The New York Giants made a splash in free agency this offseason when they signed inside linebacker Blake Martinez. The former Packers linebacker signed a three-year contract worth more than $30 million. So far, Martinez has lived up to his lofty price tag and been worth every penny.
Through two weeks in the 2020 NFL season, Blake Martinez has been one of the best linebackers in the NFL.
Blake Martinez Stats and Highlights
According to Pro Football Focus, Blake Martinez is the second-highest graded linebacker in the NFL after two weeks. Martinez has earned an impressive grade of 87.4 overall with an elite 92.0 run-defense grade.
Martinez is an excellent run defender who has clogged holes and made plays for the Giants’ defense. Throughout his career, Martinez has struggled in coverage. But he has not been asked to drop back in coverage very much this year.
Blake Martinez reunited with Patrick Graham when he signed with the Giants this offseason. Graham was a former linebackers coach and run game coordinator for the Packers in 2018 when Blake Martinez had the best season of his career. Martinez said that his role changed in the Packers’ new defense in 2019, which led to some struggles in his performance.
Now, under Graham’s scheme once again, Martinez has been playing to his strengths and thriving in this run-defending and pass-rushing role. According to Pro Football Reference, Martinez has only been targeted in coverage 4 times in two games. He has also blitzed 10 times in two games. In 2019, Martinez only blitzed 24 times in 16 games.
Blake Martinez is thriving in Patrick Graham’s defensive scheme. He has already recorded 21 combined tackles and 7 tackles for loss in two weeks. If Martinez continues to perform at this high level, the Giants’ defense will continue to be a pleasant surprise for fans as the season wears on.