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Giants news, 9/15: Aaron Robinson, Saquon Barkley, more headlines

New York Giants headlines for Thursday

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Good morning, New York Giants fans!

Giants’ injury report: CB Aaron Robinson out following appendix surgery | Big Blue View

Starting cornerback Aaron Robinson had his appendix removed on Wednesday and will miss Sunday’s game against the Carolina Panthers, New York Giants coach Brian Daboll said on Wednesday morning.

Could the Giants first pick of the 2022 draft make it onto the field Sunday?

Who could replace Aaron Robinson at CB for Giants in Week 2? | Big Blue View

But even so, it’s possible that whoever replaces Robinson could play a significant role in the Giants’ defense for a while.

While it’s possible that Julian Love could be a slot defender in some coverage rotations — particularly with Belton returning — it’s highly unlikely that he’ll be playing outside. He’s a safety and plays an important role in the defense as such.

The more likely possibilities are veterans Fabian Moreau, Justin Layne, and Nick McCloud, third-round rookie Cor’Dale Flott, and UFDA Zyon Gilbert.

Kaye's Take: What Do The Four Biggest Upsets Of NFL Week 1 Mean For All Teams Involved? | Pro Football Network

PFN's Mike Kaye said that head coach Brian Daboll bought a lot of points with the locker room and fan base by going for the win over Tennessee in regulation. The Giants had just scored in the late fourth quarter to pull within a point of the Titans. Instead of attempting a chip-shot extra point, Daboll trusted former first-round picks Daniel Jones and Saquon Barkley to deliver on a two-point conversion.

While Jones looked like his typically uneven self, the QB should gain some confidence with how the Week 1 win ended. He completed 17 of 21 passes for 188 yards, two touchdowns, an interception, and the two-point conversion. While the win won’t make the Giants sudden contenders, it is a positive step forward.

Giants Julian Love Brian Daboll two-point conversion coach |

For Love, it was also a reflection of Brian Daboll’s coaching style, which has been a refreshing change from years past.

“He kind of lets the players make a lot of choices,” Love said on the Tiki and Tierney show Tuesday. “He’s getting our input in a lot of things, and that’s something that hasn’t been here the last couple years. That’s the biggest change for sure. It’s a coworker type of relationship at this level…that’s how it should go. It makes you feel like we’re working together as one to get this ship in the right direction.”

Saquon Barkley is back! What is different? | ESPN

Barkley was such a shell of his former self that his rushing yards over expectation per carry (RYOE/C) last season was minus-0.28, per NFL Next Gen Stats. That essentially says on average he was a below-average running back.

Barkley’s RYOE/C was plus-4.87 on Sunday against the Titans, meaning he produced almost five yards better than the average ball carrier would have per carry, the third-best number for a running back in Week 1.

Justin Jefferson, Saquon Barkley jump to lead for 2022 NFL awards | The Athletic

Giants running back Saquon Barkley propelled himself to the top of the oddsmakers’ leaderboard after rushing for 164 yards, one TD and the game-clinching two-point conversion in New York’s win over the Titans. BetMGM has Barkley fifth a +1600—before Week 1 he was +8000.

Head coach Brian Daboll saw his odds rise as well, to +900 from +1400 before the season started.

Skip Bayless: Giants’ Saquon Barkley is more whipped cream than cake | USA Today

Skip Bayless poured cold water all over the notion that Barkley is among the league’s elite backs.

“I don’t love him as a running because, in the end, if I can be painfully objective and honest about this, he’s more of a cherry on top kind of a back. He’s more whipped cream than he is the cake. He’s more of a luxury back,” Bayless said on Undisputed. “He’s not that guy. He’ll get loose once or twice a game, but that’s all — it’s once or twice ... He’s going to get the ball a whole lot of other times and then go nowhere fast.”

Giants’ win keyed by under-the-radar defensive plays | New York Post

Nick Williams was acting on instinct when he fought through his block and crashed the backfield after reading a sweep hand-off to Titans third-string tight end Chig Okonkwo. Austin Calitro and Adoree’ Jackson swarmed to the ball, and Tae Crowder provided the finishing hit to turn a third-and-1 into a fourth-and-5.

Coaches and staffers log long hours preparing, but the awareness and execution the Giants showed on that play is an example of what head coach Brian Daboll means when he says “it’s a player’s game. Two of the biggest plays of the game were those third-down stops,” Daboll said, including Okonkwo’s 4-yard loss in two second-half defensive stands that forced punts and preceded touchdown drives by the Giants. “They were pretty good heads-up plays by our defense. It gave us a chance to get the ball back.”

The Giants are on to Carolina

Assessing Giants QB Daniel Jones’s Week 1 Performance | Sports Illustrated

But it’s clear, based on this week’s showing, that the Giants passing attack won’t be sustainable throughout the remainder of the season. Jones’s mistakes aside, there was a matter of the pass blocking—per NextGen Stats, Jones completed 81 percent of his passes despite being under pressure on 69 percent of his dropbacks.

