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5 Things We Learned

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5 Things We Learned: Bobby Okereke keeps rolling


The New York Giants welcomed the New England Patriots to MetLife Stadium on Sunday for a Week 12 matchup.

It was a low-scoring affair, but the Giants walked away with a 10-7 victory.

The Giants now enter their bye week with a 4-8 record. Meanwhile, the Patriots return home in Week 13 for a game against the Los Angeles Chargers.

Here are five things we learned in Week 12:

1. Giants make it two in a row

The Giants gained just 220 total yards of offense but did not turn the ball over, while the defense picked up three takeaways in the team's second consecutive win. The Patriots had an opportunity to tie the game in the final seconds, but kicker Chad Ryland missed a 35-yard field goal to clinch the win for the Giants.

"I'm just really happy for the players, the coaches, the organization, a lot of smiling faces in there," head coach Brian Daboll said after the win. "These guys work extremely hard. They do things the right way. They're committed to the process. There's a lot of team chemistry. I appreciate that through some tough times. We've got a long way to go."

The Giants now enter their bye week riding a two-game winning streak. It marks the first time this season the Giants have won consecutive games. The next time they will take the field is on Monday, December 11, when the Green Bay Packers come to East Rutherford for Monday Night Football.

"We come back Monday night, I think, against Green Bay, but really proud of the people that put their head down and grind and are able to fight through some adversity at times because that's like I've said before many times, a roller coaster," Daboll said. "So, stay committed to the things we do and believe in one another and do everything we can do to try to put us in good position to win a game."

View photos from the Giants' Week 12 matchup against the New England Patriots.

2. DeVito picks up second win (first at home)

Quarterback Tommy DeVito took the field at MetLife Stadium as the starting quarterback for the first time in his young career Sunday. With family members and friends in the stands, the undrafted rookie quarterback and New Jersey native did his part to help the Giants pick up the victory. DeVito completed 17 of 25 passes (68 percent) for 191 yards, one touchdown and no interceptions, which earned him a passer rating of 103.9.

"It feels great," DeVito told the media after the game. "Any game after a win is awesome, but to be able to do it here at home for my first time is surreal. I'm going to enjoy the moment."

DeVito is now 2-1 as the starting quarterback, with six touchdown passes to just one interception. His 92.4 passer rating on the season is the second-highest among all rookie quarterbacks with at least 50 pass attempts, trailing only Houston's C.J. Stroud (100.8).

"It's a respect thing, is what it is," said the undrafted rookie. "I'm going to go out and try to prove myself every single time I step on the field, whether if I would've been drafted number one overall or undrafted as I was, you need to go out and prove yourself. That status and all that doesn't really mean anything, but how you go out and play means something."

3. Defense grabs 3 INTs

For the second consecutive week, the defense came up big for the Giants. Rookie cornerback Deonte Banks got things started with an interception of Patriots quarterback Mac Jones at the end of the first quarter. With the Patriots driving late in the second quarter, linebacker Bobby Okereke made the play of the day when he jumped in front of a Jones pass for his second interception of the season. Okereke returned the ball 55 yards to set the Giants up deep in Patriots territory, leading to the team's first and only touchdown of the day.

"Instincts are a big part of this game and I think (Defensive Coordinator Don Martindale) Wink does a good job of letting me play to those instincts for sure," said Okereke. "Shout out to one of my former running mates, (former Indianapolis Colts LB) Shaquille Leonard I got to watch him first-hand fly around, get forced fumbles, interceptions, fumble recoveries. So, I'm doing my best maniac impression...

"Obviously, the return was big but just the energy on the sideline. I know our offense feeds off us and we fed off them."

The defense's success led to New England making a change at quarterback during halftime, handing the offense over to Bailey Zappe. Similar to Jones, the second-year quarterback did not find much success, throwing another interception to the Giants, this time to safety Xavier McKinney.

The Giants held Jones and Zappe to a combined 21 of 35 for just 136 yards, zero touchdowns and three interceptions for a passer rating of 33.4.

Outside linebackers Jihad Ward (1.5) and Kayvon Thibodeaux (0.5) combined for the team's two sacks on the day. The defense also totaled seven pass breakups, as Okereke and McKinney picked up two apiece.

4. Hyatt has career day

Wide receiver Jalin Hyatt has flashed his potential at various times throughout his rookie season. However, the first-year wideout put together the best outing of his young NFL career against the Patriots in Week 12. The 22-year-old set new season-highs with five receptions for 109 yards, which led to him averaging nearly 22 yards per reception.

"That's one thing I had to learn being up here," Hyatt said after the win. "Just being at Tennessee I used to average a hundred yards and being up here was kind of tough for me and I didn't know, I went to Coach (Brian Daboll) and asked, was it me, is there something I need to do better or anything and Dabs had a great talk with me one on one and just talked to me about how the league is, the NFL, and saying, one game you can have the best game of your life and the next game you can be humbled.

"It just goes to Dabs and how much respect I have for him and him teaching me about the NFL and the league and how it was. It was just tough for me at first, just going from averaging a hundred yards to not really get no hundred yards or fifty yards. So, it was tough to me, but I decided I had to stick it through, stick it through with my preparation and make sure I'm staying ready."

Not only did Hyatt rack up the receiving yards, but he looked impressive in the process. The rookie was able to work the sideline and get both feet in on his first grab of the day, a 29-yard catch on the team's opening drive. Hyatt and DeVito also connected on passes of 22 and 41 yards. Hyatt entered the game with 221 yards on the season and finished with nearly half of that in Sunday's contest.

"We started at rookie minicamp, then OTAs and training camp, so for me I wasn't really with the ones starting off and me and Tommy were with the threes starting off so we kind of built chemistry off of that during the offseason and going into the season," Hyatt said about his chemistry with DeVito. "At the same time, it just goes to our preparation. Tommy had a great game. It all starts with the quarterback for being in the league. I'm very proud of him, what he has done, but for us we've got to keep going."

5. Injury updates

Defensive lineman Dexter Lawrence was listed as doubtful on the final injury report before being ruled inactive 90 minutes before kickoff. Lawrence was not on the practice field all week, which led to him missing the first game of his NFL career due to injury.

Offensive tackle Evan Neal was ruled out on Friday due to an ankle injury. It was the third consecutive game Neal has missed.

Wide receiver Darius Slayton was able to get on the practice field as a limited participant on Thursday and Friday, but was listed as doubtful for Week 12. However, Slayton was active and played in Sunday's game against the Patriots.

Cornerback Adoree' Jackson cleared the NFL concussion protocol after missing the last two contests.

On Saturday, the Giants activated running back Eric Gray off injured reserve. The rookie back had been sidelined since Week 7 because of a calf injury.

The Giants suffered two injuries in the Week 12 win. Inside linebacker Carter Coughlin was ruled out with a hip injury. He finished the day with two solo tackles, including a big hit on Ty Montgomery on a kick return. Additionally, rookie defensive lineman Jordon Riley suffered a finger injury.


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