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Scouting Report: Key matchups that could determine Week 8


The Giants and Jets will face off at MetLife Stadium on Sunday. Here are the key matchups for the Giants that will help determine the winner:

Slowing down Breece Hall

The Jets' offense has struggled to gain traction this season, ranking fourth-worst in EPA per play (-.16), third-worst in success rate (39.9%), and third-worst in yards per game (277). (Stats are via TruMedia.) Their situational stats aren't better, converting only a quarter of their third downs (last in the NFL) and scoring touchdowns on 29% of their red zone appearances (also last).

The Jets' run game, however, has been a bright spot for their offense. Their 5.22 average yards per rush ranks third in the league, and they rank 13th in EPA per rush with the 13th-best success rate in the NFL. Their two rushes of 40+ yards are tied for second in the league and their four rushes of 20+ yards are tied for 11th.

Breece Hall had his touches limited early in the season after tearing his ACL last year, but has 34 carries for 216 yards over his last two games. He also has eight catches for 71 yards. Hall has both of the Jets' 40+ yard runs and has scored two touchdowns this season. According to Pro Football Focus, he leads the NFL in yards after contact per rushing attempt (4.1). He is 19th in forced missed tackles per rushing attempt.

The Giants had their best game defending against the run last week, holding the Commanders to just 76 yards. No Commanders running back had a rush go for more than nine yards. If the Giants can contain Breece Hall in a similar way this week, it will give them a great chance to slow down the Jets' offense.

Protecting the quarterback against the Jets' pass rush

The Jets have a 42.5% pressure rate this season, which according to Pro Football Focus, is the second-highest rate in the league behind only the Dallas Cowboys. Their pass rush win rate (51.7%) ranks fifth and their league-low 16.6% blitz rate makes those pressure numbers even more impressive.

The Jets try to help their pass rushers by using twists and stunts on 35.9% of their pass rushes, which is the third-highest rate in the league (behind the Cowboys and Packers). The Jets have the third-lowest sack conversion rate in the NFL at 13.4%, which means opponents are getting the ball out before they can get home. The Jets 2.54-second average time to pressure is 11th-slowest in the NFL.

The Jets have very talented individual pass rushers who win at some of the highest rates in the NFL. According to Pro Football Focus, situational pass rusher Bryce Huff leads the NFL with a 28.9% pressure rate. He has 114 pass rushing snaps this year, which is 77 fewer than Micah Parsons. Huff lines up on the left side of the defensive formation nearly twice as much as he does on the right. Huff has 2.5 sacks and eight quarterback hits.

Edge defender John Franklin-Myers has just one sack but has compiled eight quarterback hits with the eighth-best pressure rate (18.85) in the NFL. He starts games on the left side, while second-year pass rusher Jermaine Johnson starts on the right. Johnson has two sacks with an 8.8% pressure rate.

The Jets' interior defenders are also adept at getting to the passer. Quinnen Williams has only a half-sack but collected six quarterback hits this year. He has the seventh-most pressures of any defensive tackle in the NFL. Quinton Jefferson has the 14th-highest pressure rate amongst defensive tackles in the NFL.

The Giants' offensive line had their second-best pressure rate allowed of the season last week, allowing only eight pressures. Against the Commanders' Jonathan Allen and Daron Payne, center Ben Bredeson and guard Mark Glowinski did not allow a pressure. They will need a similar performance this week if they want to protect their quarterback from the Jets' defensive front.

View rare photos from the local rivalry between the Giants and Jets.


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