*Giants.com names six under-the-radar players that had an impact role on the team in 2016: *
It is no secret that making the postseason is hard. There are 17 grueling weeks that determine a team's fate as new challenges arise each week, and it takes all 53 men on the roster to get through the schedule.
Today, Giants.com takes a look at some under-the-radar players who stepped up in helping the Giants into the postseason for the first time since 2011.
DE Romeo Okwara
Stepping in for Jason Pierre-Paul is not an easy assignment, but rookie defensive end Romeo Okwara has done just that. In his first career start against the Cowboys, Okwara impressed just about everyone as he tallied a team-high eight tackles, five solo, against the best offensive line in football. Okwara was a force to be reckoned with that night as the Giants handed the Cowboys their second loss of the season. Overall, Okwara had 25 total tackles, 12 solo, and a sack during a critical December playoff push.
CB Leon Hall
In a pivotal December game, Leon Hall helped the Giants defeat the Cowboys with a third quarter interception. With Dallas leading 7-3, Hall intercepted a Dak Prescott pass and returned it 29 yards. Two plays later, Eli Manning found Odell Beckham Jr. for a Giants touchdown and the eventual game-winning score. Hall, who was inactive for four games this season, made important contributions on defense down the stretch at both cornerback and safety.
CB Trevin Wade
In Week 9 against Philadelphia, Trevin Wade was able to stay with Eagles wide receiver Jordan Matthews on a fourth down pass late in the game. Wade, who maintained position, forced the incompletion and the Giants earned a 28-23 victory. A week later against the Bengals, Wade made another big play, breaking up a pass in the end zone late in the third quarter and forcing the Bengals to kick a field goal. The Giants won the game, 21-20, and Wade's pass breakup proved to be critical.
In Week 16, Wade stepped in for an injured Janoris Jenkins and delivered a stellar performance once again. All in all, Wade tallied 26 total tackles and scored a touchdown late in the fourth quarter against the Redskins on Sunday, picking up a lateral and taking it to the end zone to finish the game.
WR Roger Lewis Jr.
Roger Lewis Jr. has been an important contributor for the Giants all season. Playing on special teams, as well as wide receiver, Lewis compiled seven receptions for 97 yards and two touchdowns. He had a crucial 24-yard touchdown reception in the Giants' 27-23 win over the Ravens, which sparked a six-game winning streak. Lewis also recorded five total tackles on special teams.
LB Keenan Robinson
Robinson recorded 83 total tackles, ranking him fourth on a Giants defense that was a force all season. Robinson had six tackles in the season finale against the Redskins on Sunday. In 2016, Robinson has made his presence known late in games as well, defending four passes in the fourth quarter with the game within seven points. Robinson has played a significant role in bringing Big Blue to another postseason.
Punter Brad Wing
Wing was outstanding all season, averaging 46.2 yards on 93 punts. Often called a "weapon" by head coach Ben McAdoo, Wing was a huge part of the Giants' success and became the first Giant ever to win back-to-back Special Teams Player of the Week awards after dominating performances in critical games against the Cowboys and Lions. In Week 14 against Dallas, five of his punts were downed inside the 20-yard line, including a critical punt with 1:15 to go in the game that pinned the Cowboys on their own three-yard line and essentially secured the Giants' ninth victory.