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Film Review: 5 factors that led Giants to victory


The Giants had their first win of the season and one of the best in recent years as they defeated the Saints in the Superdome, 27-21, in overtime. The Giants overcame an 11-point, fourth-quarter deficit to secure the win. The Giants improved in a lot of areas from the first three games of the year that allowed them to earn their first win.

1. The Giants' 12 pass plays of 15+ yards led the league in Week 4. They finished with at least three more of those plays than every other NFL team. The Giants only had 20 of those plays over their first three weeks of the season. Of those 12 plays, seven went for 20+ yards and two of those went for 50+ yards.

The two plays that went for 50+ yards (51, deep post to John Ross and 54, catch-and-run by Saquon Barkley) went for touchdowns, accounting for more than half of the Giants' points. The Giants had two explosive pass plays (19, pass to Toney and 17, pass to Kenny Golladay) on their first field goal drive. Golladay's 28-yard catch-and-run in the fourth quarter helped set up the Giants' tying field goal. On the overtime touchdown drive, they had three explosive plays: a 17-yard deep out to Ross, an 18-yard screen pass to Barkley, and a 23-yard deep out to Golladay.

2. The Giants attempted five plays of 20+ yards down the field, which is the most in any game this year. They attempted two in Week 1, three in Week 2 and two in Week 3. The increase in deep shots helped the offense make more big plays, but receivers did their part by gaining more yards after the catch.

Heading into Week 3, only 33% of Daniel Jones' passing yards had come on yards gained after the catch, which was the second-lowest ratio in the NFL. In Week 4, that number jumped to 49%, which was tied for the sixth in the NFL. According to Pro Football Focus, the Giants broke 13 tackles on Sunday, which was the sixth in the league.

Saquon Barkley's 54 yard touchdown catch included 29 yards after the catch. Golladay caught a 5-yard slant, but ran through a Malcolm Jenkins tackle to gain 23 more to set up the tying field goal. Barkley gained 23 after the catch on a screen in overtime to convert a 2nd-and-14.

3. The Giants also avoided negative plays throughout the game. They only had three penalties for 25 yards, with only one for five yards (an illegal substitution in overtime) coming after halftime.

The Giants had a turnover, but it came on a "Hail Mary" throw to end the first half and did not impact the game. The Giants recovered two of their own fumbles and the Saints' lone turnover (an interception by James Bradberry) eliminated a potential scoring drive.

The Saints' defense had only two tackles for loss and two tackles for no gain. The Giants had a season-high 485 yards of offense. They also only had one negative play (minus-3 on a run) in the red zone.

Check out the best photos from the New York Giants' Week 4 contest against the New Orleans Saints.

4. The Giants did not allow a sack in the game – one of only four clean teams on Sunday. The offensive line only permitted pressure on 22% of Daniel Jones' dropbacks, which was the seventh-lowest rate in the league. It was an impressive performance by a unit that had to work in an environment that made it very hard to communicate and hear protection calls.

The protection allowed Daniel Jones to have his most productive game of his career. His 402 passing yards were a career-high, and his 70% completion percentage was the fourth-highest of his career.

5. Aside from the quarterback and offensive line, Kenny Golladay led the offense in snaps with 58 (92%). Saquon Barkley played 56 snaps, while Kadarius Toney played his highest percentage of the team's snaps this year with 49 (78%). The Giants used a fair amount of two tight end looks. Evan Engram played 68% of the snaps, Kyle Rudolph played 59%, and Kaden Smith played 14%.

On defense, Logan Ryan, Xavier McKinney, James Bradberry and Tae Crowder never left the field, playing all 68 of the team's defensive snaps. In his first game starting for Blake Martinez, Crowder finished with tied with Logan Ryan for a team-high 9 tackles.

For the second straight week Rodarius Williams played more snaps than Darnay Holmes (17-3), but only four of those snaps came in the slot. Julian Love got most of the playing time at nickel cornerback, with 24 snaps at inside cornerback.

Lorenzo Carter (40 snaps), Azeez Ojulari (37) and Oshane Ximines (14) split time at edge rusher. The Giants (no sacks or QB hits) got pressure on Jameis Winston on one-third of his dropbacks, which was about the league average in Week 4.

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