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Giants week in review: The best of the week, through the eyes of social media

Well, at least through Nick’s social media

New York Giants v Detroit Lions Photo by Nic Antaya/Getty Images

The New York Giants enter their second season under the leadership of GM Joe Schoen and head coach Brian Daboll. The roster has started to reform under their vision, yet depth remains an issue at critical spots. Those concerns were evident as it pertains to the offensive line in the Giants’ 21-16 loss on Friday night.

To be fair, neither starting tackle played nor did swing tackle Tyre Phillips. Korey Cunningham was forced to play 59 snaps, Matt Peart 32, and offensive guard Wyatt Davis played all 27 of his snaps at right tackle. Cunningham surrendered two sacks and eight pressures, and Davis a pair of sacks as well as six pressures, according to Pro Football Focus. Peart only allowed one pressure.

Rookie UDFA Tommy DeVito evoked memories of Rocky Balboa against Clubber Lang throughout parts of the game, but the resilience associated with Sylvester Stallone’s character induced confidence in the young Jersey kid.

DeVito’s touchdown pass after Dane Belton’s interception went to his Don Bosco teammate tight end Tommy Sweeney. Somewhere, Coach Toal is smiling. Mike Kafka brought the Giants’ red zone offense from the abyss - the team finished 32nd and 31st in red zone touchdown percentage under Jason Garrett - to a top-five ranking in this category.

The Giants took advantage of the sudden change in this shotgun 12 personnel, double-Y, set with both tight ends (to the boundary) releasing vertical. The Lions were more concerned with Bryce Ford Wheaton (6) as the number two receiver to the field, giving the Giants one-on-one matchups to the closed side (tight end side). DeVito layered a ball over the top of the coverage, and Sweeney secured it. The shower narrative lives on. Here’s the Belton interception that set up the touchdown.

The Giants had two interceptions against Nate Sudfeld; last season, New York only had six interceptions on the season, tying them for last with the Raiders. On the first play of the game, presumed starting safety Jason Pinnock came away with this interception, which was heavily assisted by Tomon Fox’s pass rusher:

Pinnock only played five snaps on Friday. In those five snaps, he secured the interception from a middle-of-the-field closed look, had a tackle for a loss on a blitz, and punched the ball out of the grasp of tight end Sam LaPorta on fourth-and-1. Talk about making a statement.

Pinnock wasn’t the only young defensive back to impress on Friday. First-round rookie Deonte Banks was sticky in coverage with a tenacious attitude. Banks ran this route for the Lions’ receiver before tackling the tight end in space:

Here are all of Banks’ reps from Friday’s game:

I also uploaded all the plays from Tre Hawkins III and Micah McFadden; both players had very good outings. However, X (the website formally known as Twitter) is experiencing some difficulties with its videos. Those videos are on my profile, and maybe they’ll be fixed in due time. Still, here’s one play I uploaded earlier of McFadden. Excellent fill, pop, and execution to box the GF counter run inside. As I state in the X, the Giants could have used this last season:

To circle back to young rookie defensive backs, seventh-round rookie Gervarrius Owens, out of Houston, was known for his instinctual plays. He possessed high football IQ in college, and here’s a great example of that trait from Friday:

It’s so easy for young safeties to fall for the eye candy of the clear-out route. Not Owens, though. He saw the dig working underneath and reacted to drive through the outside shoulder of the receiver while almost causing the turnover. Another late-round rookie who impressed was interior defensive linemen Jordon Riley, formerly of Oregon, Nebraska, Garden City Community College, and North Carolina (he is well-traveled).

This is elite strength and exceptional anticipatory skills to know the guard was blocking down on the GH counter run. Riley fought through the hold, shed the block, and presented his chest to the running back, who had nowhere to go. Tashawn Bower (94) did well to olé the backside guard and assist Riley in the tackle.

Bower isn’t well known, but he had a good game. He’s a 6-foot-5, 250-pound journeyman edge defender who the Giants signed just before training camp. The 28-year-old played 46 snaps; here are a few:

The edge depth is a concern, but performances by Fox, Bower, and Habakkuk Baldonado were encouraging. Baldonado was flagged for roughing the passer on the play below; he had two pressures, a sack, and then this play that was called back:

Rookie center Jon Michael Schmitz had a solid first outing. Here are all of his plays, followed by impressive reps: