The Jacksonville Jaguars are riding their defense once again http://www.giantsauthorizedshops.com/authentic-janoris-jenkins-jersey
, and hope it takes them beyond the AFC title game.Linebacker Myles Jack scored on a 32-yard interception return early in the fourth quarter and the Jaguars spoiled the New York Giants debuts of coach Pat Shurmur and second-overall draft pick Saquon Barkley, and the return of Odell Beckham Jr. with a 20-15 win on Sunday.Coming off a season in which they were ranked No. 2 overall and scored seven touchdowns on turnovers, the Jaguars' defense showed no slippage — with the exception of a spectacular 65-yard run by Barkley . The had two sacks, six quarterback pressures, eight tackles for losses, stopped a 2-point conversion run Barkley and didn't give up the lead late, stopping a New York drive with 1:55 to play.A season ago, the Jaguars blew a 10-point, fourth-quarter lead to the Patriots in the conference championship."We feel we're so talented on defense," said Jack, who scored on a pass deflected by backup nose tackle Abry Jones and finished with a game-high 10 tackles. "We've got DBs that can score, linebackers can score. Even D-linemen who can strip sack fumbles and score. We don't put any pressure on the offense. If the offense scores, it puts even more onus on us. We try to create points."The Jags' offense did just enough playing without top running back Leonard Fournette (hamstring) most of the game.Blake Bortles, who was 18 of 33 for 176 yards, threw a short touchdown pass and led two other first-half field goal drives.The Jaguars gained 310 yards in total offense and didn't score as a unit in the second half. The team also had 11 penalties for 119 yards."Our defense bailed us out and played pretty well http://www.giantsauthorizedshops.com/authentic-connor-barwin-jersey
," Bortles said. "For us to find a way to win is a good start."The Giants, who were 3-13 last season, had their chances after falling behind 19-9 on Jack's touchdown.Held in check much of the game, Barkley (18 carries for 106 yards) brought the sellout crowd to its feet less than a minute after Jack's score with a spectacular run. He took an inside handoff, broke to the outside, got a great block by receiver Sterling Shepard and scored, getting New York within 20-15 with 10:39 to play. His 2-point conversion was stopped.It proved costly when passes of 19 and 21 yards to Beckham (11 catches for 111 yards in his first game since -October) got New York to the Jacksonville 34. Instead of attempting what could have been a tying fourth field goal from Aldrick Rosas, Eli Manning (23 of 37 for 224 yards) threw a fourth-down incompletion.A muffed punt cost the Giants a final possession in the last minute."I'm encouraged just because I have seen the way we work and the men we have in this locker room," Manning said. "The talent that we have and guys taking care of each other. Just encouraged by the whole situation. We can get things going and we can play at a high level. We will make it work."The Jaguars led 13-6 at the half as Bortles methodically took his team on three scoring scores. Josh Lambo capped the first two with 39-yard field goals, and Bortles hit backup running back T.J. Yeldin from 1 yard for a 13-3 lead.Beckham, who broke an ankle on Oct. 8 and did not play in a preseason game, drew two pass interference penalties on the ensuing drive. Rosas closed the gap to a touchdown with a 31-yard field goal with :04 left in the half. He added a 44-yarder on the opening series of the third quarter on a drive helped by a ugly facemask penalty by Yannick Ngakoue against Barkley.BECKHAM BACKManning targeted Beckham 15 times and connected on 11. The NFL's highest-paid receiver also drew pass interference penalties of 30 and 15 yards late in the first half, setting up a Rosas field goal.NATIONAL ANTHEMJaguars CB Jalen Ramsey and LB Telvin Smith Sr. stood for the anthem. They stayed in the locker room in the preseason. Both teams stood.INJURIESJaguars: Fournette was hurt in second quarter. He finished with 41 yards.Giants: Backup RB Wayne Gallman left in the second half with a knee injury. He said he was OK after the game.UP NEXTJaguars: Home opener next Sunday against New England, the team which beat them in AFC title game.Giants: Visit Dallas for Sunday night game. The 2018 New York Giants season is playing out a lot like the 2013 season did for the Giants.Recall that in 2013 the Giants began the season 0-6. They then proceeded to win four straight games, flirt with the periphery of the playoff race http://www.giantsauthorizedshops.com/authentic-b.j.-goodson-jersey
, go 7-3 over their final 10 games and finish the year a respectable 7-9.This season the Giants began the year 1-7. They have now won four of five, averaged 31.4 points per game during that stretch, risen to 5-8 and are flirting with the outskirts of wild-card playoff contention and the possibility of finishing 8-8.In both the 2013 and 2018 seasons, the turnarounds were helped by playing a string of teams who were not using their starting quarterbacks.The question right now is what should be made of the Giants’ recent success. Is it a mirage? a stretch built only on the weaknesses of the teams the Giants are playing? Is it serving no purpose other than to hurt the Giants’ 2019 draft position? Or, is it something the Giants can build on? A sign that things are getting better and there are brighter days ahead?“Years are connected”That is something coach Pat Shurmur said after Sunday’s lopsided victory over the Washington Redskins, The Giants’ first 40-point outburst since 2015 and biggest margin of victory since 2014.Can the Giants carry the success they have had over the past five weeks into 2019? Or, does one season have nothing to do with the next?Former Giants lineman and current SB Nation analyst Geoff Schwartz believes seasons can indeed be connected.