It’s not often a 60-yard kick return can be overshadowed. But that’s what happens when a teammate racks up 227 return yards, including a 97-yard touchdown.
Welcome to Jerrel Jernigan’s world.
After David Wilson already tore off three returns of 50-plus yards, Jernigan ripped off his own chunk late in third quarter that set up Eli Manning and the offense with the ball at New Orleans’ 25. The long return came at a time when the Saints had clawed back to make it a one-possession game. Victor Cruz later scored on the ensuing possession to swing the momentum back.
“We kind of knew, the coach kind of knew, that they were going to kick it short because they didn’t want to kick it to David anymore,” Jernigan said. “So coach had already told me that they were going to kick it short and to scoot up. So I was expecting it anyway, and when it came, my kickoff return team did a good job of blocking and they got on their man early because it was a short kick. I had pretty much nothing to do but hit the hole. It was a big hole right there. Just hit it and run. But the bad part on me is I let the kicker catch me.”
Jernigan was part of a tweak in the return game last week against New Orleans that placed him as the off-returner to Wilson. The Giants have used multiple combinations and formations back there, but always with Wilson as the primary returner.
“It was a good switch-up because [Thomas Morstead] was so used to kicking indoors,” Jernigan said of the Saints’ kickoff man. “Coach didn’t want to have any mishit or him try to kick the ball away from David. So he wanted me back there just in case. I’m just doing the best I can do back there with getting those off-balls and blocking for David back there.”
Jernigan could now see more time back there with Wilson’s growing and needed role on offense. But all parties were coy on what to expect Sunday. All special teams coordinator Tom Quinn would say was that the team always has “two or three guys ready” and that Wilson is always part of the plan.
Quinn was also asked if it becomes a game of cat-and-mouse with teams trying to avoid the explosive returner.
“We’ve talked about that and we have adjustments ready,” Quinn said. “But I think teams are paid to do their job in this league and they’re going to do it to the best of their ability. They’re going to kick it deep and we have to block because Atlanta’s really good on kickoff coverage. That could happen, we have to have some adjustments ready, but I think they’ll kick and cover it.”
Tags: David Wilson, Jerrel Jernigan
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Will 327 all-purpose yards and three total touchdowns be enough to name David Wilson the Pepsi Rookie of the Week? You can help decide by voting for the Giants’ first-round draft pick at NFL.com/rookies beginning Tuesday at 9 A.M. ET and ending on Friday at 3 P.M. ET.
» Cleveland Browns WR Travis Benjamin scored on a 93-yard punt return in the second quarter as the Browns beat the Kansas Chiefs 30-7.
» Philadelphia Eagles QB Nick Foles completed 32 of 51 passes for 381 yards and two touchdowns in the Eagles’ 23-21 win over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
» Washington Redskins RB Alfred Morris rushed for 122 yards on 23 carries and scored one touchdown in the Redskins’ 31-28 overtime win against the Baltimore Ravens.
» Minnesota Vikings S Harrison Smith recorded six total tackles and one interception which he returned 56 yards for a touchdown in the Vikings’ 21-14 win over the Chicago Bears.
» New York Giants RB David Wilson gained 100 yards on 13 carries and scored two touchdowns on the ground. He also accounted for 227 kick-return yards, including a 97-yard touchdown return as the Giants beat the New Orleans Saints 52-27.
After the regular season, five players will be nominated for Pepsi MAX NFL Rookie of the Year honors. Fans can vote for the winner on NFL.com/rookies throughout the month of January. The Pepsi MAX NFL Rookie of the Year will be announced at the second annual “NFL Honors” awards show in New Orleans on Saturday, February 2, the night before Super Bowl XLVII.
Tags: David Wilson
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Spearheaded by former Giants linebacker — and current radio and TV analyst — Carl Banks, a debate began to brew last night following David Wilson’s breakout performance in the 52-27 victory over the Saints.
After the rookie became the first player in NFL history with at least 200 kickoff return yards and 100 rushing yards in the same game, the question quickly turned to “What should Wilson’s nickname be?”
The frontrunners appear to be “Flip” or “Turbo,” which got us at Giants.com wanting to hear your thoughts on the issue. Vote below and let us know!
