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Giants At Cowboys Review: Snap Counts, Stats, And PFF Grades

What can the stats to come out of Sunday night’s loss tell us?

NFL: New York Giants at Dallas Cowboys Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Giants’ season opener is in the books. We know the “what” of Sunday night — that the Giants’ championship-caliber defense did everything it could to put the team in a position to win the game, while their mess of an offense did everything it could to not take advantage.

As we turn the page to the Giants’ Week 2 match-up against the Detroit Lions we’ll take a look at the tape, but for now let’s see what the stats from Sunday night’s game can tell us.


As could be expected by simply watching the game, the Giants’ offense didn’t play many snaps, nor were they highly graded by Pro Football Focus.

  • The offense was on the field for just 56 total snaps, roughly 10 fewer than the league average that teams plan for.
  • Center Weston Richburg was the offense’s highest-graded player with a 78.8 grade from PFF.
  • The starting offensive line, quarterback Eli Manning and receiver Sterling Shepard were the only players to stay on the field for every offensive snap.
  • Second-year player Roger Lewis Jr. led the Giants’ receiving corps with 54 yards in a career-best four catches.
  • Rookie tight end Evan Engram was tied for the second-most snaps with WR Brandon Marshall at 48 snaps. PFF gave Engram a 72.0 grade.
  • While Paul Perkins was named the starter, he only played 17 snaps (30 percent) while Shane Vereen totaled 31 (55 percent). Vereen lead the Giants with nine receptions, his highest mark since catching 11 in Super Bowl XLIX against the Seattle Seahawks.

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While the offense played just 86 percent of their expected snaps, the defense more than made up for it by playing a total of 74 snaps, or 113 percent of their planned-for 65 snaps.

And while the Giants lost, it certainly wasn’t the fault of the defense. They held the Cowboys to a single touchdown and four field goals despite often dealing with bad field position.

  • Defensive backs Landon Collins, Darian Thompson, and Eli Apple played each played every one of the Giants’ 74 defensive snaps.
  • Collins was PFFs highest graded player on the field for either team with a 92.7 grade. He was a factor in nearly every play, shutting down both the running game and passing game. Collins was credited with four run stops, a pass break-up, and allowing a single reception for three yards in coverage.
  • Olivier Vernon continues to play an absurd number of snaps, at 72 on the game. He notched the Giants’ only sack. Jason Pierre-Paul wasn’t far behind him with 66 snaps.
  • New starting middle linebacker B.J. Goodson played 73 of the Giants’ defensive snaps and is currently the NFL’s leading tackler with 18 total tackles. PFF graded him an 80.0 on the night.
  • Cornerback Janoris Jenkins also played 73 of 74 possible snaps. PFF graded him with a 77.3 on the game. Jackrabbit followed Dez Bryant around the field and PFF credits him for giving up just two receptions on seven targets (43 yards). One of those receptions given up was a 35 yard reception where it appeared as though the Giants were in zone coverage, and Bryant was safety Darian Thompson’s responsibility. Jenkins does need to make the ensuing tackle, but that would have been a non-issue if Thompson was able to break up the pass.
  • Defensive tackle Damon Harrison played 47 snaps (64 percent), while rookie Dalvin Tomlinson played 44, the two highest totals on the defensive interior. The pair were among the Giants’ highest graded players with Tomlinson getting an 84.6 and Harrison receiving an 80.2

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