PFF grades from preseason opener vs. Jets
The Giants came up short in the preseason opener Saturday night, falling to the New York Jets 12-7.
Despite the loss, several young Giants shined in their first game action of 2021. Here are the top performers from Saturday's game according to grades from Pro Football Focus.
Carter Coughlin had a dominant outing against the Jets. The second-year linebacker saw his first extended action at inside linebacker and registered five tackles (four solo), one sack, one tackle for loss and a forced fumble. He earned a 91.4 overall grade on 24 snaps.
Defensive tackle David Moa was on the field for 41 defensive snaps and finished the game with four tackles (two solo) and a forced fumble, earning a 92.0 overall grade.
On the other side of the ball, several young offensive linemen led the way for the Giants. 2020 first-round pick Andrew Thomas played 18 snaps at left tackle and posted the highest offensive grade on the team at 76.0. He allowed zero pressures on 11 pass-blocking snaps.
Last year's third-round pick Matt Peart was also on the field for 18 offensive snaps at right tackle and earned a 73.2 overall grade, the second-highest on the offense. Will Hernandez played 18 snaps at right guard and received the highest pass-blocking grade among the linemen with an 81.2.
Wide receiver David Sills, who caught three passes for 49 yards and also drew a big pass interference call, earned a 72.0.
James Bradberry makes NFL Top 100 of 2021
Cornerback James Bradberry’s first Pro Bowl campaign has landed him a spot at No. 74 on the Top 100 Players of 2021, which NFL Network started to unveil on Sunday. He joined defensive lineman Leonard Williams (No. 84) as the Giants' representatives so far.
For the 11th consecutive year, current players voted to determine the Top 100 players in the NFL. Bradberry made the list for the first time since the Panthers selected him in the second round of the 2016 NFL Draft. Often assigned to cover the opposition's best wide receiver, Bradberry has recorded 65 passes defensed, the fourth-most in the NFL from 2016-2020.
In 2020, his first season with the Giants, Bradberry broke up 18 passes, tied for the sixth-most by a member of Big Blue since 1994. Along with linebacker Blake Martinez and defensive back Logan Ryan, Bradberry was part of a free-agent haul that thrived and lifted the Giants' defense under assistant head coach and defensive coordinator Patrick Graham.
So, how good can Bradberry and the entire secondary be in 2021?
"As good as they want," Graham said. "As long as they don't screw it up, so that's how I see it. My job is to put them in the right position to make plays. We've got guys who have been playmakers in the past. I'll tell you this, they're working hard, so they're doing that part of it. They're communicating. (Defensive Backs Coach) Jerome (Henderson), (Senior Defensive Assistant) Jeremy (Pruitt), (Assistant Defensive Backs Coach) Mike (Treier), those guys do a great job of coaching those guys and building their awareness whether it's situationally or personnel-driven. With that information, I think the sky's the limit, but we're going to take it day-by-day and just keep putting in that work."
Leonard Williams ranked No. 84 on NFL's Top 100
There is something to be said for earning the respect of your peers, and Leonard Williams has it.
For the 11th consecutive year, current players voted to determine the Top 100 players in the NFL. With the votes tallied, NFL Network started to unveil the 2021 edition on Sunday, and the Giants' defensive tackle, who is coming off the best season of his career, was ranked No. 84.
Williams' career-high 11.5 sacks in 2020 were the most by a Giants' player since Jason Pierre-Paul's 14.5 in 2014. He also ranked third in the NFL last season with 30 quarterback hits and was tied for sixth with 14 tackles for loss. The performance helped the 27-year-old land a lucrative new contract with the Giants this offseason.
"I think I'm still in the middle of my prime, and I think I have a lot of game left in this league, obviously," said Williams, who was traded to the Giants in the middle of the 2019 season. "I have a lot of personal goals. I'm not trying to reach any specific stat line or anything like that, but I want to just give it my best and keep playing like the player I am and just keep bringing my best to the table."
📸 Must-see photos from Giants vs. Jets
Check out the gallery below to view the best photos from the Giants' preseason opener against the New York Jets.
Check out the best photos from the Giants' preseason opener against the New York Jets.