Giants News | New York Giants –

Players to Watch

Presented by

Players to Watch: DJ, Rudolph finding a connection


Here are five players to keep an eye on this Sunday when the Giants host the Raiders:

QB Daniel Jones

Jones' 22 completions last week increased his career total to 739, moving him past Pro Football Hall of Famer Y.A. Tittle (731) and into seventh place on the Giants' career list. Jones' two touchdown passes increased his career total to 42, breaking a tie with fellow Duke alumnus Dave Brown (40) and gave Jones sole possession of seventh place on the franchise list.

But that's not how he will measure success as the Giants enter their break and then the second half of the season.

"I think it's about finishing games, winning these games, winning these close games, making those plays down the stretch and pushing it over the edge and winning those games," he said. "That's certainly I think the measuring stick I'm using. I think that's the one we all are."

TE Kyle Rudolph

Rudolph missed Thursday's practice due to "personal" reasons. It was revealed later in the night that his family welcomed baby Crosby James to the world. Rudolph has also dealt with some excitement on the field, catching his first touchdown in a Giants uniform on Monday night. He will look to keep the momentum going against a Raiders defense allowing touchdowns on 83.3 percent of opponents' trips to the red zone, tied for the worst rate in the league.

"Rudy has been a darn good player in this league for a long time," offensive coordinator Jason Garrett said. "We're excited to have him on our team and, obviously, we love Evan [Engram]. He's been a guy who's made a lot of little plays for us and some big plays for us. I have a lot of respect for those guys, and Kaden Smith when he's involved and his role, he does an excellent job as well. Whatever we ask those guys to do, they embrace, and last week they did a really good job. Those are nut-cutting plays down in the end zone. The fourth-and-one to Kyle, he ran a really good route and I think we had a third-and-four to Evan, and both those guys got in the end zone for us. Really love those guys and love their approach and how they're handling and taking advantage of the opportunities they do get."

LB Azeez Ojulari

In his last home game, the breakout rookie recorded four quarterback hits, three tackles for loss and 2.5 sacks. Veteran defensive lineman Leonard Williams, who has at least a full sack in three consecutive games and at least a half-sack in four straight for the first time in his career, was asked what impresses him about the second-round draft pick.

"I think just his humble nature," Williams said. "He just came in knowing his position, knowing he's younger, knowing that he has guys ahead of him that he can learn from. I think he's definitely taken on that role. He's stepping into himself and he's getting more confident. Each week I just see him getting better and better. It's a testament to him and how hard he works and how humble he is and how hungry he is to learn the game."

RB Devontae Booker

With Saquon Barkley still sidelined with an ankle injury, Booker posted a career-high 125 yards from scrimmage last week. He ran 15 times for 60 yards and caught five passes for 65 yards, including a 41-yard catch-and-run.

"Devontae does a good job of getting the ball downhill," Judge said. "He's a big back. He has good size. He's got good speed and strength, so it allows him to go ahead and get in the open field and make some plays. I think that showed up the other day. He has very good hands as far as securing the catch and getting the ball into the coverage when someone is tackling him. In terms of the other night, I think it was just kind of the result of taking what was in front of him, following his blocks in the run game, catching the ball in the passing game, and making someone miss. Devontae has done a good job for us. I'm pleased with his progression."

CB James Bradberry

The Raiders are second only to Tom Brady and the defending Super Bowl champion Buccaneers with 37 pass plays of 20+ yards … and Las Vegas has played one fewer game coming off its bye week. Bradberry was part of a group effort last week that limited former MVP Patrick Mahomes and perennial All-Pro tight end Travis Kelce. This week, they face a similar challenge in MVP candidate Derek Carr and Pro Bowl tight end Darren Waller.

"When you look at Waller this week, we'll probably have two to three people in man situations end up covering this guy, but I'm sure JB will get a chance at him at some point," assistant head coach/defensive coordinator Patrick Graham said. "Anytime you've got a big corner, their skillset working with receivers or going against receivers, and then you add that size element versus a tight end, I think it potentially helps us."

View rare photos of the history between the Giants and Raiders ahead of their Week 9 matchup.

Related Content