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Giants Now: Dexter Lawrence shining in 2nd year

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Dexter Lawrence shining among 2nd year defenders

Giants defensive lineman Dexter Lawrence is enjoying a strong second season in the NFL.

Through the first 10 games of the year, the No. 17 overall pick in the 2019 draft has racked up 33 total tackles (20 solo) and six quarterback hits. Lawrence has also accumulated 3.0 sacks and four tackles for loss, both of which beat his marks from all of last season.

Lawrence's stats in his sophomore season look impressive, and the analytics back them up as well. According to Pro Football Focus, Lawrence is among the highest-graded 2nd year defenders across the league, earning a 78.2 through Week 11. Only Tennessee's Jeffery Simmons (87.7), Carolina's Brian Burns (84.6) and Green Bay's Kingsley Keke (78.7) have received a higher defensive grade this season.

Other notes from PFF

* Veteran cornerback James Bradberry has enjoyed a stellar first season with the Giants. Bradberry leads the NFL with 14 forced incompletions, two more than Tampa Bay's Calrton Davis and Chicago's Jaylon Johnson.

* Within the NFC East, the Giants rank first in passing grade and second in receiving grade through the first 11 weeks of the season.

Bonus: The Giants made some headlines earlier this week, designating rookie safety Xavier McKinney, along with second-year linebacker Oshane Ximines, to return to practice. McKinney has been on injured reserve all season due to a foot injury, but appears set to make his return to action in the near future. After designating McKinney to return on Monday, the Giants have 21 days from that time to activate him or keep him on IR for the rest of the season.

Here is a quick refresher on what PFF had to say about McKinney heading into the 2020 NFL Draft.

Daniel Jones on recharging for final stretch

It's been an up and down season for second-year quarterback Daniel Jones.

After throwing for 279 yards and two touchdowns against the Steelers' stingy defense in the season opener, Jones went four consecutive games without a touchdown. He then proceeded to either score or rush for at least one touchdown in each of the next five games heading into last week's bye, totaling seven touchdowns during that stretch (six passing, one rushing). More importantly, Jones has gone two straight games without a turnover after recording one in each of the first eight games of the season.

While his passing numbers are a bit down from his rookie campaign, Jones has been able to find more success on the ground than he did last year. Through 10 games, Jones has already topped his 279-yard rushing total from last season, gaining 384 yards on 49 carries, good for an average of 7.8 yards per carry.

Following last week's bye, the Giants enter the final six games of the season tied with Washington and Dallas for second place in the NFC East and just a half-game behind the Eagles for the division lead.

"I think the bye week came at a good time," Jones said this week. "It gave us a chance to recover a little bit physically, to get some time off on your body. Even as a quarterback, you get some bumps and bruises here and there that need some time off, so that was good. Just mentally to recharge a little bit and focus back up on this final stretch here."

Check out the video below to watch Jones' interview with Paul Dottino about mentally and physically recharging over the bye week in preparation for the final six-week stretch of the regular season.

Sights & Sounds: Best of Giants' first 10 games

Check out the video below to take a behind-the-scenes look at the best moments of the Giants' 2020 season from before the Week 11 bye.

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