Giants should start 2-0 and could go 4-0 |

Now, the very beatable Panthers come to town after losing their season opener to the Cleveland Browns. The Giants crushed the Browns, 25-3, a year ago at MetLife Stadium and there’s little reason to think Carolina is much better with Baker Mayfield at quarterback than they were with Sam Darnold last season.

The Giants’ next three games are at home and the Week 3 Monday night game against the Dallas Cowboys that looked like a probable loss now looks like a very winnable game with quarterback Dak Prescott sidelined by a fractured thumb.

This week’s opponent

Panthers not worried about total touches for Christian McCaffrey, |

Christian McCaffrey’s usage in Week 1 simply wasn’t enough as he had 14 touches produced 57 yards and one touchdown for the running back in Week 1 as part of an offense that gained 261 total yards.

The Panthers are understandably exercising caution when it comes to McCaffrey, who is taking Wednesdays off for additional recovery following two injury-filled campaigns. That’s part of a larger plan to prevent another season-hampering injury.

Panthers coach Matt Rhule remains undeterred in his approach with McCaffrey, stating “I think whatever the number is, somebody’s going to question it.”

Panthers place Andre Roberts on injured reserve | ProFootballTalk

The Panthers will need to find a new kick returner as wide receiver Andre Roberts has been placed on injured reserve. The three time Pro Bowler and one-time All-Pro who signed with the Panthers this offseason injured his knee in the Week 1 game.

Shi Smith is likely to take over punt return duties while Chuba Hubbard and Laviska Shenault are options for kickoff duty.

Panthers at Giants Game Preview |

Robbie Anderson's 75-yard TD catch in Week 1 was his third-straight TD of 50+ yards in season openers. Only Randy Moss (4) has more in Week 1 since 2000.

Anderson now has seven career touchdowns of over 50 yards since entering the league in 2016—Tyreek Hill (13), DeSean Jackson (10) and Tyler Lockett (8) are the only other players that have more in that span.

Around the league

Cowboys head coach Mike McCarthy: Everyone ‘feels good’ about Dak Prescott’s surgery |

Head coach Mike McCarthy told reporters on Wednesday that Dak Prescott is headed for 7-10 days of immediate recovery following surgery on his broken thumb, and the quarterback will not be placed on injured reserve.

“Everyone feels good about the surgery that Dak went through from the medical perspective,” McCarthy said, via ESPN’s Todd Archer. “From my perspective, he had surgery. These next 7-10 days he’s in a healing stage. Let’s get over that hurdle first.”

New York Jets sticking with Joe Flacco as starting QB in Week 2 | ESPN

Joe Flacco, who started for the injured Zach Wilson, will remain in the lineup Sunday against the Cleveland Browns. Coach Robert Saleh said Wednesday he never seriously considered a change even though he created some doubt on Monday.

“There was a comedy of errors that just led to what looked like a bad performance by him,” Saleh said of Flacco, alluding four dropped passes and two fumbles. “Now, it wasn’t his best performance, but I don’t think it was as bad as people think.”

Pete Carroll: Win over Russell Wilson was "really rewarding" for former Seahawks | ProFootballTalk

Carroll was asked why the win meant so much to the former players said “You figure that out. It was really meaningful and they really wanted it and I knew we were playing for a lot more than just the regular stuff...Sometimes when so much focus goes, it just rubs guys wrong I guess, or whatever. But I’m thrilled that we won that game. It was significant for a lot of reasons beyond just it’s the first game of the year and all that.”

Concussions among players who wore Guardian Caps over Summer dropped |

Concussions among NFL players mandated to wear Guardian Cap equipment dropped by more than 50% this summer compared to the previous three-year average, according to data released Wednesday.

For the first time, the league required offensive linemen, defensive linemen, tight ends and linebackers to wear Guardian Caps during practice between the start of training camp until the second preseason game -- a period when concussion rates historically have been elevated. There were 11 concussions among those position groups during that time. Six of those were caused by contact to the face mask, which is not protected by a Guardian Cap. The previous three-year average for players at those positions during that time period was 23 concussions.

Scouting Notebook: Small-school 2023 NFL Draft receivers to know and more | PFF
Florida’s Anthony Richardson versus Kentucky’s Will Levis was supposed to be a shootout between the two “toolsiest” quarterbacks in the country. It was the opposite of that. Both quarterbacks showed why many, including the PFF draft board, have been hesitant to plant their flag as either being worthy of a top-five pick. They’re just too inaccurate at the moment.

Richardson finished with a 53.1% adjusted completion percentage and a 42.0 passing grade, while Levis wasn’t too much better with a 66.7% adjusted completion percentage and a 58.8 passing grade. It’s a long season, but neither did themselves any favors over the weekend.

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