PFF takeaways from Week 2 win over Panthers
The Giants picked up another hard-fought victory when they defeated the Carolina Panthers, 19-16, in the home opener.
Trailing in the second half for the second consecutive week, the Giants mounted a late comeback as Daniel Jones led two drives that resulted in a pair of Graham Gano field goals from 50+ yards out in the fourth quarter to seal the win.
"Good, hard-fought game," Coach Brian Daboll said after the win. "Another 60-minute game. Thought our guys competed well. I thought they were prepared; had a good week of practice, and these are the games in the National Football League. There's certainly a lot of things we need to do better, but I'm happy for the guys. Graham made all his kicks. (There were) some big kicks there at the end for us, and DJ led the team down to get some extra points there, which was a huge difference. (I) thought the defense played well; started out fast. Wish we could've gotten more points on the board early on after those two turnovers, but all-in-all a good team win. And (we'll) get ready for next week."
Here are Pro Football Focus takeaways from the big Week 2 win.
*Andrew Thomas was the highest-graded player on offense in Week 1. Against the Panthers, Thomas was the highest-graded player on the field for either team as he picked up an elite 87.5 overall grade. On 73 snaps at left tackle, the 23-year-old earned an incredible 90.8 run block grade in addition to his 79.0 pass block grade.
*Thomas is not only the highest-graded offensive tackle in the NFL this season, but he is also the highest-graded offensive lineman overall, and by a significant margin. He has received an 89.1 overall grade after the first two games, while the next highest lineman has an 83.4. Thomas' 88.3 run block grade ranks third among tackles, while his 82.8 pass block grade is the sixth-highest at the position.
*Staying on the offensive line, both Ben Bredeson and Josh Ezeudu received strong marks in pass protection after splitting time at left guard. Bredeson (56 total snaps, 33 pass block snaps) earned the highest mark in pass protection on the team with his 81.6, while Ezeudu (17 total snaps, 13 pass block snaps) was not far behind with his 72.3.
*Rookie right tackle Evan Neal received a very solid 73.9 pass block grade in Week 2, which helped raise his season grade to 67.3. This is the second-highest pass block grade among the team's offensive linemen and the highest among rookie tackles.
*Richie James was awarded the highest overall grade among the team's wide receivers with his 72.6 overall grade. James caught five passes for a team-high 51 yards against the Panthers, one week after reeling in five passes for 59 yards in the opener.
View photos from the Giants' Week 2 game vs. the Carolina Panthers at MetLife Stadium.
*Moving over to the defense, Leonard Williams earned the unit's highest overall grade with his impressive 83.4 before he departed in the second half with a knee injury. Williams recorded four pressures, which helped him receive a 75.4 pass rush mark. Through two weeks, he ranks 12th among interior defensive linemen with his 79.8 overall grade and 11th with his 78.5 run defense grade.
*Darnay Holmes had a standout day in coverage. The corner allowed just two receptions for 10 yards on five targets on his 32 coverage snaps, good for an elite 88.9 coverage grade and 47.9 passer rating when targeted. He also forced a fumble and added two pressures on just five pass rush snaps.
*Julian Love picked up a key sack of Baker Mayfield late in the game that helped seal the win for the Giants. He finished with a 72.9 pass rush grade and a team-high 79.4 tackling grade. His eight solo tackles led the team, while his two tackles for loss matched Jihad Ward for a team-high.
*Speaking of Ward, the veteran dropped back into coverage on six snaps and did not allow a catch, which aided in him receiving a 76.8 coverage grade. The outside linebacker also earned a 74.5 tackling grade.
*Outside linebacker Oshane Ximines also dropped into coverage on six snaps and allowed just one catch for two yards. This led to him receiving a 78.2 coverage grade, in addition to his 73.6 tackling mark. Through two weeks, Ximines is the Giants' highest-graded defender with his 80.5 overall grade, which also ranks 14th among the league's edge defenders.
*While only on the field for seven snaps, rookie inside linebacker Micah McFadden played well. McFadden got an 82.6 overall mark, including grades of 71.4 (tackling) and 70.4 (run defense).
*In his first game with the Giants, veteran cornerback Fabian Moreau was on the field for 17 snaps and earned a 69.5 overall grade, which included a 75.4 tackling trade and 67.5 coverage grade. His overall mark was the fourth-highest on the defense.
*On special teams, Graham Gano picked up an elite 86.9 grade after making all four of his field goal attempts, including two from 50+ yards, and his only extra point attempt. Gano is currently the highest-graded kicker in the NFL with his 86.2 overall grade through two games.
*Chris Myarick also performed well on special teams as he received an 81.2 grade on 16 special teams snaps. He registered two tackles.
Undercover Eli Manning tries out for Penn State as 'Chad Powers'
Eli Manning has certainly enjoyed his post-playing days. Since retiring from the NFL, the two-time Super Bowl MVP has taken part in several endeavors in the media, including his college football show "Eli's Places" on ESPN+.
On the latest episode, Manning went undercover as "Chad Powers" to try out for the Penn State football team.
With James Franklin's blessing, Manning participated in the full tryout before the Nittany Lions' head coach jokingly revealed to the group that the 41-year-old was in fact not eligible.
Check out the hilarious clip below.