Pro Football Focus takeaways from Week 15
The Giants fell to the Dallas Cowboys 21-6 at MetLife Stadium on Sunday.
The loss dropped the Giants to 4-10 on the season with three games remaining.
Here are the Pro Football Focus takeaways from the Week 15 loss.
The Giants had two representatives on PFF's Team of the Week heading into the two Monday night games. Linebacker Lorenzo Carter had his strongest game of the season on Sunday, picking up his first two sacks of the season along with one forced fumble, three quarterback hits and five total pressures. Carter earned an incredible 90.8 overall grade for his performance, including an elite 86.1 pass rush grade and 84.4 coverage grade, along with a solid 73.2 run defense grade.
The other Giant to make PFF's Team of the Week is tackle Andrew Thomas, who has been the team's most consistent offensive lineman all season. Thomas received an 83.7 overall grade against Dallas' talented pass rush, including an 88.9 pass block grade, one of the highest pass block grades of the week, and a 76.0 run block grade. His 81.9 pass block grade on the season now ranks 9th among all offensive tackles.
Another notable takeaway came from the play of cornerback Jarren Williams. Thrust into the starting lineup following last week's positive COVID results, Williams allowed just 19 yards on five targets with one pass defended. PFF gave Williams an 82.0 overall grade in his first significant NFL action, which included a dominant 83.2 grade on 40 coverage snaps.
Defensive lineman Leonard Williams played through a triceps injury in Week 15 and still finished with a quarterback hit, a forced fumble and a strong 76.6 overall grade. Right behind him on the defensive side of the ball was new linebacker Jaylon Smith, who finished with a 73.7 overall grade, including a 79.4 coverage grade. Smith accumulated four total tackles (three solo) on just 17 defensive snaps.
Safety Julian Love finished tied for second on the team with 10 total tackles (eight solo). He allowed just one reception for three yards on three targets, good for a passer rating allowed of 42.4 on 31 coverage snaps. He earned a solid 69.0 overall grade for his performance, including an elite 85.0 tackling grade.
Other notable defensive marks include high tackling grades from Logan Ryan (84.8), Tae Crowder (83.6), Keion Crossen (79.4), Azeez Ojulari (73.9) and Quincy Roche (73.5). Ryan also finished with a solid 78.4 run defense grade.
While only on the field for 13 snaps, quarterback Jake Fromm received one of the highest grades on the offense with his 78.7 overall grade. Fromm completed six of 12 passes for 82 yards, including a beautiful 36-yard pass on the sideline to Kenny Golladay. Fromm finished with a 77.2 passing grade.
One week after being named PFF's Secret Superstar of the Week, center Billy Price put together his second consecutive strong performance, earning a 74.1 overall grade, including a 72.2 pass block grade and 73.1 run block grade. Right tackle Matt Peart also received solid marks from the analytics site with his 73.7 pass block grade and 70.4 run block grade.
As a unit, the offensive line helped pave the way for the Giants to average an impressive 5.2 yards per carry (124 yards on 24 rush attempts). The O-line was also strong in pass protection, allowing just nine pressures and one sack against a surging Cowboys pass rush.
Several Giants skill position players also graded well in protection. When it came to pass blocking, Devontae Booker (82.0), Saquon Barkley (73.0), Kyle Rudolph (71.5) and Evan Engram (70.3) all performed well. Darius Slayton also graded well in run protection, earning an 82.6 run block grade.
Giants place Daniel Jones, Sterling Shepard on injured reserve
Daniel Jones' season officially ended yesterday when the Giants placed the third-year quarterback on injured reserve. Jones has missed the last three games with a neck injury he suffered in a victory against Philadelphia on Nov. 28.
Wide receiver Sterling Shepard, who tore his Achilles tendon in the fourth quarter of yesterday's loss to Dallas, was also placed on injured reserve.
"Over the course of the past few weeks, Daniel has been examined by Dr. Frank Cammisa of Hospital for Special Surgery and Dr. Robert Watkins of the Marina Spine Center at Marina Del Rey Hospital," said Ronnie Barnes, the Giants' senior vice president of medical services. "Our medical team has continued to consult with Dr. Cammisa and Dr. Watkins regarding Daniel's condition and symptoms, and at this point, Daniel has not been cleared for contact. We felt the prudent decision was to place Daniel on injured reserve for the remainder of the season. With continued rest and treatment, we expect a full recovery."
"There have been a lot of discussions and conversations between the organization and the medical team concerning Daniel Jones and his return to play," coach Joe Judge said. "Over the last 24 hours, there has been a lot more conversation and based on the information from the medical team and their belief in a timetable for Daniels' full recovery, and their belief with rest and treatment that he'll return to full health, they deemed that the remainder of this season he should be shut down to give him that time to heal."
Judge continued to emphasize the team believes Jones' injury is not career threatening.
"I've been adamant in saying that with all the information we've been given from the doctors involved and the medical team that there is no, at this moment, concern for a long-term injury," Judge said. "This is more of a precautionary measure to make sure it's something that isn't aggravated or agitated before it's healed and it doesn't turn into something as chronic or long-term. … At this time, our concern is on Daniel's health. He's been doing a good job. He's out there moving very functionally, but ultimately this is about making sure that his neck has a full recovery before we put him out there before he's cleared for contact."
View all the action from the Week 15 NFC East matchup between the Giants and Cowboys at MetLife Stadium.
Jaylon Smith, Jarren Williams signed to active roster
The Giants placed quarterback Daniel Jones (neck) and wide receiver Sterling Shepard (Achilles) on injured reserve and filled the two spots on the roster by signing linebacker Jaylon Smith and cornerback Jarren Williams.
Smith — signed to the practice squad Friday and the roster Saturday — played 17 snaps and was credited with four tackles (three solo) in his Giants debut.
"Jaylon … had about four to six hours of coaching to get him ready for the game and a walk-through with the defense," coach Joe Judge said. "I really liked the way this guy responded, and he's been a pleasure to coach in the short window we've had. He went out there, he played fast, he's able to go ahead and get his hat on a few people to make some plays."
Williams made his first NFL start and played all but one snap because cornerbacks Adoree' Jackson and Aaron Robinson are on the Reserve/COVID-19 list. He finished with five tackles (four solo) and a pass defensed.
"Jarren's a guy that's been doing a decent job for us playing defense, some roles in the kicking game," Judge said. "I think he's a guy that's got a future that we can go ahead and keep on developing with. I like the way Jarren works, and I think there's some upside with him as a player. He definitely has the right attitude as a person."