Giants’ safety tandem beginning to live up to the hype

Buffalo Bills running back Latavius Murray (28) is tackled by New York Giants safety Xavier McKinney (29) and safety Jason Pinnock (27) in the second quarter at Highmark Stadium
Mark Konezny-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Giants are finally getting valuable production out of their safety tandem of Xavier McKinney and Jason Pinnock.

The Giants’ safety tandem is stepping up to the plate

In last week’s win over the Commanders, Pinnock recorded a pass deflection and McKinney had 13 total tackles (eight solo), showcasing their strong defensive capabilities in the secondary. The Giants’ defense also forced six Washington turnovers, including three interceptions from quarterback Sam Howell, and nearly a fourth from Pinnock.

Xavier McKinney is overcoming his season struggles

It has been a challenging year in particular for McKinney, who was in the midst of controversy surrounding comments he made directed at the coaching staff.

However, lately, he has made strides in his game and has become very impactful in the secondary. Overall on the season, he has allowed a completion rate of 65.1%, and while that may not be eye-popping, it is still a respectable mark.

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Jason Pinnock is developing into a capable starter

For Pinnock, he made some noise during training camp and in preseason. In their first play of preseason, the third-year safety recorded an interception, and in Week 8 against the Dolphins had a 102-yard pick-six, his first career NFL interception in regular season play.

Pinnock has a new career-high in tackles with 59 total (40 solo), four tackles for a loss, three QB hits and a sack in his 2023 campaign. He continues to make improvements to his game and could become a focal point in their secondary going forward.

The Giants’ defense has been a bright spot in a dark year for them, and it is certainly encouraging to see their safety group provide a positive impact. They will have another opportunity to continue their solid stretch when they take on the New England Patriots on Sunday.

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