The New York Giants had a successful business trip to London, and will come back to the Meadowlands riding a winning streak into their bye week. That alone is something they haven’t been able to say since 2013.
While the Giants’ win over the Baltimore Ravens was the result of roughly two and a half quarters of actual complimentary football — with the offense, defense, and special teams contributing to the win. Unfortunately it seems they couldn’t carry that with them to London and had to leave the offense at home.
The offense played football.
Pro Football Focus was not thrilled with Eli Manning’s performance Sunday afternoon/morning (depending on where you were watching the game), and in fact graded him below Case Keenum 44.0 to 42.7
They were complementary of offensive linemen Weston Richburg (75.2) and Ereck Flowers (70.0). Those two players had the dubious honor of dealing with the Rams’ two best defensive players (and maybe best players overall) in Aaron Donald and Robert Quinn, respectively.
Rounding out the Giants’ top 5 offensive players were: Odell Beckham Jr, who graded a 76.4 while playing 54 snaps (95 percent) with a hip pointer. Will Tye, who graded a 72.0 in 23 offensive snaps (Larry Donnell had 31), and Sterling Shepard with a 65.0 in 53 snaps.
Rashad Jennings carried the load at running back with 28 snaps, while Paul Perkins had 15 snaps and Bobby Rainey had 12.
The Defense won the game for the Giants, no two ways about it. Second year safety Landon Collins was easily the star of the game, with 8 hard tackles and a pair of interceptions — big for a defense that has struggled to create turnovers, and a player who has a reputation of not being able to hang on to the ball.
But according to Pro Football Focus, Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, who had been slowed by a groin injury, was the Giants’ best player. He graded an 87.8 in his 73 defensive snaps (92 percent). DRC had 15 passes thrown his way, allowing 7 catches for 53 yards, but notching 2 interceptions of his own — including the game winner. Keenum had a passer rating of 16.1 when throwing at DRC. His performance was good enough to earn a spot on PFF’s list of the 10-best players of the day.
Just behind DRC in the rankings is Keenan Robinson (87.0), who played 67 defensive snaps. Robinson has become one of the Giants’ best defenders and probably should have the starting middle linebacker job going forward. Damon Harrison (84.9 grade in 45 snaps) and Janoris Jenkins (83.6, playing every defensive snap). Both players have proven to be fantastic free agent signings, easily playing up to the contracts the to which Giants were criticized for signing them.
Bringing up the rear of the PFF Top - 5 is Landon Collins with an 81.0 grade. Though they ultimately awarded him the game ball, PFF was not impressed by any of the Giants’ interceptions, saying that Keenum was the victim of bad luck on all three of his interceptions — Yeah, he was picked off four times. I guess they gave him a mulligan on one of them?
PFF aside, Collins — who was maligned by Giants fans and outsiders alike through most of his rookie year — has suddenly become one of the top, if not the top, strong safeties in the NFL. The Giants should be very excited about the prospect of once again pairing Collins and Darian Thompson for the second half of the season. Collins and Thompson have shown impressive chemistry together, allowing each to play to their strengths. Andrew Adams has performed better than anyone could possibly have expected after being called up from the practice squad to fill in for Thompson, but the 3rd round draft pick has played like the 1st rounder everyone thought he would be before a stomach bug trashed his combine numbers.
After the game, Ed noted Steve Spagnuolo’s use of linebacker Devon Kennard as a pass rushing defensive end as one of the differences in the Giants’ best defensive performances in years. Surprisingly, he only played 36 snaps, just 46 percent of the defensive snaps. Cornerback Eli Apple, who’s impressive rookie season has been slowed by hamstring and groin injuries was on the field for 39 snaps.
Defensive tackle Jay Bromley, who notched one of the Giants’ three sacks, was only on the field for 19 snaps, while Owamagbe Odighizuwa and Romeo Okwara were on the field for 11 and 9 snaps respectively.