PFF Review: Yes, Pro Football Focus is grading preseason games!

Ryan Nassib is sacked Saturday - Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sport

Pro Football Focus -- just like everyone else -- came away impressed by what Damontre Moore did Saturday night.

Loyal Big Blue View readers know how much I have relied on the in-depth player analysis from Pro Football Focus over the years. I had not realized, however, that PFF has expanded into grading preseason games until I read that bit of great news in Peter King's 'Monday Morning Quarterback' column today.

I always offer PFF grades and commentary with the caveat that it isn't gospel. We use it for discussion, and to see if PFF's analysis matches up with what we believe we see with our eyes.

So, what can we take from PFF's grades for Saturday's 18-13 preseason-opening victory by the New York Giants over the Pittsburgh Steelers? Let's review.


Rookie defensive end Damontre Moore received 'Kudos' from us for his work on Saturday, blocking a punt and creating havoc all night. Moore said he wanted to look at the film to see how good or bad the performance was. PFF, of course, did and handed the 20-year-old Moore the highest grade of any Giants player by far, an amazing +6.0.

PFF wrote:

There wasn’t a player in the game who jumped out more than Giants third-round draft pick Damontre Moore with the former Texas A&M student showing up all over the field. ... His best work came against weaker competition but the Giants have to be excited by what they saw on Saturday night. Hopefully that means we’ll see even more of him as the preseason progresses.

Linebacker Stuff

PFF analysts were impressed by the run defense of middle linebacker Dan Connor, who received a +1.6 run score, which includes three stops (plays resulting in offensive failures). Connor got a -1.3 in pass coverage, however. Mark Herzlich got a -0.9 overall score with no stops.

Spencer Paysinger had a team-high five tackles, but a defense-worst -2.1 score. That goes to the point that all tackles are not created equal. Tackles made well past the point where they should have been made pad tackling stats, but don't necessarily help your defense get off the field.

More About the Defense

Justin Trattou scored a +1.8, Ryan Mundy +1.5 and Corey Webster +1.4, including +1.2 in pass coverage. Webster was targeted three times and gave up one catch.

No Wonder Ryan Nassib Ran For His Life

The two worst scores posted by offensive players were by fourth-team offensive linemen Stephen Goodin (-2.9) and rookie guard Eric Herman (-3.2). Herman, as I indicated earlier, has a looooong way to go to become an NFL-caliber pass-blocker. He surrendered a pair of sacks while playing just 17 snaps.

More About the Offense

Brandon Mosley, who started at right guard and played into the third quarter, received a +1.7, the highest grade of any offensive player. That bodes well for his chances to become a key reserve for the offensive line.

Fullback Ryan D'Imperio is in camp for only one reason -- to prove he can run block if the Giants need a fullback to replace Henry Hynoski when the season starts. D'Imperio graded at -2.5 in 11 snaps Saturday, not a good impression.

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