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Inside the Numbers: Ground game breaks out vs. Broncos

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The Giants had their best game on the ground of 2017, led by Orleans Darkwa’s 117 yards: 

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. – In recent years the Giants’ preferred method of moving the football has been through the air. In every season from 2011-16, their final statistical ranking in passing was higher than their final rank in rushing. And in every one of those six seasons, the Giants finished in the top 20 in the NFL in passing yardage (as they have every year since 2008).

That trend was expected to continue this year, with Brandon Marshall joining Odell Beckham, Jr. and Sterling Shepard to give the Giants an explosive trio of wide receivers. But with Marshall and Beckham are out for the season, and Shepard currently sidelined with a sprained ankle, the Giants are searching for a different path to victory.

They found it Sunday night in Denver, when they used a run-heavy attack to defeat the Broncos, 23-10.

The Giants ran 32 times for 148 yards, a healthy 4.6-yard average. Orleans Darkwa led the way with 117 yards on 21 carries, both career-high figures. Eli Manning threw only 19 passes, completing 11 for 128 yards. He was sacked three times, giving the team 118 net passing yards.

It was the first time the Giants gained more yards rushing than passing since Nov. 24, 2013, when they ran for 202 yards and passed for 154 against Dallas. But they lost that game, 24-21.

The Giants had last won with such a small passing yardage total on Nov. 10, 2013, when they also had 118 net passing yards in a 24-20 victory against Oakland (Manning threw for 140 yards, but was sacked four times for 22 yards in losses).

On Sunday, Roger Lewis, Jr. and Tavarres King were the only Giants wide receivers to catch a pass – and they had one reception apiece. It was the first time no Giants wide receiver had more than one catch since Dec. 24, 2006, when Plaxico Burress, Tim Carter and Sinorice Moss each had one in a 30-7 loss to New Orleans (when the Giants had 59 net passing yards).

According to the Elias Sports Bureau, the victory in Denver was the first Giants game in which their wide receivers totaled no more than two catches since Sept. 22, 1991, when Mark Ingram and Odessa Turner each had one catch in a 13-10 victory against Cleveland.

Prior to Sunday night, the last

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