James Bradberry named PFF's Defensive Player of the Week
James Bradberry was one of the Giants' big free agent acquisitions this offseason. Following a successful few years with the Panthers, Bradberry was brought in to help shut down the opposing team's top wide receiver, which is exactly what he did against the Bears in Week 2.
The 27-year-old corner helped limit Bears number one wide receiver Allen Robinson to just three receptions for 33 yards on the day. Bradberry finished the game with four solo tackles, a few pass breakups and an acrobatic interception early in the fourth quarter. His performance against the Bears on Sunday showed why the Giants made him one of the team's top priorities in the offseason.
Bradberry's dominant outing against Chicago was about more than just a strong stat line. His performance earned him the selection as Pro Football Focus' Defensive Player of the Week.
As Anthony Treash of PFF writes, "Bradberry had the best game of his five-year NFL career on Sunday against the Bears en route to a 93.1 coverage grade. On his 33 coverage snaps, Bradberry saw six targets come his way and allowed just one catch for 14 yards while intercepting one and breaking up another three. He shadowed Chicago's WR1 Allen Robinson II and effectively shut him down (all of the production above came against Robinson)."
In addition, PFF notes that after the first two weeks of the season, Bradberry currently sports the league's highest forced incompletion percentage at 39 percent, tied with the Jaguars' CJ Henderson.
Some other quick notes from PFF regarding the Giants' Week 2 game:
*Through the first two weeks of the season, Dexter Lawrence is the fourth-highest graded interior defensive linemen in the league with an overall grade of 85.7.
*Blake Martinez had another strong outing and is now the second-highest graded linebacker through the first two games with an overall grade of 87.4 and an elite run defense grade of 92.0.
*Kevin Zeitler allowed just two pressures on 50 pass-blocking snaps and earned a 77.6 pass blocking grade. He was the team's highest-graded player on offense against the Bears.
*Lorenzo Carter has a 78.0 overall grade through two games, good for the ninth-highest mark among the league's edge defenders. He has earned a strong 83.4 grade in coverage.
Saquon Barkley MRI confirms torn ACL; will undergo surgery
Saquon Barkley touched the football just 25 times before his 2020 season ended because of a torn right anterior cruciate ligament that will force him to undergo surgery and endure an arduous rehabilitation.
Do the Giants face a similarly challenging road ahead without their most dynamic and decorated player?
Coach Joe Judge is confident his team will soldier on, remain focused and continue to improve. But he knows the offense will require some alteration without the running back who rushed for more than 1,000 yards in each of the previous two seasons.
"First off, losing a player who is such a good teammate and someone who's such a hard worker on the field will impact the team in a lot of ways," Judge said after leading the team's review of the 17-13 loss to the Bears yesterday in Chicago. "Saquon is a tremendous player. We have even more respect for him as a person. I personally hate for this guy, as hard as he's worked and as much impact as he's had for this team. I know our team has similar feelings as well. I talked to a number of players already.
"In terms of how we game plan and scheme, our focus will always change week by week. Regardless of how our roster looks, we're always going to do what's best for the team going forward to match up with the specific opponent. The guys that are on our roster, we're going to have to find ways to put them in a positions of strength and find ways to match up with our opponent favorably."
Notes & stats from Giants' 17-13 loss to Bears
Notes and statistics from the Giants' 17-13 loss to the Chicago Bears in Soldier Field:
*The Giants' record in road openers fell to 50-41-5. They have lost five consecutive games to NFC North teams since beating the Bears two years ago.
*The Giants lost despite shutting out their opponent in the second half. The last time that happened was on Nov. 21, 2004 vs. Atlanta – Eli Manning's first start at quarterback. In that game, the Giants faced a 14-0 halftime deficit and lost, 14-10.
*The Giants trailed the Bears at halftime, 17-0. It was the first time they did not score a first-half point since Dec. 16, 2018, when they trailed Tennessee, 7-0, on their way to a 17-0 home loss to the Titans. They last had a scoreless first half on the road at Dallas on Sept. 16, 2018.
*The Giants' 17-point halftime deficit was their largest since Sept. 22, 2019 – Daniel Jones' first game as the starting quarterback – when they trailed at Tampa Bay after two quarters, 28-10. The Giants rallied to win that game, 32-31. The deficit at the half in Chicago was the Giants' largest in a game they lost since Oct. 11, 2018 vs. Philadelphia. They trailed 24-6 in a game in which the final score was 34-13.
*The Giants fell to 0-2 for the fourth consecutive season and for the seventh time in eight years.
*The Giants' 95-yard touchdown drive spanning the third and fourth quarters was their longest scoring march since they put together a 97-yarder – on their previous visit to Soldier Field, on Nov. 24, 2019.
*The Giants totaled 295 offensive yards after finishing with 291 yards in their opener vs. Pittsburgh.
View photos from the Week 2 matchup between the Giants and Bears at Soldier Field.