Tags: David Wilson
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Following the Giants’ 52-27 victory over the New Orleans Saints, it’s time to vote for the Subway “Extra Effort” Player of the Game. Here are the three nominees and their performances:
22/35, 259 YDS, 4 TD, 2 INT
WR Victor Cruz
8 REC, 121 YDS, 1 TD, surpassed 1,000 yards for the second straight season (1,004).
RB/KR David Wilson
13 ATT, 100 YDS, 2 Rush TDs, 4 KOR, 56.8 AVG, 97-YD Return TD
Tags: David Wilson, Eli Manning, Victor Cruz
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14:27 — TOUCHDOWN GIANTS. Eli Manning hits Victor Cruz for a 10-yard score. XP is good. NEW YORK 42, NEW ORLEANS 27 (Drive: 5 plays, 25 yards in 2:31)
13:32 — Giants unsuccessfully challenge the completion of a 44-yard pass by the Saints.
12:07 — Stevie Brown intercepts his seventh pass of the season, returning it 70 yards down to the Saints’ 22.
*Stevie Brown sets single-season interception return yards with 259 yards, breaking the previous record of 251 shared by Dick Lynch (1963) and Emlen Tunnell (1948)
10:19 — FIELD GOAL GIANTS. Lawrence Tynes makes a 39-yard attempt. NEW YORK 45, NEW ORLEANS 27 (Drive: 4 plays, 2 yards in 1:31)
5:20 — TOUCHDOWN GIANTS. David Wilson breaks free for a 52-yard touchdown. XP is good. NEW YORK 52, NEW ORLEANS 27 (Drive: 1 play 52 yards in 0:10)
FINAL: GIANTS 52, SAINTS 27
Tags: David Wilson, Dick Lynch, Eli Manning, Emlen Tunnell, Lawrence Tynes, Stevie Brown, Victor Cruz
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14:56 — Stevie Brown grabs his sixth interception on a tipped pass intended for Jimmy Graham (covered by Antrel Rolle). Brown returns it 21 yards down to the Saints’ 20.
13:18 — TOUCHDOWN GIANTS. David Wilson powers in for a 6-yard score. XP is good. NEW YORK 28, NEW ORLEANS 13 (Drive: 4 plays, 20 yards in 1:40)
*Mark Herzlich makes a big tackle on the ensuing return, pinning the Saints back at their own 12. Giants force a quick three-and-out.
11:22 — TOUCHDOWN GIANTS. Hakeem Nicks grabs his third touchdown of the season on a 25-yard pass from Eli manning. XP is good. NEW YORK 35, NEW ORLEANS 13 (Drive: 6 plays, 62 yards in 3:09)
8:07 — Saints march into Giants territory after a 62-yard pass from Drew Brees to Joe Morgan, their longest play of the day.
7:28 — TOUCHDOWN SAINTS. Sproles rushes 13 yards for the score. XP is good. NEW YORK 35, NEW ORLEANS 20 (Drive: 3 plays, 75 yards in 0:52)
6:36 — Victor Cruz hits the 100-yard mark (111) after a 34-yard catch from manning.
5:10 — Manning’s pass intended for Martellus Bennett is intercepted by Isa Abdul-Quddus. Saints take over on their own 32.
1:51 — TOUCHDOWN SAINTS. Darren Sproles takes a short pass from Brees nine yards into the end zone. XP is good. NEW YORK 35, NEW ORLEANS 27 (6 plays, 68 yards in 3:09)
*Jerrel Jernigan returns the ensuing kickoff 60 yards down to the Saints’ 25.
*Paid attendance announced at 81,437
0:00 — GIANTS 35, SAINTS 27
Tags: Antrel Rolle, David Wilson, Eli Manning, Hakeem Nicks, Jerrel Jernigan, Mark Herzlich, Martellus Bennett, Stevie Brown, Victor Cruz
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15:00 — Saints begin the quarter with the ball on their own 7.
9:47 — FIELD GOAL SAINTS. Garrett Hartley makes a 32-yard attempt. NEW YORK 14, NEW ORLEANS 10 (Drive: 14 plays, 81 yards in 5:44)
*David Wilson rattles off another big return for 52 yards down to the Saints’ 46. That brings his season total 1,301 return yards, breaking Domenik Hixon’s club record of 1,291 in 2009.
