Good morning, New York Giants fans!
Thibodeaux: Pressuring quarterbacks key for defense
The game this Saturday in Minnesota features two players honored for their performances last week—the Giant’s outside linebacker Kayvon Thibodeaux and Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins were named NFC Players of the Week for their sides of the ball.
Thibodeaux sees a key to the game being New York’s defense front making sure that Cousins doesn’t have the opportunities to connect with a passing attack that features wide receiver Justin Jefferson
“They have one of the best wide receivers in the league right now,” said the fifth overall choice this year. “We’ve talked about it as a unit—the only way we’re going to be able to stop him, not the only way, but one of the ways that we can affect playing against the best wide receiver in the league is affecting the quarterback.”
Thibodeaux sees his performance against Washington as one to grown on, needing to help the team stack up wins to carry momentum into the playoffs. He was quick to credit his primetime breakout to his fellow lineman.
“I would say the only reason I was able to have a game like I had is because of the rest of the front,” the Oregon product stated. “If you noticed, once we all came together and we all start playing great then we started to see that production and started making plays. I think the credits to all of us and we’ve just got to continue to stay healthy, continue to get better, and continue to get more cohesive as rushers.
From Big Blue View
- Giants’ injury report: Josh Ezeudu’s neck injury ‘more long-term than short-term’
- How much would you pay to keep Daniel Jones as Giants’ quarterback?
- Richie James has rediscovered love for football, regained key role with Giants
- Leonard Williams: ‘Even though we say it wasn’t a playoff game it definitely felt like one’
- Giants’ Kayvon Thibodeaux named NFC Defensive Player of the Week
Other Giant observations
A double shot of Wink Wisdom this week—first on Head Coach Kevin O’Connell...
Wink Martindale on going up against Kevin O'Connell's Vikings offense:— Giants Videos (@SNYGiants) December 21, 2022
"It's unfair. I'm the blue-collar guy going against Harry Styles" pic.twitter.com/olk4Utpzoy
...followed by his thoughts of WR Justin Jefferson
"He's one of the top-two receivers in this league. And he's not number two."— Giants Videos (@SNYGiants) December 21, 2022
- Wink Martindale on Justin Jefferson pic.twitter.com/bJXXemOqle
Jones has earned the trust of Daboll and his coaching staff, not to mention a new front office led by general manager Joe Schoen that essentially had zero investment in his presence here beyond this season.
"I think when I got here, just talking to some of the skill guys and even the defensive guys, they’ve always had that respect for Daniel because of the way he approaches his job, he’s a true pro," Daboll said. "And he’s a good leader. I know he’s kind of a quiet guy. But in the huddle, he’s a good leader with those guys. He knows everybody’s responsibilities. He can get things lined up; he can correct mistakes. He’s a problem solver. So, I think the guys have a lot of respect for him."
BALTIMORE RAVENS QB LAMAR JACKSON → NEW YORK GIANTS
Terms: Giants send 2023 1st, 2024 1st, 2025 1st, 2023 2nd, 2024 3rd
The New York Giants have been the surprise team of 2022 under head coach Brian Daboll and defensive coordinator Wink Martindale — who battled Lamar Jackson in Ravens practice from 2018-22 — and could perhaps look to make a splash this offseason after letting quarterback Daniel Jones hit the open market. Daboll and Jackson could be a dynamic offensive duo, and while the Giants also have injury issues and a lack of talent at wide receiver, it can’t be any worse than it was in Baltimore.
Agent's Take: Assessing Daniel Jones' season and what type of contract the Giants could give | CBSSports.com
Complicating matters is the average salary for starting quarterbacks, excluding those on rookie contracts, is $32,036,681 per year according to NFLPA data. The number is $21,318,677 per year with the inclusion of starting quarterbacks on rookie contracts. The salaries for incoming players are determined strictly by draft position under the rookie wage scale.
The Giants probably aren't convinced Jones is the long-term answer at quarterback. A franchise or transition tag likely isn't appealing given the $22.384 million cost of the declined option. The non-exclusive quarterback franchise tag, which would entitle the Giants to two first-round picks from the signing team on an unmatched offer sheet, should be $32.445 million with a $225 million 2023 salary cap. This represents 14.42% of the salary cap. The transition tag, which would only give the Giants a right to match another team's offer sheet, is expected to be $29.53 million with a $225 million salary cap.
“You can’t replace really good players,” head coach Brian Daboll said, “but I think Pinnock has done an excellent job of fitting into our defense. The defensive coaches have used him the right way, whether it’s in the deep part of the field, down in the box or blitzing. He’s so explosive. He’s got strength, power and good speed. He can bring it.”
NFL insider Jason LaCanfora doesn’t appear to be a fan of Eli Manning. Consider what he said this week about the former New York Giants quarterback.
“Eli Manning’s not a Hall of Famer for me. Maybe my standard’s too high, but with the way this game has changed, the rules, and everything else the last 15 years. … I just think there are too many seasons where like you can’t go around leading the league in interceptions multiple times and be a Hall of Famer, for me. I think if he played in a different market it wouldn’t be as much of a conversation. If his last name was different it wouldn’t be as much of a conversation.”
This week’s opponent
According to PFF, Cook lined up wide eight times (a season-high) and was featured as an in-line tight end on seven more snaps to help protect the pocket.
"Being able to split him out means we're in more than likely in empty formations," O'Connell said. "That requires those offensive linemen to get Kirk the time needed against a front that quite honestly has caused a lot of problems this year, whether you look at those edges with [Yannick Ngakoue and Kwity Paye] or [DeForest Buckner]. So a lot of credit to our guys up front to sustain throughout that second half."
Cousins threw for 460 yards and four touchdowns (along with two interceptions) in the Minnesota Vikings’ thrilling 39-36 overtime win over the Indianapolis Colts at U.S. Bank Stadium on Saturday. Of the 460 yards that Cousins threw for, 417 of them came in the second half and overtime as Minnesota overcame a 33-0 deficit to clinch the NFC North division title with three games remaining in the season.
This is the seventh time in his career that Cousins has been named the NFC Offensive Player of the Week and the third time he’s done so as a member of the Vikings. He won the award twice in 2020 in the Vikings’ victories over the Carolina Panthers and the Detroit Lions.
“It’s just like Michael Jordan and the Detroit Pistons,” Jefferson said. “They try to take out the best player. Try to put as much physical abuse that they can on him. Those defenses . . . they try whatever it takes for me not to get those big plays.”
Around the league
Hall of Fame RB Franco Harris dies: Steelers legend of 'Immaculate Reception' fame was 72 | CBSSports.com
"It is difficult to find the appropriate words to describe Franco Harris' impact on the Pittsburgh Steelers, his teammates, the City of Pittsburgh and Steelers Nation," Steelers president Art Rooney II said in a statement. "From his rookie season, which included the "Immaculate Reception," through the next 50 years, Franco brought joy to people on and off the field. He never stopped giving back in so many ways. He touched so many, and he was loved by so many. Our thoughts and prayers are with his wife Dana, his son Dok, and his extended family at this difficult time."
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