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Giants Now: PFF takeaways from Week 14

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Pro Football Focus takeaways from Week 14 loss vs. Arizona

The Giants' four-game winning streak came to an end on Sunday as the Cardinals traveled to MetLife Stadium and defeated the Giants, 26-7.

The loss was the Giants' first since November 2, when Tampa Bay beat the Giants on Monday Night Football, 25-23. The Giants now sit at 5-8 on the season, one game behind Washington for the lead in the NFC East lead

Despite the loss, there were several bright spots on both sides of the ball.

Here are some Pro Football Focus takeaways from Big Blue's loss to Arizona:

* Kevin Zeitler earned his highest overall grade of the season on Sunday. His 89.2 overall grade was the Giants' highest on offense, aided by his elite 91.9 run blocking grade. Heading into the Monday night game between Baltimore and Cleveland, Zeitler is PFF's highest-graded guard for Week 14. The veteran was named to PFF's team of the week for Week 14.

* Kaden Smith caught just one pass for six yards, but still earned a solid grade from PFF. His 75.5 overall grade was the second-highest on the offense as Smith made his mark in the run game, earning an 83.5 run blocking grade.

* Speaking of the run game, Wayne Gallman continued his strong play in Week 14 despite the game script working against him. Gallman carried the ball 12 times for 57 yards, good for an average of 4.8 yards per carry, while catching three passes for 16 yards. His play earned him a 72.3 overall grade, including a 73.8 run grade.

* Nick Gates earned a strong 82.7 pass blocking grade on 32 passing plays, the highest pass blocking grade on the team Sunday.

* On the other side of the ball, David Mayo earned the team's highest grade on defense with a stellar 95.1 overall grade. Mayo made his presence felt against the run, earning a 94.3 run defense grade.

* The Giants got strong play out of two of their interior defensive linemen again in Week 14, but this time it was B.J. Hill and Dalvin Tomlinson. Hill got the team's second-highest grade on defense with an 84.2, including an 82.4 run defense grade, after recording three tackles (two solo) and a tackle for loss. Tomlinson finished right behind him with an 81.6 overall grade after he registered three tackles (two solo), one sack, two tackles for loss and one quarterback hit. He received an 85.6 pass rush grade.

* Both of the Giants' top two corners graded well against Arizona. Isaac Yiadom earned a 76.5 overall grade, aided by a 77.2 coverage grade and a 77.0 tackling grade. James Bradberry was not far behind with his 75.8 overall grade as he put together a solid overall performance. Bradberry received a 73.9 coverage grade, a 73.1 run defense grade and a 79.4 tackling grade.

Joe Judge talks Daniel Jones' return; plan for Week 15

As he routinely does on his Zoom calls with reporters, Joe Judge this afternoon gave detailed and thoughtful responses to numerous queries, which today unsurprisingly focused on quarterback Daniel Jones.

But the coach's two most significant responses can be condensed to these: no (he doesn't lament playing Jones yesterday) and yes (Jones will start again Sunday night against Cleveland if he's able).

After a week of speculation, Jones returned to the field after a one-game hiatus caused by the hamstring injury he suffered in Cincinnati on Nov. 29. His mobility limited, he completed 11 of 21 passes for 127 yards, was sacked six times and did not run the ball once before being replaced by Colt McCoy in the game's final minutes. The offense sputtered during much of the Giants' 26-7 home loss to the Arizona Cardinals.

Judge had numerous conversations with the team's medical staff and with Jones and is convinced the decision to play the second-year pro was correct.

"There are no regrets, there's no second guessing," he said. "We took a lot of time discussing a lot of things. Scenarios with doctors, coaches, making sure it was the best position for the team. That's the decision we went with and move forward."

Jones made pretty much the same statement an hour after the game.

"I don't regret it," he said. "I felt good enough to play, I felt like I could do everything I needed to do throughout the game. So no, I don't have any regrets about that."

Last week, Judge specified criteria he wanted to see from Jones and the quarterback met them in practice.

"We saw he could protect himself in the pocket and move fluidly through the pocket," Judge said. "He could get rid of the ball if he needed. If he had to eat a sack at some point, that was something we were going to go into the game plan knowing it could happen. Obviously, there are some things that come up in the game. You get hit in the pocket at certain points. He's no different than the other 31 quarterbacks in the NFL. They all deal with the same risks every time they drop back in the pocket. To answer your directly, he was able to protect himself yesterday."

Judge added, "the way he moved in the game was what we expected. We put him through enough in practice last week to make sure he was put in a position where he could protect himself. We knew that there were things that were going to come up in the game and some limitations that he was going to have throughout the game. We were willing to live with those."

Photos: Giants celebrate "My Cause, My Cleats"

This past Sunday, the Giants celebrated "My Cause, My Cleats" as players wore customized cleats reflecting their commitment to charitable causes.

The charitable organizations players selected represent a variety of different causes that they are personally connected to, including: medical research, social justice, ending domestic violence, and supporting our neighbors in need during their most difficult times.

Check out the gallery below to view photos of the cleats worn by the Giants in Week 14 as part of the "My Cause, My Cleats" initiative.

This week, the Giants are celebrating "My Cause My Cleats" as players will wear customized cleats reflecting their commitment to charitable causes.

The charitable organizations players selected represent a variety of different causes that they are personally connected to, including: medical research, social justice, ending domestic violence, and supporting our neighbors in need during their most difficult times.

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