6:07 — Lawrence Tynes misses a 36-yard field goal attempt. Wide left.
1:57 — FIELD GOAL SAINTS. Hartley makes a 25-yard attempt. NEW YORK 14, NEW ORLEANS 13 (Drive: 8 plays, 67 yards in 4:06)
1:45 — Offsetting passing interference penalties on both the Giants and Saints bring back a 40-yard completion to Hakeem Nicks.
1:14 — Giants knocking at the door after a 35-yard completion to Cruz.
0:25 — TOUCHDOWN GIANTS. Hixon makes a diving grab in the back right corner of the end zone for a 5-yard score. XP is good. NEW YORK 21, NEW ORLEANS 13 (Drive: 9 plays, 69 yards in 1:37)
*That was Hixon’s first touchdown of the season.
HALFTIME: GIANTS 21, SAINTS 13
Tags: David Wilson, Domenik Hixon, Eli Manning, Hakeem Nicks, Lawrence Tynes, Victor Cruz
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The Giants and New Orleans Saints meet for the 27th time in the regular season, with the Giants holding a 14-12 lead in the series. The two teams have never met in the postseason. In their last meeting, the Saints defeated the Giants, 49-24, in New Orleans on Monday Night Football in Week 12 of the 2011 regular season.
Kickoff: 4:25 PM ET
Location: MetLife Stadium, East Rutherford, N.J.
Radio: WFAN 660AM/101.9FM
Weather: Light rain until 4pm. 44°F. Winds ENE at 5 to 10 mph.
24 CB Corey White
29 RB Chris Ivory
58 LB Scott Shanle
71 T Charles Brown
75 DT Tyrunn Walker
81 TE Michael Higgins
90 DE Turk McBride
Lineup changes: None
15:00 — Game Day Captains: Victor Cruz and Antrel Rolle along with season captains Eli Manning, Justin Tuck and Zak DeOssie. Giants win the coin toss and elect to receive. Saints defend the west goal.
*David Wilson returns the opening kickoff 58 yards down to the Saints’ 44 (Jerrel Jernigan was also back to receive)
13:30 — Giants fail to capitalize and go three-and-out.
12:46 — Will Hill and Stevie Brown force Marques Colston to fumble. Giants recover on Saints’ 45.
9:38 — TOUCHDOWN SAINTS. Elbert Mack intercepts Manning and returns it 73 yards to the end zone. XP is good. NEW ORLEANS 7, NEW YORK 0
9:25 — TOUCHDOWN GIANTS. Wilson returns the ensuing kickoff 97 yards for a touchdown and does a backflip for the exclamation point. XP is good. NEW YORK 7, NEW ORLEANS 7
*That was the Giants first kickoff return for a touchdown since Domenik Hixon did it Dec. 29, 2007.
6:57 — Antrel Rolle strips the ball from Jed Collins and Linval Joseph recovers. That’s two forced fumbles so far by Giants safeties.
4:28 — TOUCHDOWN GIANTS. Manning finds Martellus Bennett in the end zone for a six-yard score. XP is good. NEW YORK 14, NEW ORLEANS 7 (Drive: 4 plays, 35 yards in 2:24)
*That’s Bennett’s fifth of the season and second straight game with a touchdown.
2:04 — Hixon back to return the first punt of the game, not the usual Rueben Randle.
0:00 — GIANTS 14, SAINTS 7
Tags: Adewale Ojomo, Adrien Robinson, Antrel Rolle, David Wilson, Domenik Hixon, Eli Manning, Jerrel Jernigan, Justin Tuck, Kenny Phillips, Linval Joseph, Martellus Bennett, Marvin Austin, Rueben Randle, Ryan Torain, Stevie Brown, Travis Beckum, Tyler Sash, Victor Cruz, Will Hill, Zak DeOssie
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This week’s game is the 160th regular season meeting between the two teams, with the Giants leading the series, 92-63-4. The two teams have met twice in the postseason, with the series tied, 1-1. The Giants won the first game in 2012, at MetLife Stadium in Week 7 by a 27-23 score. The Giants have a 22-32-1 record on Monday Night Football, including a 4-2 record against the Redskins.
