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‘Things I think’ about the first-place New York Giants

A few leftover thoughts before we fully focus on Arizona

New York Giants v Seattle Seahawks Photo by Abbie Parr/Getty Images

Before fully turning my attention to the New York Giants critical game on Sunday against the Arizona Cardinals, here are a few ‘things I think’ about your NFC East-leading Giants.

  • The Giants, as we know, play far more zone defense than defensive coordinator Patrick Graham would likely prefer. They are really disciplined in doing so. I re-watched the All-22 from the Giants’ victory over the Seattle Seahawks, and it is impressive to watch Giants’ defenders quickly and decisively drop into zones, get where they are supposed to be, then rally to the ball and tackle when the ball gets dumped off underneath.
  • When watching the game live on Sunday, I thought punt protector Nate Ebner was at fault for the blocked punt. I no longer think that was the case. We will have to ask special teams coordinator Thomas McGaughey to be sure, but I think the breakdown was on David Mayo. Mayo does not appear to recognize the extra rusher coming down, goes to help long snapper Casey Kreiter and leaves Ebner with two otherwise unobstructed rushers to block. Obviously, that’s not going to work. Oh, one more thing about that. It turned into a safety, a fortunate roll of the ball for the Giants. If the Giants had been riding a three-game losing streak, I’d bet you a nickel that would have ended up as a Seattle touchdown.
  • I think these numbers from Next Gen Stats on just how good Wayne Gallman was on Sunday are startling:

“Gallman picked up +57 RYOE [Rush Yards Over Expected] on a 60-yard scamper against the Seahawks, tied for the 10th most RYOE gained on a single run this year. He recorded +79 ROYE and 4.91 RYOE/attempt, both best in the league this week. Gallman now has +112 RYOE, 5th most in the NFL. He was the most North-South runner in Week 13, as he had a 2.47 efficiency rating. The Seahawks stacked the box on 12 of Gallman’s 16 carries (75%) which was the highest rate in Week 13.

  • And no, for those of you who have asked over the past week or so, I’m still not paying Gallman a big-money, long-term deal and moving on from Saquon Barkley.
  • When you think of all the unheralded players and in-season acquisitions who have helped the Giants [Logan Ryan, Jabaal Sheard, Niko Lalos, Isaac Yiadom, Austin Mack, Cam Brown, Carter Coughlin, Tae Crowder, Alfred Morris, Devonta Freeman before he got hurt] you have to give the Giants’ front office credit. I don’t know how the Dave Gettleman-Joe Judge dynamic works in terms of who gets more credit or has more pull when it comes to these moves. I just know that whatever the dynamic the evidence in the first year of the Gettleman-Judge pairing is that the relationship works. Whatever you want to criticize Gettleman for in his first two years you can, but the crotchety old GM and the hard-nosed young coach seem to work well together. If Gettleman wants to stay on beyond this season, I don’t know why the Giants would mess with that.
  • I think it’s exhilarating to watch what the Giants did to Seattle’s defense on Sunday. Play after play the Giants lined up with as many big bodies as they could muster and overpowered them. It was “we think we’re bigger, stronger and better and we dare you to stop us.” Power football. Tom Coughlin and Bill Parcells would have loved it.