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Giants Now: Aaron Rodgers praises Dex, Wink


Aaron Rodgers praises Wink Martindale, Dexter Lawrence on The Pat McAfee Show

The Giants defense has looked impressive through the first five games.

Wink Martindale's unit has allowed the ninth-fewest points on the year (18.6 points per game) and ranks 12th in yards allowed per game (326). In the Week 5 win over Green Bay, the defense held the Packers to 301 total yards of offense and just 20 points, all of which came in the first half.

Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers recently joined The Pat McAfee Show to discuss the success of the Giants defense in London led by Martindale.

"I have a ton of respect for Wink," said the four-time league MVP. "I think he's a fantastic coach. They got a good scheme, they have really good players. But they're aggressive, they come after you. They had a lot of different pressures. They had edge pressure, they had overload pressure, they had empty pressure. They threw a lot at us."

Martindale was not the only member of the Giants praised by the Packers quarterback.

Rodgers was also very complimentary about defensive lineman Dexter Lawrence, who picked up a sack and finished with two total pressures and five tackles (four solo).

Lawrence now has three sacks on the season, one shy of his career-mark set in 2020.

"They got some studs on the inside," Rodgers said. "Ninety-seven is a premier player, and needs to probably get some more recognition for the ability that he has. Talking with our interior three (offensive linemen), they think he's one of the top guys in the league, for sure. He played, obviously, really well for them. But they play really well together. They fly to the ball."

Kayvon Thibodeaux, Darius Slayton garner praise from PFF

After missing the first two weeks of the season with a knee injury, Kayvon Thibodeaux has played in the last three games and has seen his role grow each week.

The No. 5 overall pick has yet to register a sack, but has racked up nine total pressures since making his NFL debut, including four total pressures in each of the last two games. Thibodeaux has also added a fumble recovery and three pass breakups, including one in the final moments of Sunday's win over Green Bay.

Pro Football Focus featured Thibodeaux on their weekly list of the top rookie performances.

"He racked up four pressures for the second straight game against the Green Bay Packers in London," wrote PFF's Michael Renner. "Early returns have been impressive for the No. 5 overall pick."

The analytics website also recognized Darius Slayton for his strong performance against the Packers.

After coming into the game with just one reception on the season, Slayton caught a team-high six passes for 79 yards, five of which went for first downs. His performance earned him an 89.6 overall grade from PFF, the third-highest among the league's wide receivers in Week 5.

"He finally got his opportunity in Week 5 with Kenny Golladay, Kadarius Toney, Sterling Shepard and Wan'Dale Robinson all out of the lineup," said PFF's Marcus Mosher. "He caught six of seven targets for 79 yards and was the Giants' highest-graded player in Week 5 (89.6). While his average depth of target continues to be low (10.4 in Week 5), he is getting open and is now even making contested catches more consistently. We shall see if the Giants use more of Slayton in upcoming weeks, as his performance against the Green Bay Packers was impressive."

Giants place rookie D.J. Davidson on injured reserve

The Giants yesterday placed rookie defensive lineman D.J. Davidson on injured reserve with a season-ending knee injury.

The fifth-round selection from Arizona State tore his ACL on a Green Bay punt in the third quarter of the Giants' 27-22 victory against the Packers Sunday in London.

Davidson had played in each of the Giants' first five games, participating in 43 snaps as a reserve on defense and 43 on special teams. He was credited with four tackles (two solo) on defense.

Davidson is the third 2022 Giants draft choice to go on injured reserve with a torn ACL, joining tackle Marcus McKethan (fifth round) and linebacker Darrian Beavers (sixth).

The Giants did not immediately announce a replacement for Davidson on the roster. They have two defensive linemen on their practice squad. Henry Mondeaux was elevated to the active roster and hurt his ankle vs. Chicago on Oct. 2, and rookie free agent Ryder Anderson.

View photos of the New York Giants' 2022 roster as it currently stands.

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