saquon barkley giants
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The Giants accomplished a lot during their Sunday Night Football victory over the Washington Commanders in Week 15. Quarterback Daniel Jones earned his first career win in prime time, and at 8-5-1, Big Blue’s playoff chances are looking good right now.

As New York has done virtually all year, the club found a way to win without lots of weapons on offense. Jones completed 21-of-32 passes for 160 yards and added another 35 on the ground. After a couple of rough games, running back Saquon Barkley stepped up by rushing for 87 yards and a touchdown on 18 carries.

Although Big Blue didn’t get into the red zone often, they capitalized while they were there. This theme has been going on all season. It’s also been the complete opposite of what the Giants have done in the red zone when looking at the recent past.

This is even more impressive when considering the sample New York has to work with. While that 62.5% touchdown rate is among the NFL’s top 10, the Giants have had just 40 total drives enter the red zone. That’s tied with the Indianapolis Colts for the 10th fewest in football, according to SportRadar.

Converting in the red zone hasn’t just been an issue for the Giants in 2020 and 2021, though. It’s been something that’s plagued the organization for the majority of the past decade. If we look all the way back to 2012, the only other time New York finished in the top 10 for red-zone touchdown percentage was in 2014. They finished seventh with a 59.0% success rate. New York also finished 25th or worse in this category on six occasions.

Here’s a quick look at how good (or bad) they’ve been in the red zone during this time:

  • 2012: 54.8% (15th)
  • 2013: 47.2% (30th)
  • 2014: 59.0% (7th)
  • 2015: 44.4% (T-29th)
  • 2016: 53.5% (19th)
  • 2017: 48.7% (T-25th)
  • 2018: 50.0% (T-27th)
  • 2019: 57.1% (16th)
  • 2020: 46.3% (31st)
  • 2021: 44.7% (32nd)

When trying to figure out how the Giants have made the most of their opportunities to be in their current situation, this is one of the reasons. We already know they haven’t made it into the red zone as often as many other teams in the league. But when they do actually get there, New York has had success at a rate we haven’t seen in more than a decade.

Matt Musico can be reached at [email protected] and you can follow him on Twitter: @mmusico8.

Matt Musico is an editor for ESNY. He’s been writing about baseball and the Mets for the past decade. His work has been featured on numberFire, MetsMerized Online, Bleacher Report, and Yahoo! Sports.