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From Big Blue View
The Giants will be underdogs for the third straight week when they play the Jacksonville Jaguars on the road in Week 7. The Jaguars (2-4) are -110 moneyline favorites at SB Nation partner DraftKings Sportsbook. The over/under is currently 42.5 points.
Remember when rookie right tackle Evan Neal was a bust? He checked in Sunday with a season-best 70.5 grade, allowing just two pressures in 34 pass-blocking snaps. In addition to his five receptions on Sunday, rookie tight end Daniel Bellinger checked in with an excellent 74.5 score in 28 run-blocking snaps.
The grades confirmed what we already knew — Dexter Lawrence (89.5) was dominant on Sunday. The two lowest grades were from inside linebackers Tae Crowder (29.6 in 40 snaps) and Jaylon Smith (27.1 in 32 snaps).
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- LISTEN! Hear how the Giants reacted to Sunday’s victory
- Pod: ‘Valentine’s Views’ podcast: Giants improve to 5-1
Other Giant observations
Brian Daboll is the Coach of the Year — Overreaction or reality: Reality. This is the first time since 2009 the Giants have started 5-1 or better in the Super Bowl era. Daboll is the first Giants coach since Allie Sherman in 1961 to begin his career 5-1. Jones has four game-winning drives as New York is 5-1 in one-score games — the only team this season to have each of its games be decided by eight points or less.
Daboll might not be just the Coach of the Year. He might be one of the best in the league — already.
Rob Gronkowski said that Giants coach Brian Daboll is the best position coach he’s ever had. Daboll was the Patriots TEs coach from 2013-2016.
“He brought the best out of you. He had that niche to get you to enjoy the game and play to your full potential.”
A Baldy Breakdown focusing on Giants rookie Kayvon Thibodeaux
The 33rd Teams Trey Wingo and Eric Mangini remark about how the Giants and Jets may have not had the fanfare that many other teams did entering the season, but they sure do now. The Giants (5-1) and the Jets (4-2) are taking the league by storm and a lot of it has to do with their young head coaches.
Justin Ellis witnessed last season in his old locker room down in Baltimore, he gathered some of his teammates in the locker room this past week and offered up a dose of reality that struck the proper tone within a team enjoying much more success than anticipated, and way sooner than anyone could have imagined.
“I overheard some of the younger guys talking about our record, how good things were going and you know, just getting a little bit ahead of ourselves,” Ellis recalled following Sunday’s 24-20 victory over the Ravens. “So I called them over and was like, ‘Hey listen, let me tell you a story about how quickly a season can go the other way.’”
One up: DT Dexter Lawrence. The Dave Gettleman era produced a lot of frustration for Giants fans, but at least they got Lawrence out of it. The 2019 first-round pick has been a wrecking ball in the middle of Wink Martindale’s defense. He registered five pressures, including a sack and a quarterback hit, while earning an 89.5 overall PFF grade in Sunday’s win over the Ravens.
One down: LB Jaylon Smith. The former Cowboys star put forth solid efforts in his first two games of the season in Weeks 4 and 5, but he earned just a 27.1 PFF grade Sunday while letting up four catches — all first downs — on four targets for 60 yards.
“I think his approach has been great,’’ Love said. “I’ve told that to him. When we win games, when we lose games, it stays constant. His mindset and his mentality and his approach to us stays really constant. There is not super high-highs when you win or super low-lows when you lose. I told him ‘Man, that’s an approach I haven’t seen in recent years.’
Darius Slayton doesn’t think his Giants will have any problem ignoring their surprising 5-1 record and keeping focus on the task at hand.
“No, I don’t think it will,” Slayton said when asked if it will be hard to shut out the noise of the team’s strong start and what it entails. “Mostly because we have experience ignoring our record. For bad reasons. That experience is probably going to pay off later on if we continue this trend and later on in the season, just keep ignoring it and keep playing good ball, and the results take care of themselves.”
“It’s ok to be happy”
“We’re not shocked,” Giants quarterback Daniel Jones said after the latest Giants’ shocker, a 24-20 win over the Baltimore Ravens. “No, we’re not shocked that we find ways to win. I think we’re confident in what we can do and we’re confident in our toughness, our ability to compete and find ways to win down the stretch. So, no, we’re not shocked.”
After the victory, I asked two NFL execs whether they thought the Giants were a playoff team. Both answered in the affirmative. One exec pointed to the Giants’ schedule with two games against Washington, another against Indianapolis and five winnable games before those, including games against Jacksonville, Seattle, Houston and Detroit.
“They had personnel last year on defense,” a second of the execs said. “I don’t think the quarterback is the real guy, so I think ultimately that will catch up to them, but I thought the Giants job was a good job. I think it’s telling that they are producing with the same players that the previous staff did not succeed with.”
Defensive players of the week: Kayvon Thibodeaux, edge rusher, N.Y. Giants. After missing the start of his rookie season with a knee injury, it took until week six for Kayvon Thibodeaux to get the breakout moment fitting for his status as the number five overall pick. With the Giants holding a slim four-point lead and the Ravens driving late in the fourth, Thibodeaux strip-sacked Lamar Jackson, and Leonard Williams recovered to seal the win for the G-Men. The moment clearly meant a lot to Thibodeaux, whose Giants are now 5-1 and keeping pace in a red-hot NFC East.
