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Giants Now: PFF takeaways from Week 3 


PFF takeaways from Week 3 loss vs. Cowboys

The New York Giants hosted the Dallas Cowboys at MetLife Stadium in the final game of Week 3 on Monday Night Football.

Saquon Barkley finished with 124 yards from scrimmage and a touchdown, but it wasn't enough as the Giants fell to their division rival, 23-16, leaving them 2-1 heading into this week's home game against the Bears.

Here are Pro Football Focus takeaways from the Week 3 loss.

*Let's start on offense, where left tackle Andrew Thomas continued his strong play. The third-year tackle finished with the highest overall grade on the team with his 79.3. His 78.2 run block grade was also the highest on the team, as was his 77.4 pass block grade after he surrendered just two total pressures on 54 pass block snaps.

*Thomas' 90.1 overall grade on the season is still the highest among all offensive linemen in the NFL, with the second-highest being Houston Texans T Laremy Tunsil and his 84.8 overall grade.

*Finishing second on the offense with a strong 76.5 overall grade was tight end Daniel Bellinger. The rookie caught four passes for 40 yards, which helped him earn a top 10 grade among all rookies in Week 3. Bellinger now has a 70.1 overall grade on the year, which ranks No. 1 among rookie tight ends and No. 7 among all tight ends.

*While the offensive line struggled in pass protection against the Cowboys, the unit did play well in the run game as the Giants rushed for 167 yards on 25 carries (6.7 avg.) and a touchdown. C Jon Feliciano received a solid 71.6 overall grade, aided by his 77.0 run block mark. RT Evan Neal earned a 76.4 run block grade, while RG Mark Glowinski was right behind him with a 75.1.

View photos from the Giants' Week 3 game against the Dallas Cowboys at MetLife Stadium.

*Moving over to the defense, let's begin with Kayvon Thibodeaux and his NFL debut. The No. 5 overall pick played 37 defensive snaps, and after the game coach Brian Daboll said the outside linebacker was on a pitch count in his first game back from a knee injury. Thibodeaux put together a solid performance in his limited action, picking up a 73.2 overall grade which ranked as the 11th-best mark among all rookies in Week 3. He registered one pressure, one tackle and a pass breakup.

*While it was only 37 snaps in one game, Thibodeaux's 73.2 overall grade is the highest among rookie edge rushers thus far this season.

*The highest grade on the Giants defense belonged to defensive lineman Dexter Lawrence. With Leonard Williams missing the first game of his career, Lawrence was on the field for 52 snaps and earned an 77.3 overall grade. He finished with five tackles (one solo) and a quarterback hit, and received a 73.6 run defense grade.

*Defensive lineman Nick Williams had his most efficient game as a Giant, playing 35 snaps and finishing with three tackles (one solo), a 75.3 overall grade and a 78.2 run defense grade.

*Outside linebacker Oshane Ximines continued his solid play, earning a 72.1 overall mark. His 80.9 overall grade on the season ranks 18th among the league's edge rushers.

*In the secondary, safety Xavier McKinney picked up a 71.6 overall mark, including a strong 82.9 tackling grade. He allowed just one reception on three targets, good for a passer rating against of 56.3. Veteran Fabian Moreau played 39 snaps at cornerback and got 70.8 overall and 79.1 tackling grades. Rookie cornerback Cor'Dale Flott was not far behind Moreau with his 68.8 overall grade, while his 73.2 run defense grade was the third-highest on the team.

Update: WR Sterling Shepard suffers torn ACL

The football gods have again dealt Sterling Shepard and the Giants a cruel blow, under circumstances shockingly like their last assault.

Shepard, the Giants seven-year wide receiver, longest-tenured player, and beloved teammate, tore his left anterior cruciate ligament with 1:11 remaining in the fourth quarter of a 23-16 loss to the Dallas Cowboys in MetLife Stadium Monday night. He suffered the injury nine months and seven days after tearing his left Achilles tendon – with 1:26 left in the final quarter of a defeat to Dallas in MetLife Stadium.

After leading the team with five receptions for 49 yards in the game, gaining a team-high 154 yards on 13 catches in the first three weeks and scoring the Giants' only touchdown by a wide receiver this season, Shepard will go on injured reserve and miss the final 14 games.

It is a difficult blow for anyone in the organization to accept.

"To reiterate what I said yesterday, he's a tremendous person," coach Brian Daboll said Monday. "He worked so diligently to get back, and (I) feel terrible for him that he had that injury. He's a big part of our team, and we'll miss him out on the field."

Making the injury even more unfathomable is that for the second straight year, Shepard was hurt in a non-contact situation. On second down from the Giants' 16-yard line, he was split wide right. At the snap, Shepard ran straight down the field, loosely covered by cornerback Anthony Brown. When Daniel Jones threw a pass to the left middle of the field that was intercepted by Trevon Diggs, Brown moved in that direction. Shepard, with no one near him, fell to the ground in pain.

"He's just slowing down," Daboll said. "It could have happened, I'm not saying it happened, you see a couple of plays before where he turns when he's running an in-cut and he's extended. He went out there on the next play and did something. Again, that looked like a freaky accident there."

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Limited tickets available for Giants vs. Bears on October 2

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