PFF first-half review of Giants 2020 season
The Giants head into the bye at 3-7. A two-game winning streak in Weeks 9 and 10 vaulted the Giants into a tie in the win column with the Philadelphia Eagles for the lead in the NFC East. Each of the Giants' last four losses have come by one score.
Here are some takeaways from the Giants' first 10 games of the season from Pro Football Focus:
* On the season, Daniel Jones ranks fifth in the NFL in passing grade on throws 10+ yards downfield, trailing just Aaron Rodgers, Russell Wilson, Tom Brady and Patrick Mahomes. According to PFF, when throwing the ball 10+ yards downfield with a clean pocket, Jones has a 74.5 adjusted completion percentage, the highest in the NFL by almost five percentage points.
* Jones has earned a 78.8 overall grade through 10 games, good for the 12th-highest mark among all quarterbacks, despite being pressured at a higher rate than any other QB. His grade is aided by a strong 79.1 rushing grade.
* James Bradberry has forced the most incompletions by any cornerback (14) and ranks fifth in the NFL in yards allowed per coverage snap played at outside CB (0.78). His 74.2 overall grade is the 14th-highest among the league's corners, supported by his 75.0 coverage grade.
* Blake Martinez, tied with Chicago's Roquan Smith for the league-lead with 96 combined tackles, has the 8th-highest overall grade among the league's linebackers at 75.9. The veteran has provided balanced production this season, earning a 75.6 run defense grade and a 72.9 coverage grade.
* Both Dexter Lawrence and Leonard Williams are enjoying solid starts to their seasons. Lawrence ranks 16th among interior defensive linemen with his 78.2 overall grade, which includes a 73.5 pass rush grade and a 72.1 run defense grade. Williams ranks right behind Lawrence with a 78.1 overall grade, helped by his elite 80.1 run defense grade.
* On 50 running plays, Matt Peart has received a whopping 85.3 run blocking grade. Similarly, C.J. Board has an 89.1 run blocking grade on 45 run block snaps.
* Isaac Yiadom has earned an 83.3 run defense grade on 113 run defense snaps.
* Graham Gano sports an impressive 82.2 grade on his field goal (21 of 22) and extra point (16 of 16) attempts. His 21 made field goals are tied with Atlanta's Younghoe Koo for the league-lead.
Games to follow on in Week 11
After defeating NFC East opponents in each of the last two weeks, the Giants will get an opportunity to rest up this weekend and prepare for the final six games of the season.
With last week's win, Big Blue (3-7) is now tied with the Philadelphia Eagles in the win column for the lead in the NFC East. Philadelphia enters Week 11 at 3-5-1, while both Washington and Dallas sit at 2-7.
While the Giants may be off, the rest of the NFC East will all take the field this weekend. The outcomes of these three games could end up having some significant implications for the Giants and their chase for the NFC East crown.
Here are the Week 11 games to keep an eye on:
Philadelphia Eagles at Cleveland Browns
The Eagles will look to rebound from last week's 27-17 loss to the Giants when they travel to Cleveland to take on the Browns at FirstEnergy Stadium. According to the weather forecast, Cleveland is expecting more rain this Sunday, likely causing some sloppy field conditions. The Browns are 6-3 on the year, including an impressive 4-1 at home. A win over the Eagles would keep the Browns in good standing in the AFC Wild Card race, as they enter this game tied with the Las Vegas Raiders, Miami Dolphins, Baltimore Ravens and Tennessee Titans for the three Wild Card spots. The Browns' offense features one of the league's most potent rushing attacks with Kareem Hunt and Nick Chubb, who just returned last week after being sidelined since Week 4 with a knee injury. An Eagles loss would inch the Giants closer to an outright lead in the division.
Cincinnati Bengals at Washington Football Team
The Washington Football Team will attempt to join the Giants at 3-7 when they welcome the Bengals to FedExField. Washington is coming off a heartbreaking last-minute loss in Week 10, as Matt Prater connected on a 59-yard field goal as time expired to give the Detroit Lions the victory, 30-27. It was the second consecutive loss for Washington, who fell to the Giants the week before. The Bengals will be looking to get the taste of their own loss last week out of their mouths when they travel to the nation's capital. Cincinnati fell to the Pittsburgh Steelers, 36-10, in a tough division loss. No. 1 overall pick Joe Burrow is enjoying a strong rookie campaign with 2,485 passing yards and a 12-5 touchdown-to-interception ratio to go with his 65.4 completion percentage. The Bengals' aerial attack, led by Burrow, Tyler Boyd and Tee Higgins, should be a good test for Washington's strong pass defense, which ranks first in the NFL with its 194.7 passing yards allowed per game.
Dallas Cowboys at Minnesota Vikings
The Cowboys are in the midst of a tough stretch. Prior to their Week 10 bye, Dallas lost four consecutive outings to drop their record to 2-7. However, the week off provided quarterback Andy Dalton with enough time to get cleared from the Reserve/COVID-19 List, meaning the veteran will be under center for the Cowboys on Sunday in a tough matchup in Minnesota. The Vikings (4-5) are trending in the opposite direction as Dallas, with three straight wins bringing Mike Zimmer's squad right back into the thick of the NFC Wild Card race. A large reason for Minnesota's recent success has been their ability to run the ball. Over the last three weeks, Dalvin Cook has rushed for 465 yards on 82 carries (5.7 avg.) and five touchdowns, adding eight receptions for 125 yards and an additional score. The Cowboys enter this matchup allowing 157.0 rushing yards per game, the second-most in the league, and 5.0 yards per carry, the third-highest mark.
View the best photos from the first 10 games of the Giants' 2020 campaign as the team enters its Week 11 bye.
At the break: Biggest surprise, takeaway & storyline
They enter the break having won their last two games – and three of the past five – after starting the season with five consecutive losses. Needless to say, there have been many twists and turns to the season, both within and without their control.
To assess it all, we take a look at the biggest surprise, the biggest thing we learned, and the biggest story line post-bye week.
Biggest surprise: The NFC East race
To call it a race might be an overstatement, but the Giants nevertheless are in the thick of it. Entering Week 10, no NFC East team has more than three wins as it remains the only division with all four clubs below .500. With that said, nothing should be a surprise in a division that rarely sticks to the book. It has not had a repeat champion since the Eagles, who are trying to defend the title, won four in a row from 2001-2004. So, Joe Judge will use that to motive his players when they return Monday and prepare for their next game against the Bengals, right?
"No," he said. "The importance needs to be improving as a team. All that other stuff will take care of itself. Cincinnati is a good team. We have to get ready and go ahead and improve ourselves internally. Turn the page and move on to Cincinnati and get ready for a tough game out there. We have a tough stretch of games coming up. We can't go ahead and start looking at rankings and division races and all that type of stuff. We just have to focus on getting better each week. That's what will ultimately help us in the long run."
Photos: Best of Giants' 2020 rookies class
Check out the gallery below to view the best photos from the first 10 games of the Giants' 2020 campaign as the team enters its Week 11 bye.
View some of the best photos of the Giants' rookies through the first 10 weeks of the 2020 season.