Giants fans about the season so far
This week’s opponent
Doug Pederson still believes despite the team currently mired in a three-game October losing streak. What he sees is a very capable team that must eliminate very avoidable mistakes.
"I'm still confident in this group," Pederson said Monday, a day after a 14-3 first-half lead became a last-minute 34-27 loss to the Indianapolis Colts. "When you put the tape on, it's about us; it's about what we do and sometimes about what we don't do. We've got a group of guys who want to get it fixed. That's the encouraging part."
The Jacksonville Jaguars were trailing 26-21 with 10 minutes left in the fourth quarter. The Jaguars got the ball back on their 16-yard line for an all too familiar scenario—trailing late with the ball in the offense’s hands. In the previous instances, quarterback Trevor Lawrence had been unable to deliver a score drive to overtake the other team. But on Sunday, against the Indianapolis Colts, Lawrence delivered in impressive fashion.
The second-year quarterback executed an 18-play touchdown drive that ate nearly eight minutes off the clock to put the Jaguars up 27-26 with just over two minutes left in the game.
Less than a month after shutting out the Colts, the Jaguars earned as “B” as the defense simply had no answers for Indianapolis in this game. The Jags let a 14-3 lead slip away and a big reason is because the Jags defense couldn’t stop a Colts offense that scored every time it touched the ball in the second half. The Jags didn’t make too many mistakes offensively, but Doug Pederson would probably like to have back a failed third-quarter call where the Jags ran an option on fourth-and-1, but didn’t convert. Defensively, Travon Walker made a back-breaking mistake when he got called for roughing the passer after a third-and-12 incomplete pass. The penalty gave the Colts a first down on a drive where they eventually scored a TD. The Jaguars can definitely compete in the AFC South, but they’re going to need to clean up their mistakes.
One up: CB Tyson Campbell Colts quarterback Matt Ryan threw for 389 yards and three touchdowns against Jacksonville on Sunday, but Campbell allowed just three catches on six targets for eight yards with two forced incompletions while earning a 91.3 coverage grade.
One down: CB Shaquill Griffin Griffin, meanwhile, finished with a 48.9 coverage grade in Sunday’s loss, letting up nine catches on 13 targets for 108 yards and a touchdown.
The Titans are poaching a player from one of their AFC South rivals, signing defensive back Josh Thompson off of the Jaguars practice squad. Thompson signed with the Jaguars after going undrafted out of Texas earlier this year. He made the initial cut to 53 players, but was waived a day later when the Jaguars claimed a handful of players off of waivers.
Around the league
The Arizona Cardinals acquired wide receiver Robbie Anderson on Monday, a day after wide receiver Marquise "Hollywood" Brown suffered a foot injury that could end his season. The Panthers will reportedly receive a 2024 sixth-round pick and a 2025 seventh-round selection.
Brown's injury wasn't the only major one suffered by a Cardinals starter on Sunday. Former Giant left guard Justin Pugh will miss the rest of the season with a torn ACL in his right knee.
Rodgers said he and General Manager Brian Gutekunst “have had a number of conversations” that have involved making moves ahead of the trade deadline and that he trusts the team will do something if the right situation emerges in the next few weeks.
“There’s the possibility if certain guys emerge of us having a chance to make a run. I know Brian believes the same thing,” Rodgers said. “But if there’s an opportunity, I would expect that Brian will be in the mix.”
The Washington Commanders will be without quarterback Carson Wentz for the next month or so due to a fractured ring finger. Wentz is facing a recovery time of roughly 4-6 weeks and injured reserve is a consideration. Wentz was set to undergo surgery on Monday after visiting with a hand specialist in Los Angeles.
The Commanders currently have Taylor Heinicke as their backup. Heinicke started 15 games in 2021, throwing for 3,419 yards with 20 TDs and 15 INTs. Washington could eventually give fifth-round pick Sam Howell, a preseason darling, some run in what is shaping up as a lost season in DC.
What's head coach Todd Bowles' take on the outside perception Tom Brady gets special treatment?
"He works as hard as anybody," Bowles told reporters. "Special treatment, there's been a few guys that have missed some meetings and some practices for special things that just doesn't get publicized because they're not him. It kind of comes with the territory. Don't worry about it too much."
NFL winners and losers from Week 6, plus Broncos-Chargers picks and weekly grades for every team | CBSSports.com
Winner: The Big Apple. It doesn’t seem possible, but the Jets and Giants are somehow both good this year. Both teams were big underdogs on Sunday and somehow, both teams won. The last time both teams were at least two games over .500 at least six weeks into the season was 2010. If they keep this up, we could see both teams make the playoffs in the same year for the first time since 2006.
The Tennessee Titans have an agreement in place with Nashville Mayor John Cooper to build a new stadium. The 1.7-million-square-foot stadium will have a dome, making it possible to host a Super Bowl and other major events year-round. It will be located east of Nissan Stadium along the East Bank. The project is said to cost up to $2.2 billion and must be approved by the Metro Council.
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