JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (AP) — Two Giants defenders tackled Jacksonville's Christian Kirk inside the 1-yard line as time expired, preserving New York's 23-17 victory over the Jaguars on Sunday to match its best start since 2008.
New York quarterback Daniel Jones ran for a career-high 107 yards and a touchdown, turning to his legs to carry the Giants (6-1) down the stretch. He ran for 35 yards on a go-ahead drive and
capped it with a 1-yard plunge after consecutive penalties by Jacksonville moved the ball inches from the goal line.
Jacksonville had a final shot and reached the New York 1-yard on Trevor Lawrence's pass to Kirk. But Julian Love and Xavier McKinney stopped Kirk short of the goal line, even as Jaguars players tried pushing the pile into the end zone.
Lawrence doubled over when Kirk came up short. The second-year quarterback finished the day 22 of 43 for 310 yards.
The Giants leaned on their ground game — despite being down two starting offensive linemen and its starting tight end — to win another close one. Their six victories have come by a combined 27 points, a small margin that contributed to them being three-point underdogs on the road against the reeling Jaguars (2-5).
Saquon Barkley finished with 107 yards on 24 carries, and Graham Gano kicked three field goals. Gano's last one gave the Giants some breathing room.
Barkley had the most impressive run of New York's go-ahead drive, making Jaguars safety R
ayshawn Jenkins look silly with a jump cut that led to an 18-yard gain.
Jacksonville lost its fourth in a row — a troubling trend for a team that looked to be turning a corner last month — and extended its NFL-record for cross-division losses to 19. The young Jaguars continued to be their own worst enemy, starting with 13 penalties for 81 yards.
Running back Travis Etienne also fumbled at the 2-yard line, turning a near-touchdown into a touchback. Linebacker Foye Oluokun was flagged for roughing the passer in the third quarter, a penalty that negated an interception. And coach Doug Pederson opted against challenging a questionable spot near the goal line, and the Jaguars were stuffed on the next two plays for a crucial turnover on downs.
The Giants did a much better job of overcoming adversity.
Rookie tight end Daniel Bellinger was taken to a hospital with a bloody eye injury. Bellinger appeared to take an inadvertent fist to the face, and maybe a finger to the eye, from Jaguars rookie linebacker Devin Lloyd in the second quarter. Team trainers wore gloves while they tried to stop the bleeding. Bellinger's eye appeared to be swollen shut as he was carted off the field.
Bellinger's injury was the third for the Giants in the first half. Left guard Ben Bredeson was ruled out after sustaining a right knee injury in the first quarter. Right tackle Evan Neal injured his left leg in the second when Jaguars defensive lineman Roy Robertson-Harris landed on the back of his leg.
Neal, the seventh overall pick in April's draft out of Alabama, was in pain on the field after the play. He eventually limped off before being checked in the medical tent on the sideline. Neal eventually took a cart into the locker room afterward.
Jaguars tight end Evan Engram finished with four catches for 67 yards against his former team. A first-round pick by New York in 2017, Engram endured his share of criticism for dropped passes, injuries and all the losing the Giants did during his tenure.
He left after five years and landed in Jacksonville on a one-year, $9 million deal. He was hoping for a win and to find the end zone for the first time in 2022, but he settled for some big plays.
Giants safety Adoree' Jackson was evaluated for a concussion in the fourth quarter. ... Jaguars left tackle Cam Robinson missed one series in the first half with a right shoulder injury. Right guard Brandon Scherff left the field in the fourth quarter.
Giants play at Seattle next Sunday.
Jaguars play a "home game" against Denver in London next Sunday.