The New York Giants unleashed rookie receiver Kadarius Toney against the New Orleans Saints, and he ended up being one of the catalysts that fueled the offense to a victory in Week 4.
With Sterling Shepard and Darius Slayton out with hamstring injuries, Toney will once again be a priority for the Giants in the passing game against the Dallas Cowboys this weekend. Last week, Toney enjoyed 50 total snaps, 40 of which came on passing downs.
His snap count increased to 78% with the injured receivers, but that number will likely hover in that area if not increase as the season progresses. The Florida product tallied 78 yards on six receptions, being targeted eight times by quarterback Daniel Jones. The Giants even tried a trick play where Toney threw the ball downfield, attempting to exercise his former quarterback lineage.
The Cowboys are riding a three-game win streak as they prepare for the Giants, and one of their young cornerbacks has recorded five interceptions this year, Trevon Diggs. The Cowboys sit just behind the Giants in points allowed per game at 24.3 but are doing a great job of limiting opposing rushing attacks, simply because their offense is so potent, teams are passing as they trail behind by multiple scores.
Dallas’ passing defense ranks toward the bottom of the league, giving up 315.3 yards per contest, but again that correlates with opposing teams passing the ball frequently to maintain pace with their offense. The Giants will be tasked with slowing down a red hot unit. They must control possession and milk the clock for as many minutes as possible. The goal is to sustain long drives while scoring touchdowns and not field goals.
Getting the ball into their playmaker’s hands is essential, which is where Toney makes his presence felt. Against the Saints, Toney forced five missed tackles, being tackled six times in total. If you factor that into his numbers, his performance is far less effective and productive without his shifty abilities and quick-twitch movements.
Toney gave some insight into how he approaches making tacklers miss, and heâ€™s going to have to exercise that attribute against Dallas if the Giants want to have any chance at emerging victorious in Arlington.
â€œThe process is really just more of, if he goes left, Iâ€™ve got to go right,â€ Toney said Friday. â€œItâ€™s just kind of like playing freeze tag, something like that. Itâ€™s that kind of feel when youâ€™re out there.â€
Kadarius was known for his insane center of gravity and effort at Florida, and those characteristics haven’t dwindled at the NFL. In fact, it seems as if they’ve been maximized.