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What can we learn from the Giants’ PFF grades and snap counts against the Packers?

There was stellar play on both sides of the ball

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Green Bay Packers v New York Giants Photo by Kathryn Riley/Getty Images

There were many heroes Monday night as the New York Giants snatched victory from the jaws of defeat in a 24-22 win over the Green Bay Packers on a windy evening at MetLife Stadium and kept their faint playoff hopes alive. Let’s see who Pro Football Focus thought those heroes were, and what the snap counts tell us about who’s up and who’s down in the eyes of the coaches.

OFFENSE

PFF grades

Courtesy of Pro Football Focus
  • Not surprisingly, the two highest grades on offense went to wide receivers Isaiah Hodgins (89.4) and Wan’Dale Robinson (84.4), both of whom made key plays in scoring drives. Hodgins now has 2 TDs in the past two games after being underutilized this season, and Robinson had his best game since the one in which he was injured last season. Darius Slayton (60.2) and Jalin Hyatt (48.0) had quiet nights although Slayton had a reception on the game-winning drive.
  • Tommy DeVito (74.0) was quietly efficient much of the night but came alive late in the third and fourth quarters with touchdown drives that won the game. DeVito only had one pass farther than 20 yards downfield and only 6.2 air yards per attempt (23rd in the league for Week 14), but he was very effective at intermediate depths, going 4 for 5 for 67 yards, his only TD pass, and a perfect NFL passer rating (158.3) on those throws. Notably, DeVito was pressured on 48% of dropbacks and was equally effective under pressure (69.4) as when kept clean (67.5). His 71.9 PFF run grade reflects his effectiveness scrambling as well as on several zone reads. DeVito’s efficient play led the NFL in QBR (81.7) and he was second to Brock Purdy in EPA/play (0.309).
  • The offensive line had one of their better games this season. No one graded above average, but the bar is low for this group. John Michael Schmitz (61.7) was solid in both pass and run blocking, while Andrew Thomas’ similar overall grade (60.2) was the result of good pass blocking combined with subpar run blocking. The other starters graded below average (Ben Bredeson, 58.6; Justin Pugh, 52.2; Tyre Phillips, 45.7), but overall the OL gave up no sacks, only one QB hit, and only 14 total pressures. The line had more trouble opening holes for the running game, especially in the first half.
  • Running backs Saquon Barkley (60.0) and Matt Breida (67.7) had average nights; Barkley’s grade was lowered by his almost-disastrous fumble late in the game.

Snap counts

  • DeVito and the starting offensive line played every snap; the continuity is beginning to show in improved play during the 3-game winning streak. Daniel Bellinger played almost every snap, mostly as a blocker, and was the sole tight end on the field most of the time.
  • Darius Slayton and Wan’Dale Robinson played the majority of snaps, with Jalin Hyatt on the field a little more than half the time. Isaiah Hodgins only saw the field for 20 snaps but for the second week in a row made them count. Sterling Shepard did not play and Parris Campbell was inactive with an injury.
  • As usual, Saquon Barkey played most of the game, with Matt Breida briefly giving him a rest. Once again, Eric Gray did not play.

DEFENSE

PFF grades

Courtesy of Pro Football Focus
  • Dexter Lawrence (91.9) and Azeez Ojulari (82.9) had excellent games on defense, each generating 6 pressures and sharing a sack, with Lawrence and Ojulari adding 2 and 4 run stops, respectively. Kayvon Thibodeaux (65.1) had an average game overall, but was still disruptive with a shared sack, 4 total pressures, a batted pass, and 3 run stops. A’Shawn Robinson (67.1) and Rakeem Nunez-Roches (64.3) had pretty good games, while Jihad Ward (50.8) was subpar and the other defensive linemen played poorly.
  • The Giants’ linebackers had a relatively quiet game, but Bobby Okereke (78.9) once again played very well. Micah McFadden (58.8) graded lower because of two missed tackles and 3 receptions allowed in 3 targets, and Isaiah Simmons (72.3) was good but also had a missed tackle.
  • In the defensive backfield, Jason Pinnock (80.5) had one of his best games, and Xavier McKinney (70.5) continued his recent run of above-average play. Adoree’ Jackson (68.6) and Tae Banks (68.0) both played pretty well except fitting the run. Cor-Dale Flott (38.4) had a rough night - he missed a tackle and gave up 5 receptions in 7 targets for 59 yards, including 34 YAC.

Snap counts

  • The starting cornerbacks and safeties played every snap, as they often do when healthy. Cor’Dale Flott got the bulk of the action in the slot, with Darnay Holmes and Dane Belton seeing limited snaps. Nick McCloud and Tre Hawkins did not play on defense.
  • Kayvon Thibodeaux once again played almost every snap. Of note on the other side, Azeez Ojulari got most of the snaps, so it appears that he is fully healthy. Jihad Ward was on the field almost half the time, but his snaps were split between playing on the edge, over tackle, and in the B-gap. Benton Whitley also played a few edge snaps. At the second level, Bobby Okereke was as usual on the field for every defensive play, while Micah McFadden split duties with Isaiah Simmons on early vs. later downs.
  • Dexter Lawrence returned to action but for fewer than half the plays as he nurses his hamstring injury. A’Shawn Robinson and Rakeem Nunez-Roches made up most of the difference, with D.J. Davidson and Jordon Riley seeing very limited action as well.