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EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- The New York Giants and New York Jets had a lot in common heading into their Week 10 game. Both teams have combined for just three victories, are currently in a rebuild, and feel like they have landed their franchise quarterbacks in Sam Darnold and Daniel Jones. The first matchup between the two quarterbacks 22 years of age resulted in a shootout.
For the third time in four games, the Giants spotted their opponent a 14-0 lead. Darnold had the hot hand early with a 23-yard touchdown pass to Jamison Crowder and a zone-read touchdown run of his own. The Giants then scored on consecutive possessions as rookie fifth-round wide receiver Darius Slayton became the fourth wideout to have multiple touchdown receptions in multiple games this season. Although Jones racked up nearly 300 yards passing to go along with four touchdowns, a lost fumble returned by Jets safety Jamal Adams for a touchdown was the Achilles heel for the Giants rookie -- who fumbled two additional times -- both recovered by the Giants.
Darnold got rolling in the second half via his big-play passing ability. On one designed bootleg rollout, he found wide receiver Demaryius Thomas to set-up a field goal attempt that would extend the Jets' lead. On a previous possession, he kept a drive going by once again showing excellent accuracy while rolling to his right on a third down to extend a drive that would later result in a Le'Veon Bell touchdown run (following a defensive pass interference call in the end zone).
Darnold's ability to create off-script proved the difference in a game where both defenses struggled to get off the field on third down.
Why the Jets won
The Jets came into Sunday's game averaging a league-worst 12 points per game, but put up 34 points against the much-maligned Giants defense. The Giants pretty much shut down the ground game, but Sam Darnold threw for 230 yards and a touchdown. The Jets also recorded six sacks of Daniel Jones after coming into the game with 13 all season.
Why the Giants lost
Where to begin? The Giants spotted the Jets a 14-0 lead before finally waking up and pulling within 14-13 at halftime, but Daniel Jones' fumbling issues continued as he fumbled three times (Giants recovered two), one of which was returned for a touchdown by Jets safety Jamal Adams after he ripped the ball out of the rookie quarterback's hands. Having to play with two backup offensive tackles (Nate Solder left with a concussion, Mike Remmers did not play due to injury) didn't help either. However, the key reason is running back Saquon Barkley was held to one rushing yard on 13 carries.
With the Jets trailing 27-24 early in the fourth quarter, the Jets needed just over a minute and three plays to score a touchdown to take the lead for good. Sam Darnold connected with Jamison Crowder for 25 yards and Giants rookie cornerback Deandre Baker was called for pass interference on Robby Anderson. The penalty was in the end zone, and netted the Jets 33 yards, so the Jets got the ball at the 1 and Le'Veon Bell punched it in on the next play.
Play of the game
Jamal Adams' 25-yard fumble return for a touchdown to put the Jets up 21-13. Adams just ripped the ball out of Jones' hands and took it to the end zone untouched.
"I think we're seeing some things that will help us in the long run.'' -- Giants head coach Pat Shurmur after his team fell to 2-8 on the season.
The Giants are on a bye while the Jets face the Redskins on the road.
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