“I agree with him because most of their guys are coming back,” Schwartz said. “It takes 8-10 weeks for a new offense to get rolling and I think we’ve seen that with the Giants.”Again, a comparison of the 2013 and 2018 Giants is instructive.The 2014 Giants failed to build on the 2013 team’s end-of-season success. The Giants went 6-10 in 2014, with a mid-season seven-game losing streak nearly costing Tom Coughlin his job.Why weren’t the 2014 Giants able to pick up where the 2013 Giants left off over their final 10 games?Probably because of the way the 2013 Giants were built and how they managed to piece together some victories down the stretch of that season.The 2013 Giants were a house of straw.The offensive line had one building block — 2013 first-round pick Justin Pugh. If you want to call Will Beatty a building block, fine. That is still only two positions settled, at best.The tight end was Brandon Myers. He was one-and-done as a Giant.The receivers were Hakeem Nicks and Victor Cruz, unbeknownst to them both in the final truly productive seasons of their careers.Brandon Jacobs and Peyton Hillis, both at the ends of their careers, carried much of the running back load.On defense Womens Odell Beckham Jr Jersey
, the Giants got terrific play from Jon Beason after his midseason acquisition from the Carolina Panthers. Sadly, Beason’s body broke down and he played only eight more games over two seasons. The other top defenders on that 2013 team were 31-year-old Antrel Rolle and 30-year-old Justin Tuck. Rolle made the Pro Bowl in 2013, but was gone after the 2014 season. Tuck had 11 sacks in 2013, but was allowed to leave in free agency.What was missing? Aside from Pugh and Jason Pierre-Paul, young, improving players who could be built around.The conclusion? The 2013 Giants were a house of straw, built without a sustainable foundation.House of straw or house of bricks?Which one are the 2018 Giants? In my view, there is a chance the recent success of the 2018 Giants is sustainable into next season and maybe beyond because this Giants team is much closer to being a house built on a foundation of bricks than the 2013 team ever was.There aren’t enough bricks yet, especially in my view on defense, but the Pat Shurmur-Dave Gettleman Giants have begun building their foundation with some pretty solid bricks.Start with running back Saquon Barkley. We can, and probably will, continue to haggle about whether the Giants would have been better served long term to select a quarterback No. 2 overall, but Barkley is special. The offense revolves around him, and his self-less personality is perfect to lead the Giants into the future.Odell Beckham Jr. is pretty special, too Womens Janoris Jenkins Jersey
, and Sterling Shepard, Evan Engram are good young players. Corey Coleman also appears to have a future with the Giants.The offensive line has solid pieces to work with in Nate Solder, Will Hernandez and Jamon Brown (if they can re-sign him). If the Giants are happy with Spencer Pulley/Jon Halapio at center, that leaves them only right tackle to really aggressively try to upgrade this offseason.The defense has front four building blocks in B.J. Hill and Dalvin Tomlinson. Maybe R.J. McIntosh, too. Landon Collins is a building block, if they keep him. Grant Haley looks like a player. They hope supplemental draft pick Sam Beal will prove to be one, too.Offensively, as the offensive line has played better the Giants have found a way to play that revolves around using Barkley to take pressure off Manning, and allows the veteran quarterback to find opportunities to utilize all of the team’s weapons without the burden of carrying the offense himself. That, with Barkley, Beckham and much of the offensive line coming back in 2019, should be sustainable.The other thing that should be sustainable is the “play for each other” attitude taking root in the locker room as Shurmur has successfully implanted a healthier attitude in this team.The biggest long-term question, of course, is quarterback. The Giants are averaging 31.4 points over five games since the bye. Manning is playing efficiently (career highs in completion percentage at 67.7 and passer rating at 95.8, a career low interception percentage of 1.7) Womens Landon Collins Jersey
, leading to a mounting belief the Giants could go forward with him as their quarterback in 2019. There was a time this season when I thought it was over for Manning with the Giants. Not now. Why start over with a different veteran when what you are doing is working with the one you already have? Especially if you believe Schwartz that it takes roughly a half-season for a newly-installed offense to hit its stride.That doesn’t mean Manning is a perfect quarterback or the long-term answer. He is not. Using our ‘Three Little Pigs’ house of straw analogy, Manning is probably a house of sticks right now. He will do, but you know you have to be in the market because he’s not a permanent solution. Manning is, however, playing well enough — and the offense is playing well enough — that should it continue the Giants could justify going forward the way they are.They could kick the quarterback can down the road a year, when the quarterback class in the draft is supposed to be stronger. Or, they could spend a Day 2 pick in the 2019 NFL Draft on someone like Daniel Jones of Duke or Trace McSorley of Penn State and allow the youngster a year to learn.So, about that connectionThere is no way to carry momentum from one season to the next. It’s hard enough to carry it from one week to the next. There is also no way to tell what will happen from one season to the next. Injuries and funny bounces can wreak havoc on the best-laid plans, and the sturdiest foundation. In my view, though, the Giants have put some bricks in place that just might make what we are seeing now sustainable.This is not a house of straw.