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Rookie Progress Report: Opportunities down the stretch

engrsam-center-112717.jpg takes a took at the play of the rookies through Week 12 of the 2017 season:

At 2-9, where do the Giants go from here?

The answer, in part, rests in the young players on the roster. Following his team's Thanksgiving loss to the Washington Redskins, Ben McAdoo said the coaches will look more to their youth down the stretch while acknowledging that they've already done that to some extent because of injuries. Playing on a short turnaround like the Giants did last week can be tough for even savvy veterans, let alone rookies. And, McAdoo said, they played like it. 

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"We need to get more out of the young players on our roster," McAdoo said. "We took a step backwards there [against Washington]. Everything's correctable and I'm confident that we're going to get it corrected, but we need better there. The players are going to get a couple days away from it and we need to come back and attack this last month head on."

As the Giants come back from a weekend off, here is a look at the rookie performances from the Redskins game and what they mean heading into the final month of the season, which begins on Sunday in Oakland:


49 offensive plays (86%)
8 special teams plays (26.7%)
7 targets
3 receptions
18 yards

The first-round draft choice has been targeted 85 times this season. The next closest player on the Giants is Sterling Shepard at 51. That gives you an idea of how much the coaches and Eli Manning are putting on Engram's shoulders. Even so, there are "no excuses" for the drops, Engram said after a tough outing at FedExField. "Are they a concern?," Engram said, repeating a question asked in the postgame locker room. "Tonight, yeah. A big concern."

Nevertheless, Engram still leads all rookie tight ends by a healthy margin in the major categories. He has 44 receptions (George Kittle is second with 28) for 470 yards (O.J. Howard, 331) and five touchdowns (Howard, four).

"I did have conversations with him during the course of the game and let him know that he can still make a big impact in the ballgame, in the way the ballgame was going," McAdoo said. "He just needs to stick with it and focus on the details and the little things."


32 defensive plays (45.1%)
4 special teams plays (13.3%)
2 tackles (1 solo)
1.0 sack

The Giants racked up six sacks in Washington, surpassing their previous season-high of four in Denver. Tomlinson, the Giants' second-round draft pick, accounted for one of them that made the Redskins settle for a field goal shortly before halftime. It was the first of his career as Tomlinson has now started all 11 games next to All-Pro Damon Harrison.

Pro Football Focus had Tomlinson at No. 6 on its list of the best rookies in the NFL through Week 11.

"Tomlinson ranks 26th among interior defenders through 11 weeks in terms of overall grade, boosted by a great 85.8 run defense grade that ranks 16th," William Moy wrote. "Tomlinson posted a game grade below 79.0 for just the second time all season in Week 10, but he responded to that with his best game to date in Week 11, posting an 86.4 overall grade (and a near elite 89.5 run-defense grade) against a Chiefs team coming off a bye week. The big rookie out of Alabama has received a negative grade on just 7.9 percent of his plays in run defense this season, a rate that ranks as seventh-best among 91 interior defenders who've spent at least 100 snaps on the field in run defense."


22 offensive plays (38.6%)
20 special teams plays (66.7%)
9 carries, 37 yards
2 receptions, 6 yards (2 targets)

Gallman led the team in rushing yards as the Giants failed to reach 100 yards on the ground for the first time since Week 7. The fourth-round draft pick has at least nine rushing attempts in five games this season, with a season-high of 11 in Weeks 4 and 5.


12 defensive plays (16.9%)
4 special teams plays (13.3%)

Moss didn't record any tackles as starting defensive ends Jason Pierre-Paul and Olivier Vernon combined for 3.5 sacks. The rookie had become a bigger contributor while Vernon missed four games with an ankle injury, but now snaps are harder to come by with the veteran back in the lineup.


57 offensive plays (100%)
2 special teams plays (6.7%)

With Justin Pugh and D.J. Fluker missing Thursday's game, the Giants used their eighth different offensive line combination in 11 games. That included a recalibration of the right side, where guard Jon Halapio made his first start in his fifth career game and Chad Wheeler, an undrafted rookie, made just his second at right tackle.

"We just didn't play up to standard," Wheeler said of the overall offensive performance. "Our defense played their tails off. They expect more from us and we've got to give them more."


33 offensive plays (57.9%)
2 targets

Against the Redskins, Eli Manning completed just 13 passes, only five of which went to wide receivers (Roger Lewis had three and Tavarres King had two). Rudolph has six receptions for 66 yards (long of 19 yards) in five games.

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