Pro Football Focus takeaways from Week 9 win over Washington
The Giants won their second game of the season in Week 9, defeating the Washington Football Team 23-20 at FedExField. Both wins have come against Washington.
The Giants rushed for a season-high 166 yards, as both Wayne Gallman (14 carries for 68 yards) and Alfred Morris (9 carries for 67 yards) put together strong performances on the ground. Daniel Jones completed 67.6 percent of his passes for 212 yards and one touchdown while finishing the game without a turnover for the second time this year.
Pro Football Focus recognized the players that stepped up for the Giants in Sunday's win. Here are some PFF takeaways:
* Undrafted rookie receiver Austin Mack earned the highest grade on the team with his 76.3 overall grade in Sunday's win. Mack registered a career-high four receptions for 72 yards, including a 50-yard catch that led to Graham Gano's first field goal of the game. It was the Giants' longest completion of the season.
* Linebacker Blake Martinez once again finished with the highest mark on the Giants' defense, earning a 74.4 overall grade. Martinez led the team with 10 total tackles (three solo) while recording two pass breakups and an interception. This was the fourth game of the season that Martinez earned an overall grade of 70+, while he has received a grade above 60 in all nine games. In 18 total games with the Packers last year (two in the postseason), Martinez had just five outings with an overall grade of 60+.
* Jones threw for over 200 yards for the second consecutive game and also snapped his streak of three straight starts with an interception. His passing grade from a clean pocket in Week 9 was an impressive 85.8, the third-best mark among all quarterbacks ahead of Monday Night Football.
* The Giants got a solid performance from the offensive line against Washington's talented defensive front. The unit ranked 11th in pass blocking efficiency, their highest weekly rank of the season. Matt Peart graded out the best of the group, earning a pass blocking grade of 81.3 after not allowing a single pressure. Cam Fleming also did not surrender a pressure and earned a pass blocking grade of 76.5. Nick Gates (70.3) and Andrew Thomas (66.4) gave up just one pressure apiece.
Giants look to maintain high level of play in NFC East
Joe Judge strongly believes his team is improving as it prepares to play a game that could improbably move them closer to serious contention for the NFC East title.
The Giants have won two of their last four games, beating the Washington Football team by a combined four points, including a 23-20 triumph yesterday in FedExField. Between the two triumphs, they lost to Philadelphia and Tampa Bay by one and two points, respectively. And just before that quartet of games began, they fell in Dallas on a final-play field goal.
On Sunday, the 2-7 Giants will host a rematch against the division-leading 3-4-1 Eagles, against whom they had an 11-point lead with five minutes remaining on Oct. 22.
"There is no reason we can't continue to play at a high level," Judge said on a Zoom call today. "I love the improvement we're seeing. The young guys are really coming along. There are a lot of encouraging things we're seeing from the guys that are rookies or new guys to this program, and we're getting a lot of production from a lot of guys."
The group includes a sizeable group of rookies making important and consistent contributions – offensive linemen Andrew Thomas, Shane Lemieux and Matt Peart; nickel corner Darnay Holmes; linebackers Cam Brown, Carter Coughlin, TJ Brunson and Tae Crowder (who has been on injured reserve since scoring the deciding touchdown in the first Washington game); wide receiver Austin Mack (Giants season-long 50-yard catch yesterday); and cornerback Madre Harper (who recovered a fumble that set up a touchdown).
"I think there's a lot of clips in these last few games that you can see that we can say this is the style we want to play as an offense, defense and special teams moving forward," Judge said. "That doesn't mean the game plan is exactly the same. We want to keep making sure we have an emphasis in terms of ball security, number one, limiting penalties and knocking mental errors off the plate. I like the way we're playing aggressively on offense. I like the tempo we're playing with. That's not always going to be part of the game plan. Sometimes we may slow it down. I like the last few games, our ability to work some tempo. I like how we're running the ball and that's setting up some plays down the field in the passing game. I like how we're covering kicks right now. We've been able to make plays in the return game, as well. That's shown up in the last few weeks. We're definitely improving in that area.
"Defensively, I see a lot of improvement with the situations, whether it be third down, red area or two-minute. That's improvement. That's something we've placed an emphasis with our team that we have to continue to improve on. We've seen a lot of really good players, good offenses in the first part of the season. We have to keep on improving, as we keep on going through because they're going to keep on getting better and better."
Closer Look: How the Giants stuffed the run vs. Washington
Check out the video below to view Super Bowl champion Shaun O'Hara take a closer look at the Giants' impressive run defense in Week 9.