Giants’ rookie cornerback could be the key to beating the Jets in Week 8

New York Giants cornerback Deonte Banks (25) celebrates after an interception against the Washington Commanders during the first half at MetLife Stadium

The New York Giants are preparing for a crucial matchup with their in-state and stadium-sharing rivals, the New York Jets. The Jets are 3-3 this season and maintaining playoff aspirations, despite the absence of QB Aaron Rodgers.

Leading the charge for Gang Green this season is third-year QB Zach Wilson, who has developed a strong connection with 2022 Offensive Rookie of the Year, WR Garrett Wilson. In Week 8, slowing down Wilson will be crucial, and the task will be up to rookie Giants CB Deonte Banks to slow down the dynamic receiving threat.

Deonte Banks nominated for Week 7 Rookie of the Week

Banks is coming off a Week 7 performance in which he nabbed the first interception of his career. The first-round draft pick made a terrific play to read the receivers in zone coverage and snag the errant pass from Commanders QB Sam Howell.

Banks was nominated for the Week 7 Pepsi® Zero Sugar Rookie of the Week award following his performance against Washington. He finished the week with seven total tackles, one interception, and one pass defended as the Giants earned their second win of the season.

Banks has been locking up top wide receivers all season

Despite his rookie status, Banks has been elevated into the Giants’ No. 1 cornerback role this season. The 24th overall pick in this year’s draft has exceeded expectations, shutting down elite wide receivers all season long.

As Big Blue faced a gauntlet of top-receiving talents to start the season, Banks held his own against some of the toughest matchups.

  • Banks vs Stefon Diggs (Week 6): • 3 targets • 0 receptions allowed
  • Banks vs Jaylen Waddle (Week 5): • 3 targets • 1 reception allowed • 0 yards allowed • 1 pass breakup
  • Banks vs Tyreek Hill (Week 5): • 1 target • 1 reception allowed • 9 yards allowed
  • Banks vs Deebo Samuel (Week 3): • 4 targets • 2 receptions allowed • 13 yards allowed • 1 pass breakup
  • Banks vs Brandin Cooks and Michael Gallup (Week 1): • 2 targets • 0 receptions allowed
  • via NFL Rookie Watch

The Giants are relying heavily on Banks to hold their secondary together this season. Veteran CB Adoree’ Jackson has struggled, paving the way for Banks to play as the team’s primary cover-man. Entering Week 8, Banks will be matched up with another elite receiver in a potentially game-deciding matchup.

The Giants need to slow down Garrett Wilson

Jets WR Garrett Wilson has not scored a touchdown since Week 2, but he has been receiving an influx of targets in recent weeks as the team seeks ways to propel his breakout this season.

Wilson established himself as one of the best young wide receivers in the NFL as a rookie last season. He totaled 1,103 receiving yards and four touchdowns as a rookie, earning himself some hardware at the end of the year.

In the Jets’ upset win over the Philadelphia Eagles in Week 6, Wilson was instrumental in helping his team earn the victory. He was targeted 12 times and brought in eight receptions for a single-game season-high 90 yards.

The Jets were on their bye in Week 7, meaning they will be rested and ready to attack as they face the Giants this week. Considering Wilson’s increased involvement in the game plan in their last matchup, it’s reasonable to assume the Jets will aim to feed him the rock against a rookie cornerback in Banks.

Banks will be the key to slowing down Wilson and, thus, slowing down the Jets’ offense. The Giants are aiming to secure their third win of the season and Banks will be a key factor in obtaining the season-altering victory.

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