By Paul Dottino
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Rock bottom? Maybe so, although the way things have gone for the Giants this season…
Josh Scobee’s 43-yard field goal with 28 seconds left capped a most improbable comeback as the host Jacksonville Jaguars knocked off the Giants, 25-24.
The Giants (3-9) have lost seven in a row, their longest losing streak since they dropped eight straight to close the 2003 season in coach Jim Fassel’s last year.
A missed field goal and two fumbles that were returned for Jacksonville touchdowns were buried within a 25-0 barrage that started in the final minutes of the first half.
Offense: WR Odell Beckham Jr. — He was virtually unstoppable again, catching seven passes on eight targets. But the Giants only threw one deep pass to him, and it was an overthrown go-route down the right sideline when he was well-covered. Otherwise, he was able to break free on slants and curls all day and finished with 90 yards.
Defense: LB Devon Kennard — The Giants increased their use of him as part of their pressure package, and it worked very well. The rookie earned his first two NFL sacks and had another tackle for a loss.
Special Teams: P Steve Weatherford — You have to believe he loved the perfect weather and field conditions. He averaged 51.8 yards (the third time over 50 this season) with a season-best 47.8 net on five punts.
Offense: RB Rashad Jennings, TE Larry Donnell — They were two of the biggest culprits on the two fumbles that Jacksonville converted into touchdowns. Jennings — who ran very hard on his 26 carries — finished with 91 yards and two touchdowns. But he tried to pick up Eli Manning’s fumble to avoid a safety in his own end zone; instead, he had the ball knocked away and LB Geno Hayes fell on it for a touchdown that brought Jacksonville within 21-10 with 11:13 left in the third quarter.
With 13:09 left in the game, Donnell got upended and flipped on a short pass and dropped the ball before hitting the ground. DB Aaron Colvin picked it up and raced 41 yards down the sideline for a TD to put the Jaguars up 22-21.
Defense: DE Jason Pierre-Paul — He got caught biting inside on two read-option runs by Blake Bortles on the winning drive. On first down at the Jaguars’ 49 with 2:03 left, Bortles scooted around the left side for 11.
With 1:27 left, Bortles scooted around the left side for a 20-yard pickup on second-and-15, although it appeared he got help from LT Luke Joeckel, who did not get called for holding OLB Spencer Paysinger. (He was in position to make the play.)
Special Teams: PK Josh Brown — He was 10-for-10 this season before his 43-yard field-goal attempt from the right hash mark went higher than the right upright and was ruled wide by a sliver. The Giants needed the points to help stop Jacksonville’s momentum. It was 21-10 with 4:54 left in the third quarter, and the Jags were gaining steam.
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