Kickoff: 8:30 PM ET
Location: FedEx Field, Landover, Md.
Weather: Clear. 57°F. Winds light and variable.
New York Lineup Changes
» 72 Osi Umenyiora will start at RE
Washington Lineup Changes
*Keith Rivers gets the start at linebacker. That’s the fourth time of the season for Rivers in seven games played.
14:50 — An early challenge from Mike Shanahan gives the Redskins a first down. Washington challenged where Paulsen went out of bounds.
12:54 — After forcing Washington to punt on the opening drive, Eli Manning hooks up with Bear Pascoe for a first down on the first play. It was Pascoe’s first catch since Week 5 against Cleveland.
10:54 — Coincidentally, Jerrel Jernigan also gets his first catch since that same Browns game, good for nine yards and another first down.
9:40 — Expected to see a larger role, David Wilson gets his first touch — a toss which he turns into a five-yard gain.
6:27 — FIELD GOAL GIANTS. Lawrence Tynes makes a 39-yard attempt. NEW YORK 3, WASHINGTON 0 (Drive: 11 plays, 69 yards in 6:32)
4:27 — TOUCHDOWN REDSKINS. Robert Griffin III rushed for 12 yards, fumbles, but is recovered by Josh Morgan, who takes it in for the score. XP is GOOD. WASHINGTON 7, NEW YORK 3
3:14 — Manning unable to hook up with Victor Cruz streaking downfield.
2:28 — Ahmad Bradshaw takes a direct snap for 14 yards. He has 40 yards on 7 carries so far.
Tags: Ahmad Bradshaw, Bear Pascoe, Chase Blackburn, Chris Snee, David Wilson, Eli Manning, Jerrel Jernigan, Justin Tuck, Keith Rivers, Lawrence Tynes, Victor Cruz, Zak DeOssie
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This week’s game is the 76th meeting between the Pittsburgh Steelers and the New York Giants. The Giants lead the series, 44-28-3. The two teams have never met in the postseason. In their last meeting, the Giants defeated the Steelers, 21-14, in Week 8 of the 2008 season.
Kickoff: 4:25 PM ET
Location: MetLife Stadium, East Rutherford, NJ
Weather: Partly cloudy. 49°F. Wind: W 14mph, gusting to 24 mph
» 66 Diehl for 75 Locklear at RT
» 58 Herzlich for 93 Blackburn at MLB
» 27 Brown for 21 Phillips at SS
» 25 Allen for 43 Polamalu at SS
» 76 Adams for 77 Gilbert at RT
» 33 Redman for 34 Mendenhall at RB
15:00 — Game Day Captains are CB Corey Webster and G Chris Snee along with season captains QB Eli Manning, DE Justin Tuck, and LS Zak DeOssie. Giants win coin toss and elect to receive. Steelers will defend the west goal.
*After a 35-yard return by David Wilson, the Giants start the drive on their own 30-yard line.
14:53 — Giants once again take a deep shot on the first play of the game, but the pass from Manning to Hakeem Nicks falls incomplete.
13:10 — Justin Tryon downs Steve Weatherford’s at Pittsburgh’s two-yard line where the Steelers begin their first drive of the game.
10:29 — Jayron Hosley makes a great diving play and strips the ball from the speedy Chris Rainey, but the ball bounces out of bounds. Pittsburgh punts two plays later and the Giants take over on their own 36.
4:48 — On third-and-3, Antrel Rolle bats down Roethlisberger’s pass at the line of scrimmage. Giants get the ball back at their own 16.
3:58 — Manning completes a 26-yard pass to Victor Cruz, the longest play so far in the game.
3:14 — On the next play, Manning throws an interception intended for Cruz. Pittsburgh takes over at its own 42.
0:00 — GIANTS 0, STEELERS 0
Tags: Antrel Rolle, Chris Snee, Corey Webster, David Wilson, Eli Manning, Jayron Hosley, Justin Tryon, Justin Tuck, Steve Weatherford, Victor Cruz, Zak DeOssie
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