The Giants blew a golden opportunity to even out their 2021 season record at 1-1 in the worst possible way--a penalty on defensive lineman Dexter Lawrence II that nullified a missed game-winning field goal by the Washington Football Team.
But what about the rest of the team and the way the game unfolded? Let's take a quick look at some of the notable stats, snap counts, and numbers from the Giants' Week 2 heartbreaking loss.
Against the pass-rushing duo of Montez Sweat and Chase Young, the Giants stuck with Andrew Thomas and Nate Solder at tackle, as Matt Peart, who in the Week 1 loss to Denver got some snaps, only received one snap on special teams.
In looking back over the start to Peart's season, I see a guy who fell off a run block last week against Denver and who right now isn't playing with quick feet or who is bending at the knees instead of the waist.
In other words, I see a player who is trying to find himself as he's taught the correct technique but who has yet to do so. It's alarming that he doesn't look any closer to being ready in his second season than he did as a rookie despite having the physical tools.
The most frustrating thing about the Giants' game plan was the personnel deployment on offense. Kadarius Toney, as no doubt already noted, was on the field 19 times but didn't have a single pass target thrown his way.
Interestingly, Toney played 17 of his 19 snaps wide, with the other two in the slot. Both of his receptions thus far in his career have come from the slot. It's too early to flag this as a trend, but with Sterling Shepard getting off to a fast start from the slot, one can't help but wonder if Toney's targets will continue to be limited for the time being.
Tight end Kyle Rudolph was on the field 49 times and had two targets thrown his way--none in the red zone, which is supposedly a big reason why they brought him on board in the first place. And with just one yard after the catch this week, it's certainly fair to wonder if Rudolph's foot still isn't 100% yet as he looks to get back to playing at an elite level.
Want another reason to scratch your head? Rudolph's two pass targets came in the first quarter on that beautifully mixed opening scoring drive where he had a 12-yard catch on 2nd-and-5, and then his second catch came in the fourth quarter, again on second down with the Giants down 27-26.
Tight end Chris Myarick, called up from the practice squad, received seven snaps on offense. Together with Smith, the two of them graded out as the two of the team's top three blockers for the Giants and were a big reason why the offensive line's protection held up so well. (the top graded pass blocker on offense was Saquon Barkley.)
Looking at the reshuffled offensive line, I found it surprising that the interior allowed the most pressures. Center Billy Price and guards Will Hernandez and Ben Bredeson combined for 12 pressures. Tackles Andrew Thomas and Nate Solder combined for three.
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I don't have the official counts, but just in looking at the snap count numbers for the receivers and tight ends, I'd say the Giants were in 12-personnel a lot more this week than they were last week, not a surprise considering that Washington defensive front and how disruptive it can be.
Jabrill Peppers saw 57 snaps this week, up from the 30 he saw in Week 1, while Xavier McKinney saw a reduction in his snaps, going from 63 in Week 1 to 39 this week.
The high number of snaps played by James Bradberry (71/71), Logan Ryan (71/71), Adoree' Jackson (71/71), Peppers (57/71), Darnay Holmes (53/71), and McKinney (39/71) indicates the Giants were in the dime package (six defensive backs) often.
Talk about a slow start. Giants third-year defensive lineman Dexter Lawrence II has had a primarily quiet start to his season. Last week, Lawrence played in 42snaps; this week in 46. And what does he have to show for it production-wise? Five pressures (just one this past week) and only one assisted tackle with one missed tackle.
By comparison, last year through two games, Lawrence had three pressures but six tackles and no whiffs. The Giants are going to need a little bit more out of Lawrence, who looked ready to take a big leap forward as more of an every-down player toward the end of last season.
It's still early, but James Bradberry is off to the worst start of his career. Through two games, Bradberry has a 110.4 NFL Rating, the highest of his career, and has already allowed two touchdowns this season, one less than the three he gave up all of last year.
Bradberry, who was among the league leaders in pass breakups last year, has only managed to break up one pass thus far in two games (15 pass targets).
Giants inside linebacker Blake Martinez led the team in tackles with 12, but as I have noted in the past, they're not all created equal when it comes to tackles by linebackers.
So in going through the amount of yardage allowed before the tackles were made and using five yards as the cutoff point to create groups, I counted nine tackles (both solo and assists) made of more than five yards to three made inside of five yards.
I'm not sure if that's a result of the change in the defensive philosophy that's leaving the middle of the field wide open, but it was a stat I was curious to investigate, given the struggles of the Giants defense this year.
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