As the Giants prepared for a Week 7 matchup against the Jaguars, the game plan seemed simple. With a top rushing defense and a secondary susceptible to the pass, it looked like New York would have to work through the air more.
That’s exactly how Big Blue approached its opening possession on Sunday. On a 75-yard drive, there was only one designed rushing play for Saquon Barkley, and a 14-yard scamper for Daniel Jones once the original play broke down. New York marched down the field through the air other than that.
Jones went 6-of-7 for 65 yards, including a 32-yard touchdown pass to Darius Slayton to immediately get the Giants on the board. This ended up being a back-and-forth affair throughout most of the afternoon. New York eventually found a way to break through the Jags’ tough rushing defense.
Barkley finished with 110 yards on 24 carries despite having 18 yards at halftime. It was his third performance of 100-plus yards on the ground in 2022, bringing his total for the year to 726. That’s already surpassed last year’s total (593 yards) while carrying the ball 19 fewer times.
The X-Factor here is Jones, though. His 202 passing yards were the second time he’s surpassed the 200-yard mark this season. The 25-year-old has been making things happen with his feet all year, and Week 7 was another example of that. Jones racked up 107 rushing yards off just 11 attempts. It’s the third time this season he’s rushed for more than 65 yards. This was also the first time he got himself over the century mark.
If you’re wondering, “Man, when was the last time the Giants had two dudes rush for more than 100 yards in the same game?” The answer is it’s been a while.
This hasn’t happened since 2010 against the Minnesota Vikings, to be exact. Brandon Jacobs rushed for 116 yards, and Ahmad Bradshaw ran for 103.
Overall, this win wasn’t pretty for the Giants. But they did enough to come out on top and mount yet another fourth-quarter comeback. They’re also the first team in NFL history to have its first seven games all decided by one possession. With a margin of error that small, it could’ve been very easy to be 1-6 as it is to be 6-1.
But once again, head coach Brian Daboll’s squad found a way to win instead of finding a way to lose. And even though it seemed unlikely that New York would run the ball effectively, they stuffed the ball down Jacksonville’s throat anyway.