Although the game did not have any kind of playoff implications, the New York Giants ended the season on a nice note, beating the Washington Redskins 20-6 in a New York monsoon. Backup wide receiver Jerrel Jernigan stole the show, scoring the only two touchdowns in the entire game.
Victor Cruz did not play because he recently underwent surgery to repair his knee. Rueben Randle and Hakeem Nicks were both injured pretty early on and sat out for the rest of the game. The opportunity was there for someone to step into the spotlight and Jernigan was that guy.
The rain was hard and constant throughout the game, paving the way for a bevy of wobbly footballs and dropped passes. However, Jernigan was one of the only players that didn’t seem fazed. He caught six passes for 90 yards and one touchdown. The touchdown catch was a tremendous play as he was able to elevate in traffic and hold on to the football as he came crashing to the ground.
Jernigan was also New York’s leading rusher, compiling 57 yards on two carries. In the last play of the fourth quarter, he took an end-around, scurried through defenders and scampered 49 yards for a touchdown. It was another outstanding play by the WR in a game that was littered with ugly performances.
This was Jernigan’s third year in the NFL. The Giants drafted the wide receiver out of Troy in the third round of the 2011 draft. He had been a bit of a disappointment in his short career in the league as New York had unsuccessfully tried to groom him as their kick and punt returner. Special teams is where he made a name for himself in college.
However, Jernigan really came into his own over the last three games when he stepped in for an injured Cruz. In the final three games of the year, Jernigan caught 19 passes for 237 yards and two touchdowns. He showed that he could be a nice piece for the Giants moving forward. Jernigan gives them another option in the slot, and poses a threat to make big plays if he gets out in space.