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Giants Now: Sterling Shepard impresses in return


Sterling Shepard impresses in first game since Week 2

Wide receiver Sterling Shepard got his season off to a solid start in the opener against the Steelers, catching all six passes thrown his way for 47 yards. He then caught two passes for 29 yards in Week 2 before having to leave the game early with a toe injury that forced him to miss the next four weeks.

Following a stint on injured reserve, Shepard returned to the field in Week 7 and picked up right where he left off.

Shepard ranked second on the team with eight targets against the Philadelphia Eagles last Thursday, catching six of them for 59 yards and a touchdown. It was Shepard's first touchdown of the season.

Shepard's performance went beyond the stat sheet. According to Pro Football Focus, the fifth-year receiver earned the Giants' highest grade on offense in Week 7 with his 78.4 overall grade.

While he has only played in a few games so far this season, Shepard has played well whenever he has been on the field. Shepard has earned a 74.8 overall grade on the season, including a strong 81.1 run block grade on 26 running plays.

In nine career games against the Eagles, Shepard has reeled in 50 passes for 583 yards and five touchdowns, all of which are easily the most he has against any team.

Dexter Lawrence continues strong play against Eagles

Defensive lineman Dexter Lawrence has played well in his sophomore season in the NFL.

The 22-year-old picked up a sack in Week 1 against the Steelers and has collected several tackles for loss and quarterback hits in the weeks since, all while not playing more than 74 percent of the team's defensive snaps in any game.

Lawrence enjoyed another strong performance against the Eagles in Week 7. The young d-lineman had just one solo tackle in the game but he made the one tackle count, registering a sack of Eagles QB Carson Wentz. Lawrence earned an overall grade of 86.6 from PFF, making him the Giants' highest-graded defensive player in the game.

The second-year lineman has played well all season. Through seven games, Lawrence has earned a 75.8 overall grade from PFF, ranking him 17th among the NFL's interior defensive linemen. He's done especially well when rushing the passer, receiving a solid 77.4 pass rush grade from the analytics site.

Lawrence was able to apply constant pressure on Wentz throughout the Thursday night game, and he was not the only one of the team's interior defensive linemen to do so. He, along with Leonard Williams and Dalvin Tomlinson, combined for 13 pressures in last week's game. All three interior linemen earned pass rush grades of 70+.

View photos from the Week 7 matchup between the Giants and Eagles at Lincoln Financial Field.

Other quick notes from PFF on Week 7

Here are several other quick notes from Pro Football Focus regarding the Giants' Week 7 loss to the Eagles:

* Quarterback Daniel Jones had a clean pocket on 20 of his 34 dropbacks in the game and wound up recording an 88.3 passing grade on those plays. It was Jones' best passing grade without pressure in 20 career games.

* Dexter Lawrence was joined by fellow defensive linemen Leonard Williams and B.J. Hill in putting up strong performances against Philly. Williams (61 snaps) and Hill (25 snaps) each registered overall grades of 75+.

* The Giants now have three interior defensive linemen ranked within the top 20 at the position, according to the analytics site. Dalvin Tomlinson's 79.8 overall grade ranks 12th, while Williams' 76.3 ranks 16th and Lawrence's 75.8 ranks 17th. Hill is not far behind as his 72.3 overall grade ranks 28th at the position.

* Defensive back Julian Love enjoyed one of his best games of the season in Week 7. Love had seven tackles (four solo) and a pass breakup, helping him earn an overall grade of 75.8. The pass breakup came on the one attempt where he was the primary coverage defender.


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