The New York Giants fell to the Baltimore Ravens on Sunday to further muddy their playoff hopes, but one receiver had a standout game individually. Sterling Shepard has been rated the best Giants player from week 16 by Pro Football Focus, thanks to his nine catch performance which saw him pick up 77 receiving yards and a touchdown.
Sterling Shepard -> highest graded player for the Giants yesterday.
9 catches on 11 targets, 77 yards and a touchdown. 12th best grade among qualified WRs for week 16. pic.twitter.com/zTQmsRWm9A
— PFF NY Giants (@PFF_Giants) December 28, 2020
Shepard came through at the same time that fellow wide receiver Darius Slayton only pulled in a couple of receptions for 26 yards. Not the kind of performance that the Giants are expecting of him following his big first year. With Slayton struggling, much of the load has fallen on Shepard this season.
But despite that, Shepard is still on par to have a subpar season compared to his first three. He should avoid a career low in season yardage if he can grab a few catches in the season finale, but the numbers still aren’t looking great.
Some of that has come down to the Giants not having other receivers that can get open and take away attention. Another problem is the offensive line, and earlier in the season, there were more problems with Daniel Jones failing to find his target. All of this has combined to make it a hard year to be a Giants receiver.
Shepard looks like the number one receiver coming into the 2021 season thanks to Slayton slowing down and Golden Tate most likely being off the team. If the Giants don’t decide to cash in while his value is still high and make an offseason trade, that is.
The future remains unclear. But Shepard’s skill has remained consistent even with a poor offensive coordinator and multiple cases of playing under a backup QB this year.