by Alexander George and Glenn Warciski
Coffee is tasting better this morning in Jacksonville.
With all the changes the Giants made, same results as last year.
- The offensive line is still a problem.
- The Giants have difficulty running the football.
- The Giants have difficulty scoring points.
- Eli Manning throws another pick six interception.
If Jacksonville did not commit costly penalties (11 penalties for 119 yards) , did not turn the ball over, and had star running back Leonard Fournette not hurt his hamstring, the game would have been over in the first half.
About a little more than halfway into the second quarter, Jacksonville Jaguars running back Leonard Fournette (9 ATT for 41 yards rushing & 3 REC for 14 yards receiving) left the game with a pulled hamstring. Back – up running back T.J. Yeldon (14 ATT for 51 rushing yards & 3 REC for 18 yards 1TD receiving) scored on a 1 yard touchdown pass, before halftime, thrown by Blake Bortles. This score, which increased the lead to ten points, was considered a turning point in a 20 – 15 victory over the New York Giants.
Blake Bortles (18 for 33, 176 yards 1TD, 1INT passing & 4 ATT for 42 yards rushing), engineered an effective 11 play opening drive for 59 yards which resulted in a Josh Lambo 39 yard field goal. Two other first half drives (15 plays for 54 yards & 5 plays for 57 yards) resulted in an additional 10 points. In the second half though, Bortles only threw for 53 yards, without scoring a touchdown pass, and at one point in the game did not convert a third down play in 6 attempts. Jaguars wide receivers Keelan Cole (3 REC for 54 yards) & DeDe Westbrook (5 REC for 51 yards) accounted for nearly 60% of the yardage completed. Westbrook provided key receptions of 20 and 17 yards in the same drive in which Yeldon scored extending the lead to 13 – 3 in the second quarter.
Outside of OBJ’s 11 receptions for 111 yards, the only offense for the Giants was rookie running back Saquon Barkley’s electrifying 68 yard touchdown run.
Tough physical defense, a solid running game, and capable players on both sides of the line are hallmarks of Tom Coughlin football. He beat the team who inexplicably made him a fall guy. Coughlin is smiling this morning in Jacksonville.
The Giants defense settled down in the second half. They did not allow any points. CB Janoris Jenkins interception in the first half killed a Jacksonville drive. Overall, compared to last year, the Giants defense limited the amount of big plays. Outside of Bortles 41 yard scamper and Cole’s 31 yard reception, the Giants defense improved in this area. As we wrote last year, the Giants were the worst team in the NFL in toxic differential.
OBJ: Odell Beckham Jr. caught 11 passes for 111 yards. He was all over the field making plays. Credit the Jaguars defense for not giving up the big play to number 13.
Takeaway Barkley’s 68 yard touchdown run, the Giants rushed for a total of FORTY-SIX yards.
Both teams were 4 for 13 on third downs.
Special teams: Quinn is back and the Giants screw up at the end. LSU stand out DJ Chark now with Jacksonville disrupted Giants returner Kaelin Clay. Clay in turn fumbled the ball and Jacksonville recovered. Game over. This snafu on special teams cost the Giants an opportunity to win the game.
Jacksonville’s Arby Jones’ deflection of an Eli Manning pass which landed in the hands of Myles Jack who took it to the house for a touchdown. This was the only touchdown the Jaguars scored in the second half. More importantly, Barkley scored his touchdown on the Giants ensuing drive. Per Jaguars LB Telvin Smith stated after the game, this was a huge turning point.