Jones?
This game had quite the palpitating ending, as Fabian Moreau collided with Christian Kirk at the 1-yard line to stop him from scoring a touchdown on the final play.
Trevor Lawrence and the Jaguars drove down the field against the Giants with the help of several dubious penalty calls. Adoree’ Jackson had an excellent pass defended in the back corner of the end zone on first-and-10. Lawrence threw the second-and-10 pass out of bounds with the Giants in good coverage to set up the third-and-10 with only :07 to go. There were plenty of critical moments throughout this game, but there were none as fraught with anxiety as the final play.
Play(s) 2: Opportunistic defense
The Giants' defense was far from perfect. It was gashed on the ground and surrendered 114 rushing yards to second-year running back Travis Etienne. However, the young running back had a costly mistake after an eight-play, 76-yard drive that ended with a Xavier McKinney strip of Etienne.
Jacksonville had a one-point lead and was about to possibly add another touchdown. The defense was splintering, and the fumble was just what they needed to sway momentum back toward the Giants, who kicked a field goal to take the lead before half-time.
The Giants made two huge stops when Jacksonville only needed one yard to gain. The Jaguars were currently on a 12-play, 60-yard drive when Kirk was stopped for five yards on second-and-6. Here are the following two plays:
The Giants came flying off the edge well to stop both plays; linebacker Tae Crowder had a fantastic stop on third down to allow the Giants to play true team defense to halt Lawrence’s quarterback sneak.
This was the true momentum swing that New York needed. After this Jacksonville turnover on downs, the Giants went on a 10-play, 79-yard drive that ended with a Daniel Jones rushing touchdown.
Play(s) 3: Run Giants...RUN!
Despite falling behind and being in catch-up mode, the Giants did not stray from their strength of running the football. We must relish the confidence and execution of the Giants' coaching and players.
20+ yard run for Daniel Jones and *almost* breaks it! Most athletic klutz i've ever seen pic.twitter.com/XLn5wvyfWt— Justin Penik (@JustinPenik) October 23, 2022
The Giants have a mobile quarterback who is often overlooked by backside pursuit defenders, and Jones consistently makes opposing defenses pay for their lack of discipline. The lack of focus on Jones is understandable when the defense sees what Barkley can do with the football in his hands.
The final play included above is a 15-yard rush on second-and-8 during the Giants' final drive; a well-designed and called naked bootleg that has provided the Giants’ offense with so many big plays this season.
Play 4: Hot-start!
The 2022 Giants were gaining a reputation for starting slowly on offense before executing elite adjustments throughout games. However, the Giants' offense started Sunday with a nine-play, 75-yard drive that ended with a 32-yard touchdown pass to Darius Slayton.
Mike Kafka and Brian Daboll devised an excellent opening script that featured several RPOs and a lot of rookie wide receiver Wan’Dale Robinson. The Giants only had one true-designed run on the play that went for -4 yards. Daniel Jones led the drive with decisive decision-making based on post-snap reactions by Jacksonville’s defense; he also threw a beautiful pass for the touchdown.
Play 5: Adoree’ Jackson vs. Evan Engram
There were several important plays that could have constituted this spot. Barkley stepping out of bounds was easily one of them, but I ultimately went with a play from Adoree’ Jackson, who is easily trending toward being one of the better cover cornerbacks in the NFL.
It’s a huge spot in the game; after the Giants took a three point lead, Jacksonville went three-and-out after a false start penalty. There’s less than five minutes left in the game, and the Giants are the team on the road. Doug Pederson calls up a BUNCH whip route from the No. 1 receiving option, Evan Engram.
Jackson is so patient to not overreact to the initial inside stem; he stays square and transitions so smoothly to the move outside while playing through the catch point to force the punt. The Giants go on and kick another field goal to go up by six, which proved to be the difference in this close game.