Fresh off a nice win that can be considered one of the most complete games of the season, the New York Giants had plenty of contributors on Sunday. This week, we saw a lot more green than red, as the defense continued its downright dominance in the run game and the offense started to get things going in the pass game. So who, exactly, did contribute? Well let's find out below.
We'll be doing Pro Football Focus grades a bit differently. The player receiving the highest PFF grade will get the offensive or defensive MVP, and we'll point out the contributors as well. The player with the worst PFF grade will be the offensive or defensive "Goat" for the week. We'll have some dishonorable mentions as well. So, let's get started.
Eli Manning (+2.0) - There's no doubt that Manning showed glimpses of that 2011 dominance. Apart from that miscommunication with Louis Murphy on the interception, we saw Eli hitting his targets in stride with no real overthrows, including a beautiful pass to Victor Cruz that landed right in the breadbasket in-between two defenders. Manning has struggled this season under pressure, but this game was different.
Key Offensive Contributors
Victor Cruz (+1.7) - Cruz had a big day, catching 8 of 10 targets for 110 yards. Eli had a 112.5 QBR throwing his way. WRs don't normally score high in PFF's grading system, but Cruz certainly stood out in this regard. He was reliable (0 drops), and ran crisp routes that were crucial for the Giants sustaining long, fruitful drives.
Brandon Myers (+1.7) - Surprise! I don't think anybody expected Myers to be ranked high, let alone tied with Cruz. Myers certainly provided some key receptions, two of which went for first downs as a reliable checkdown target for Eli, but PFF bumped him up for his blocking, where he graded slighly positive in run, pass, and screen blocking. Makes sense too, the receiving TE is key when executing a successful screen play, and we shockingly had a few of those this past Sunday.
Will Beatty (+1.1) - Beatty barely makes the cut here, but it certainly was not for his pass protection. He struggled in that regard, giving up a sack and 4 more hurries. No, where he made his bread was run blocking. He graded out at an excellent +2.1 in that regard. He made plays upfield and did anybody hear Clay Matthews' name making tackles on Andre Brown?
The Offensive Goat
David Diehl (-4.9) - Yup. Diehl has long since been a fixture at the bottom of the PFF ratings, and this is no different. He was "credited" with allowing 1 QB hit and 5 additional hurries while providing negligible help in the run game. The RG position has been a constant thorn in the side of this team, and it's clear that the current performance is just not cutting it.
The Offensive Villians
Kevin Boothe (-1.9) - Speaking of guards, Boothe struggled run blocking, which negated Beatty's performance in that area.
Bear Pascoe (-1.6) - Much like Boothe, Pascoe was dinged for his run blocking. Surprising to see Myers outpacing him by quite a bit in that regard.
The Defensive MVP
Jason Pierre-Paul (+3.1) - You down with JPP? Aside from that incredible game-changing play (that no doubt positively affected his score), he made his mark in the run game. He was part of that defensive front that kept Eddie Lacy at bay and he consistently set the edge. He also had some snaps at 3 technique where he was able to move his man at the point of attack.
Key Defensive Contributors
Jon Beason (+1.9) - PFF recognized just how important Beason has become to this team. He has the honor of being the ONLY Giants defender to score a positive grade in run defense, pass rush, and pass coverage. He was simply everywhere, notching a QB hit and a hurry, intercepting a pass, and missing no tackles. Just my opinion, and let me stress that at the risk of this analysis, but I would probably have had him a bit higher.
Antrel Rolle (+1.8) - Rolle has got to be in the running for one of the most improved players this year. He was honored for his play in pass coverage, where he gave up nothing and notched an interception on a Tolzien overthrow.
Justin Tuck (+1.6) - Tuck continues to be the Giants' most consistent pass rusher. That was evident in this game, as he notched 1 hit and 3 hurries, more than any other Giant defender. It's his seventh straight week in the positives, as his work in the run game is also to be lauded. He certainly has been the best two-way defender on the line.
The Defensive Goat
Mathias Kiwanuka (-1.2) - Kiwanuka gets the low grade for his pass rush. Not too much to argue here. He was pass rushing on 26 snaps vs the GB OL and produced little. Kiwanuka needs to step his game up in a big way.
The Defensive Villians
Nobody else graded below -1.0. This was a pretty complete defensive effort.
The Special Teams Impact Players
Steve Weatherford (+2.7) - I would imagine this is because Weatherford hit four of his five punts for more than 50 yards.
Josh Brown (+2.0) - Brown was credited mostly for his kickoffs, which rarely gave Green Bay a chance for a good return.
Overall Team Grades
Special Teams (+5.9)
From PFF's free section, two great stats. Antrel Rolle, over the last four games, has graded out at a +8.1, including a +6.5 in coverage, a far cry from what he's been in recent years. Another player quickly rising, Justin Pugh. After a horrid start, Pugh has now graded positively in pass protection in four out of his last five games, including a +1.5 this week in which he allowed a single QB hurry.