Let’s take a look at the Pro Football Focus grades and snap counts for the New York Giants in Sunday’s 19-17 victory over the Cincinnati Bengals and see what we can learn.
Quarterback Daniel Jones was the highest-graded Giants offensive player before he went out with his hamstring injury. PFF gave Jones a 78.6 overall grade in 47 snaps.
Now, let’s talk about the offensive line. To be honest, I think that is not only an area of intense interest, but one where Pro Football Focus grades may be most useful in assessing how well someone played. I wrote after the game that I thought Sunday’s performance was the line’s best of the season. Does PFF agree?
Will Hernandez didn’t start, but played 26 snaps in a rotation with Shane Lemieux and emerged as the Giants’ highest-graded offensive lineman (72.7). He gave up zero pressures in 11 pass-blocking snaps (team-best 80.7 grade in that department) and had a 68.1 run-blocking grade.
Lemieux? I don’t get why PFF grades him so poorly week after week. Lemieux played 57 snaps and did not allow a single pressure in 33 pass-blocking snaps, yet had a poor 31.0 grade in that department. A 47.7 run-blocking grade left him with an overall 42.9, worst on the offense.
Andrew Thomas (64.8 overall, 67.2 pass blocking, 59.5 run blocking) did not allow any pressures in 44 pass-blocking snaps. Kevin Zeitler (64.8, one pressure) and center Nick Gates (64.5, zero pressures) played well.
Cam Fleming had three penalties that knocked his grade down to an overall 63.7. He did not allow a single pressure, though, finishing with a 73.7 in pass blocking and a 75.6 in run blocking. Penalties or no, maybe calling for Fleming to go to the bench was premature.
Logan Ryan continued his stellar play with a team-best 91.6 grade.
The Giants had one other player grade in the 90s, and it’s one no one would have seen coming. Edge defender Jabaal Sheard, who forced the game-clinching fumble, scored a 90.7. Sheard was credited with a sack, a forced fumble and 3 stops in 24 snaps.
Jabrill Peppers, who had 4 tackles, all for stops, received an 89.6.
Niko Lalos played just 9 snaps, but earned an 88.1 in his NFL debut.
The worst defensive grade belong to linebacker Devante Downs, a 44.8 while playing only 8 defensive snaps.
A few snap count notes.
Safety Julian Love played 34 of 49 defensive snaps, more than I might have expected.
Safety Xavier McKinney played only 5 defensive snaps in his NFL debut, but was on the field for 9 special teams snaps.
With Kaden Smith sidelined, Levine Toilolo played 39 snaps as the No. 2 tight end and Elijhaa Penny played a season-high 14 snaps at fullback.
Wide receiver Darius Slayton played only 56 of 81 offensive snaps, and was really a non-factor.
Carter Coughlin played 19 snaps, Tae Crowder 13 and Cam Brown 10 on defense.