Are the New York Giants on the road to a winning streak after their victory over the Kansas City Chiefs? Let’s not get ahead of ourselves, but there was quite a bit to like about the Giants’ performance Sunday afternoon.
The defense returned to its dominant form despite missing at least two starters, holding the fifth-ranked scoring offense to just 9 points. And despite a lack of scoring from the offense, the use of different personnel packages and alignments made this game one of the most fun to watch since 2015.
Let’s take a look at some of the numbers from the Giants’ second win.
- Eli Manning finished the game with a mediocre line of 19-for-35 (54.3 percent), for 205 yards. However, that doesn’t tell the whole story. Manning was off target on a couple passes, but he was plagued by drops all game long. Pro Football Focus gave Manning an 82.9 grade on the game, and he had completions to 10 different players — including all three running backs and all three tight ends.
- This game marks Eli Manning’s 209th consecutive start, moving him in to second all time (for quarterbacks) behind Brett Favre, and ahead of Peyton Manning.
- Manning’s game-winning drive in overtime was the 35th of his career, tying him with Ben Roethlisberger for third among active quarterbacks. Only Tom Brady (41) and Drew Brees (39) are ahead of him.
There was also this:
Me: The Giants need a more mobile QB— UmmSZN Ethan (@EthanGSN) November 19, 2017
Eli Manning, AKA Vanilla Vick: pic.twitter.com/EFrPgICxL7
- The Giants’ fake punt to extend their opening drive was their first called fake punt since 2004.
- Rookie offensive tackle Chad Wheeler had himself about as good a game as could be expected. Wheeler played all 69 snaps in his first start, often lined up on All-Pro edge rusher Justin Houston and didn’t give up a sack, and just one hit. The entire offensive line played well, getting a solid push in the run game and Manning wasn’t sacked at all.
- Third-year OT Ereck Flowers extended his streak of consecutive snaps without giving up a sack. Despite facing some of the best pass rushers in the NFL, he hasn’t given up a sack since Week 2 against the Detroit Lions. Per PFF, has an active streak of 318 snaps without giving up a sack.
- Orleans Darkwa continues to prove how good a runner he is. Against a Chiefs’ defense that was focused on stopping the run, he picked up 74 yards on 20 carries, and a touchdown. His rushing average wasn’t nearly up to the 5.1 yards per carry he maintained coming in to the game, but it was enough to keep the Giants’ offense moving.
- The Giants had been known for their three-receiver sets coming in to the season, but only two receivers (Tavarres King and Roger Lewis Jr.) played the majority of snaps against the Chiefs. Lewis’ play garnered an 80.1 grade from PFF.
With the Giants down their top three receivers from the start of the season, Lewis became the de facto number one target for Manning and he made it count when he was given the chance. He only saw three catchable targets, but he caught all three for 55 yards. All three catches went for first downs, including the aforementioned overtime catch while being interfered with. Lewis finished the day averaging 1.62 yards per route run on the day.
- The Giants’ tight ends (and fullback Shane Smith) played larger roles on Sunday. Evan Engram played 58 snaps, Rhett Ellison played 46, Jerell Adams played 11, and Smith played 14. The Giants’ offense frequently featured “13” and “21” personnel sets, setting a physical tone for the game. They turned that particular dial up to 11 when they brought defensive tackle Robert Thomas on as a fullback for Orleans Darkwa’s touchdown run.
- With Eli Apple inactive after spending the week at his mother’s bedside, Ross Cockrell got the start. Acquired from the Pittsburgh Steelers prior to the start of this season, Cockrell played 74 of 75 snaps, giving up one catch for 11 yards on two targets.
- Three defenders played every one of the defense’s 75 snaps: Janoris Jenkins, Landon Collins, and Darian Thompson.
- Jenkins finished with an 80.4 grade from PFF while Collins returned to his All-Pro form with 14 tackles, a pass defensed, and an interception, good enough for an 88.9 grade (which might improve upon review).
Landon Collins (88.9 overall grade) in Week 11— Ryan Smith (@PFF_Smith) November 20, 2017
7 targets, 3 receptions, INT
3 YARDS (!)
10.7 passer rating pic.twitter.com/dT3r70UtWY
That's a VIOLENT hit by Landon Collins, wow. pic.twitter.com/Pxc3DxnkW5— UmmSZN Ethan (@EthanGSN) November 19, 2017
- Jason Pierre-Paul played 71 of 75 snaps (95%), finishing with 5 total tackles and 2 passes defensed. That might include the crushing hit on Travis Kelce that turned a shovel pass into a Damon Harrison interception.
- Speaking of Harrison, he played 33 of 75 snaps (44%) after being carted off the field with an ankle injury against San Francisco. He finished with five tackles, a pass defensed, and the said interception.
- Rookie DT Dalvin Tomlinson saw the most action of the Giants’ defensive tackles, playing 38 of 75 snaps (51 percent). He finished with six tackles and some great play in the run game with Snacks Harrison
The Giants dominant run stuffing duo! pic.twitter.com/xMoAUheIFx— Pro Football Focus (@PFF) November 19, 2017
- Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie played 48 snaps (64 percent) and finished with 4 tackles, earning an 86.1 grade from PFF.
Rodgers-Cromartie played a big part in keeping the Chiefs passing game in check. He was targeted 7 times and allowed 5 catches, but just 20 yards on those 5 receptions. He was extremely sound coming up making the tackle after catches, allowing a long of 8 yards when he was targeted. The Giants defense managed to allow just 5.9 yards per attempt.
- Finally, safety Andrew Adams got his first start of the season as the Giants opened in a three-safety look and played 29 snaps (39 percent). He finished with five tackles on the afternoon