Daniel Jones, Azeez Ojulari stand out in Week 7 win over Carolina
The Giants put up a strong overall performance in their 25-3 Week 7 win over the Carolina Panthers. Several players in particular stood out in the win over the Panthers. Here are the Pro Football Focus takeaways:
*The highest-graded player was wide receiver Darius Slayton, who was playing in his first game since injuring his hamstring against the Falcons in Week 3. Slayton's 63 receiving yards was the most on the team, while his five receptions matched Dante Pettis for the second-highest (Evan Engram had six catches). The third-year receiver finished with an 84.8 overall grade, which includes a dominant 86.8 run block grade on 13 running plays.
*Right behind Slayton was quarterback Daniel Jones. The 24-year-old completed 69.7 percent of his passes for 203 yards, one touchdown and zero interceptions. It was his fourth game without a turnover this season. Jones added eight rushes for 28 yards (he had six carries for 30 yards before two late-game kneel downs, good for an average of 5.0 yards per carry). He received an 80.4 overall grade for his performance.
Of course, the highlight of the game was Jones' spectacular one-handed catch from Dante Pettis. Jones' first reception of his career went for 16 yards, and the play earned him a 95.6 receiving grade, the highest in the NFL in Week 7.
*Dante Pettis had his best game of the season, catching five passes for 39 yards and a touchdown while adding the 16-yard pass to Jones. His 75.1 overall grade was the third-highest on the offense.
*Right tackle Matt Peart allowed zero pressures on 38 pass-blocking snaps, which helped him earn an 81.8 pass block grade. Will Hernandez finished with a 72.3 run block grade, while running back Devontae Booker excelled in pass protection, earning an 85.4 grade on 10 pass blocking snaps.
*Other notable marks: Evan Engram's 75.9 pass block grade on the season ranks 6th among all tight ends, while Kaden Smith's 77.0 run block grade ranks 5th. Despite missing the game, Kadarius Toney's 77.0 overall grade and 79.4 receiving grade both rank No. 2 among rookie wide receivers, trailing only Cincinnati's Ja'Marr Chase. Andrew Thomas' 76.4 pass blocking grade ranks 12th among all offensive tackles.
*On the defensive side of the ball, the Giants were led by rookie linebacker Azeez Ojulari and his 80.3 overall grade. Ojulari, who picked up a sack in each of his first three NFL games, put up his best performance against the Panthers. The rookie recorded 2.5 sacks, three tackles for loss, four quarterback hits and eight total pressures, which helped the defense finish with a season-high 28 total pressures. His performance him earn a 74.0 pass rush grade. He now has 5.5 sacks through his first seven games, and his 68.8 pass rush grade on the year is the highest among rookie edge defenders.
*Defensive lineman Leonard Williams enjoyed his second consecutive strong outing, registering 1.5 sacks, three quarterback hits and six pressures. He earned a 72.4 overall grade. His 84.0 run defense grade this season is the third-highest mark among all interior defensive linemen, while his 79.5 overall grade is tied for the 10th-best.
*Veteran linebacker Benardrick McKinney made his Giants debut in Week 7. He only played on 11 defensive snaps (17 percent of the total snaps on defense), picking up two solo tackles, but earned an impressive 90.6 overall grade. This mark included a 78.8 run defense, 76.4 coverage and 76.1 tackling grade.
*The Giants got strong games out of the team's top two cornerbacks. Adoree' Jackson earned a 77.9 overall grade after registering five tackles (three solo) and a pass breakup, which led to him receiving a 78.7 coverage grade. Meanwhile James Bradberry received a 70.8 grade after picking up his third interception of the season, matching his previous career-high, and a pass breakup. He allowed just one catch in Week 7. Bradberry now has a pass breakup in each of the first seven games of the season, becoming the first player in Giants history to accomplish this feat.
*Dexter Lawrence picked up his first full sack of the season, along with three solo tackles, a tackle for loss and one quarterback hit. He earned a 79.6 pass rush grade and an overall mark of 73.9, the fourth-highest on the defense. His 77.1 pass rush grade on the season ranks 11th among interior defensive linemen.
*Austin Johnson had a 78.1 pass rush grade after generating four total pressures on 23 passing plays against the Panthers.
*Other notable marks: Logan Ryan has earned an 83.8 pass rush grade this season, good for the third-highest mark among all safeties. Xavier McKinney finished Week 7 with a 73.3 overall grade and a dominant 84.8 tackling grade after picking up five tackles (three solo) and a pass breakup.
Notebook: Daniel Jones does it all; Joe Judge updates injuries
With his contributions throwing, running, and catching the ball, Daniel Jones was seemingly a one-man band at times against the Carolina Panthers.
The Giants entered the game knowing they would have to rely heavily on Jones because a significant collection of offensive talent was not in uniform. Running back Saquon Barkley and wide receivers Sterling Shepard, Kenny Golladay, and Kadarius Toney were all inactive, and left tackle Andrew Thomas was placed on injured reserve last week. The Giants needed Jones to assert himself and he did with 203 passing yards and one touchdown, 30 rushing yards before two late kneel-downs, and even a 16-yard reception, the first by a Giants quarterback in 20 years.
Judge was asked on a conference call Monday if Jones "elevated some of the lesser-known players around him." And while Judge was impressed with his quarterback's multiple contributions, he insisted the Giants' entire ensemble was responsible for the impressive 25-3 victory in MetLife Stadium.
"I'd say all the players on our team came to play yesterday," Judge said. "I know what you're asking and what you're kind of getting at there, but we had starters yesterday. We had 11 people starting on offense, we had 11 people starting on defense and that's who we're concerned about getting prepared every week. Every player we bring to the game, we expect to play. We coach every player, we develop every player, everyone's expected to come in and produce and execute on Sunday.
"In terms of whoever's available, we want everybody to be available. The reality is that sometimes that doesn't happen, that's just the nature of the National Football League. Whoever we have up, we're going to go out and we expect to compete, and we expect to have success. Obviously, did Daniel play well yesterday? He did. Did a lot of things that facilitated the offense and helped a lot of players have success. I think a lot of the success came from the way all the players around him played, as well."
View photos from the New York Giants' 25-3 victory over the Carolina Panthers at MetLife Stadium.