New York Giants Week 6 Report Card | A Win is a Win
It wasn’t pretty by any stretch of the imagination, but a win is a win, and the Giants, a team that hasn’t done much winning lately, will undoubtedly take it.
“I already knew they were a resilient group,” said head coach Joe Judge, who received the team’s game ball and took part in his first “Gatorade” bath after the game.
“I knew they were a tough group, a mentally tough group. I’m just proud they were able to get the win today and that their work was rewarded.
“There were a lot of things that were just confirmed that we already knew about these guys – they had good energy, they stayed together on the sideline, and every game you’re going to have some kind of a storm and you’ve got to fight through the storm.
"You see with our guys when that kicks up, they stay together, they have good communication on the sideline, there’s good energy, they support each other. I’m proud of the way they stick together.”
As he should be. The win itself might not make the NFL’s highlight reels this season, but it can serve as a building block for a team that, as Judge said, has been working hard for weeks only to have nothing to show for it.
“I mean, it was special,” said defensive tackle Leonard Williams. “It’s not like we won the playoffs, we still have a lot of work to do.
“We’ve been working really hard through camp and the beginning of the season, and we finally got that win under our belt. It was nice to see guys smiling in the locker room after putting in that much hard work.
“We kind of got tired of going into the locker room and seeing sad faces in the locker room. It goes to show everyone was happy for Coach Judge.”
Now onto this week’s grades.
Rushing Offense: B
Quarterback Daniel Jones finished as the team’s rushing leader again, but why is it every time he takes off, he dives forward? Playing fearlessly is one thing, but you also have to be smart, and considering some of the hits Jones took today when he took off with the ball, he’s lucky he didn’t end up hurt.
And not for nothing, but if he continues to dive headfirst instead of sliding, how many people out there think some aggressive defender might look to take a shot at his throwing shoulder?
Passing Offense: C-
Jones finished 12 of 19 for 112 yards, one touchdown, and one interception, the 112 his lowest total as a starter. But that's not as concerning as was the red zone interception Jones threw. Jones came into this game 17 of 43 for 71 yards, 2 touchdowns and 3 interceptions in the red zone. Tack on another interception to that stat line.
Darius Slayton, bad foot and all was the leader in yardage with 41 and remains the only receiving target on this team to score all the touchdowns—with the three he now has this year and the eight from last year, that’s 11 touchdowns in 20 games for the second-year receiver.
Not much from tight end Evan Engram, who made both of his catches in the first half and then disappeared in the second. And not much at all from Golden Tate, who came up with one reception for 11 yards. This passing game desperately needs an infusion of firepower, something that might have to wait until the next draft.
Run Defense: B+
Other than for J.D. McKissic’s 14-yard run, the Giants run defense had another solid showing, recording four tackles for a loss in the running game for minus-eight yards.
The unit also did a good job of plugging up the interior running lanes, which made rookie running back Antonio Gibson a non-factor this week. Gibson finished with nine carries for 30 yards, his lowest rushing total of the season.
Pass Defense: B+
Oh, that crafty Patrick Graham. Everyone probably figured that he would have James Bradberry travel with Terry McLaurin, Washington’s best receiver, but Ryan Lewis took on some of that responsibility.
The plan ended up working like a charm as McLaurin was held to seven receptions for 74 yards and a long of 20, the production barely making a dent in the big picture.
And speaking of Bradberry, he produced another interception and added to his league-leading passes defensed with another pass breakup, as he continues to play lights out ball for the Giants defense.
Special Teams: A
Another week, another solid showing by the Giants special teams. The punt coverage team held Washington to just two yards while the kickoff coverage unit held Washington to 17.5 yards per return.
That, ladies and gentlemen, is production. The only concern, though, continues to be the return games. Corey Ballentine only got one return opportunity—three other kickoffs went into the end zone for touchbacks—and the best Ballentine could muster up was a 12-yard return.
On punt returns, Golden Tate called for a fair catch on his lone opportunity. If the Giants can somehow jumpstart their return games, this already solid unit will be a force with which to be reckoned.
The third time proved to be a charm for this Giants team, which made baby steps starting with its play against the Rams two weeks ago. Finally, they hit paydirt. Again it wasn’t pretty, but a win is a win, and while Joe Judge will probably disagree, he deserves a lot of credit for finding ways to keep this team focused and together.
And what about defensive coordinator Patrick Graham and the job he’s done with the Giants defense? Given how much turnover that unit had, for it to come together as quickly as it has is very encouraging, as is the fact that on that ill-fated two-point conversion attempt by Washington, how interesting was it to find out that the Giants just put that play into their repertoire Friday and were able to execute it to perfection?
Coaching--it really does make a difference.