New York Giants: Reviewing the top graded players from week 4

New York Giants, Blake Martinez

The New York Giants fell in a well-fought game against the Los Angeles Rams on Sunday afternoon. By a score of 9-17, the Rams took the victory, but the Giants showed fight that was absent in their week three loss to the San Francisco 49ers.

Starting the 2020 regular season 0-4 under new head coach Joe Judge is problematic, but it altogether surprising. Implementing new schematics on both sides of the ball and bringing in new faces was always going to take time to gel.

The lack of continuity due to the COVID-19 pandemic has forced the Giants to take a step back in their progression. In addition, a number of injuries and opt-outs hurt the team before the season even began.

Nonetheless, there was plenty of positives to extract from the loss to the Rams, so let’s take a look at the top grade players on offense and defense.

Top graded offensive player: Cam Fleming

The Giants’ offensive line performed well against Los Angeles. According to PFF, they held star pass rusher, Aaron Donald, to a grade under 70, in which he only recorded one in 2019.

After three consecutive weeks of porous play in the trenches, the Giants backed up their confidence with a solid performance. They desperately needed some momentum, and I think they should do them well as they head into a matchup against a lackluster Dallas Cowboys defense.

Newly signed right tackle Can Fleming had the highest grade on offense for a Big Blue. He is also the highest-graded offensive lineman through the first four games of the season. That is not saying much, considering how inadequate the unit has performed. However, it is a positive sign that he is holding things together on his end, as the rest of the line continues to grow alongside one another.

Top graded defensive player: Blake Martinez

The New York Giants’ defense has been phenomenal through four weeks, as they enter the game against the Rams as the 12th ranked defense in the NFL. Their improvement compared to 2019 is significant, as they currently ranked 14th in the NFL in sacks, with 10.

Their top player against the Rams was none other than middle linebacker Blake Martinez. He tallied 13 combined tackles and one tackle for a loss in the defeat.

Martinez has been one of the more consistent options for the Giants this year, especially against the run. They were able to hold Los Angeles to just 58 yards on the ground, averaging 2.5 yards/carry. A lot of that success is thanks to Martinez, who was flying around the field and attributes his increased athleticism to the relieving of a dairy and egg allergy.