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Film Review: Key plays, stats & snap counts


The Giants fell to the Seahawks, 27-13, on Sunday, ending their four-game winning streak and sending the Giants into their bye week at 6-2.

1. Despite the loss, the Giants' defense played well. Seattle only gained 277 yards of offense, including two drives that went for more than 50 yards (another went for 42). Ten of their 27 points came off of two fumbled punt returns. Seattle only had two plays that went for more than 20 yards, with their longest the 33-yard touchdown catch by Tyler Lockett.

Besides the long completion to Lockett (and a couple of other plays where Seattle failed to connect with open players down the field), the Giants played fairly tight coverage. Fabian Moureau and Adoree Jackson were each credited with a pass defended, but both had their coverage force incompletions on other plays.

On this series of plays, Moureau crashes down on a slant intended for Metcalf to force an incompletion before he gets his hand in there to prevent a deep ball from being completed down the sideline on the second play. Adoree' Jackson knocks down the next two passes, the first is a pass intended for Dee Eskridge over the middle on a key third down, and then a break-up of a pass on a deep crossing route to Marquise Goodwin, preventing a touchdown.

2. The Giants also stopped one of the hottest running games in the league, holding rookie Kenneth Walker Jr. to 51 yards on 18 carries, and no runs of more than 16. They built a wall with their linemen, which allowed Giants linebackers and defensive backs to make some impressive solo tackles to prevent some big gains.

In this series of plays, Julian Love wraps up Walker in space on a toss play, followed by a Tae Crowder picture-perfect tackle to hold Walker to a 2-yard gain, and then a Fabian Moureau solo tackle. The final three plays feature stops by Tomon Fox, who did a good job setting the edge.

Fox finished tied with Leonard Williams for a team-leading eight tackles in what was his most impactful game of the year.

The only blemish on the Giants' run defense was the long Walker touchdown run. Leonard Williams got so much penetration, he forced Walker to cut back from where the play was designed to go and then there was a missed tackle on his way in.

Williams played a dominant game inside. He had a sack and was credited with five quarterback hits. He was living in the backfield most of the game. Micah McFadden beat a tight end off the edge for a sack and Xavier McKinney went unblocked on a safety blitz for a crushing sack.

According to Pro Football Focus, the Giants blitzed on 56% of their pass plays (second-highest rate in Week 8), and got pressure on Geno Smith on 29% of his dropbacks (ranked 15th).

3. The Giants' lone touchdown showed the importance of playing strong complementary football in all three phases of the game. It started with an excellent punt by Jamie Gillan that was downed by Justin Layne at the 2. On the Seahawks' first offensive play, Tyler Lockett caught a pass that appeared to give Seattle breathing room but Adoree' Jackson stripped the ball. Two plays later, Saquon Barkley ran it in after Nick Gates cleared the way with a strong down block.

Nick Gates played five snaps on offense, all as a tight end-eligible. He also played three special teams snaps.

The Giants once again had some strong moments in pass protection in the second half. On the first play in this series, Daniel Jones had the time to go through his progressions and get the ball to Chris Myarick, who made a defender miss on his way to converting a 3rd-and-9. The second play featured a good pick-up of a five-man pressure by the offensive line that ended in the Giants' longest play from scrimmage, a 27 yard completion to Tanner Hudson.

Protection broke down a bit on the Giants' final two drives, when they had to throw the ball down two scores with less than six minutes on the clock and allowed three sacks. Overall, according to PFF, the Giants allowed pressure on 32.5% of their snaps against Seattle, which ranked 20th in the NFL in Week 8. Seattle only blitzed six times throughout the game, according to PFF.

Darius Slayton came up big once again on third downs, with two important conversions that led to field goals. The first play in this series featured great protection before Slayton makes a contested hands-catch by wrestling away the ball from the defender and turning upfield for 21 yards. The second play shows great trust and anticipation from Jones, who throws the ball well-before Slayton starts into his break.

Other Notes:

*The Giants ran pass plays on their first six snaps, but upon closer inspection two of those plays were RPO's (run-pass options) and could have been handoffs, if Seattle showed a different look. Both of those passes were completed for six yards.

*It was obvious the Seahawks were very aware of the Giants bootleg and read-option game, often sending Bruce Irvin directly up the field towards the quarterback instead of tracking the running back down the line from the backside of the play. The result? Daniel Jones only had six rushes for 20 yards.

*The Giants had opportunities for some big plays early in the game, but pressure from Al Woods on a play-action pass on the Giants' second play from scrimmage didn't allow him the time to hit Marcus Williams, who was open on a deep flag route on the left side of the field. Later in the first half, Jones overthrew Lawrence Cager on a wheel route as pressure came in his face.

*Marcus Johnson once again led wide receivers in playing time, logging 56 of the team's 65 snaps. Slayton played 48 and Wan'Dale Robinson 45. It seems like the team is settling into those three players being their top wide receivers. David Sills chipped in with 10 snaps. Slayton led the team in targets, catches and receiving yards with five catches on six targets for 66. Wan'Dale Robinson was only targeted three times and had two catches for 15 yards. According to PFF, the Giants played 11 personnel on 46 of their 65 snaps. 

*With Daniel Bellinger unavailable at tight end, Tanner Hudson played 47 snaps, with Chris Myarick at 30 and Lawrence Cager playing 12. The Giants played two tight ends for 12 snaps and three tight ends on six.

*Dexter Lawrence and Leonard Williams rarely left the defensive line, with Williams playing 59 of 64 defensive snaps (92%) and Lawrence playing 55 (86%). Jaylon Smith and Jihad Ward each played more than 80% of the defensive snaps with Kayvon Thibodeaux at 78%. Tae Crowder logged just 34% of the defensive snaps. Tomon Fox and Micah McFadden each had 27, splitting time on the edge. Ellerson Smith got to play seven snaps in his first game back from injury.

*Nick McCloud played 33 defensive snaps. Fabian Moureau had 46 snaps and Darnay Holmes 29. According to PFF, McCloud played 15 snaps in the box, 12 in the slot, and five outside. Seattle was in multiple tight end or running back sets on 40 of their 64 offensive plays.

*Landon Collins played seven snaps, and Dane Belton 10.

*Nicholas Williams played only 10 snaps before his injury. Justin Ellis played 24.

View photos from the Giants' Week 8 game against the Seattle Seahawks.


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