Up until a few weeks ago, Giants WR/KR Jerrel Jernigan was on his way to becoming another NFL Draft miscalculation by the Giants. Then, Victor Cruz got hurt and the Giants were forced to finally play Jernigan. Surprise! He responded by carrying the Giants’ offense for the final two weeks.
“I’m not sure why it took us three years to find out that Jerrel Jernigan can play. We finally put him in the game and he starts making plays” – CEO John Mara
From SNYGiants contributor Craig Santucci:
It might be a small sample size, but Jerrel Jernigan, the New York Giants third-year wide receiver, stepped up and showed the world he belonged. In the last three games, Jernigan had 19 catches for 237 receiving yards and two touchdowns.
Well to the NFL, Mr. Jernigan!
After making little to no contributions his first two years, No. 12 Jerrel Jernigan turned around his future as a New York Giant and showed the world that he belongs on this level.
Chalk it up to a few solid weeks of working with the first team and understanding what Eli Manning needed and expected of him to break out of the “bust” category. Both of Jernigan’s touchdowns against the Redskins on Sunday were a thing of beauty and a true testament to what his young player can bring to the New York Giants.
The first touchdown was an outstanding grab of 24 yards at the back of the end zone where No. 12 beat the double coverage. Eli Manning delivered a perfect pass where only his receiver could make a play. Jernigan went up and snagged the ball at its highest point, showing great athleticism.
The second touchdown was a simple end around that looked to be collapsing around the line of scrimmage. Running back Peyton Hillis and Bear Pascoe made great kick out blocks; however, the safety and interior defense quickly crushed the running lanes.
In the past, Jernigan might have went down upon contact; however, the wide receiver cut it back, bounced off a couple of arm tackles and blazed to the end zone for a 49 yard touch down on what was the coldest, slickest, rain storm in recent history.
The Jernigan “break out” game should put many minds at ease as the Giants begin to look at 2014. While Louis Murphy did not turn out to be a contributor on any level, Jernigan showed the Giants brass and Eli Manning they do have a few surprise weapons “in-house”.
Even though Kevin Gilbride’s tenure should expire, expect the one-dimensional coach to be back running the draw play, over and over. One could only hope a new quarterback coach is on the way and Jernigan and a healthy Eli Manning and Victor Cruz can start their off-season works out as soon as possible.