The New York Giants had one breakout performance in the week 15 loss to Cleveland

New York Giants, Andrew Thomas

While the New York Giants were thoroughly embarrassed by the Cleveland Browns in week 15, there were some positives to take away from the loss. Normally, losing by 14 points and failing to remain competitive indicates very few positives, but several players had superb performances.

Rookie safety Xavier McKinney looked solid in his fourth start of the season, earning the most reps he’s enjoyed all year with 41. He spent 17 reps in run defense, 23 in coverage, and one rushing the passer. According to PFF, he had his highest grade of the season at 70.5 and didn’t allow a single yard or completion.

However, McKinney isn’t the player I want to talk about today, it is left tackle Andrew Thomas. Thomas was forced to challenge star defensive end Myles Garrett all game long. As the former number one pick in 2017, Garrett is one of the most physically gifted players in the NFL. He has dominant quickness and power off the edge. He’s been a force all season long, racking up 12 sacks over 12 games.

How did New Yor Giants’ Andrew Thomas fare against Garrett?

With Myles is coming off a bout with COVID, most thought Thomas would have a tough time against the star-studded defender. Well, Thomas stood his ground and then some, limiting Garrett to his second-worst pass-rush grade of the year at 60.5. He recorded just one sack on the day, which came in garbage time when the Giants had already lost. During the meat of the contest, Thomas routinely stopped him in his tracks and kept him away from running plays.

Then again, it is fair to mention that the Giants stayed away from the weak side where Garrett featured, but Thomas did a good job sealing him off and keeping him disengaged from the play.

The rookie left tackle finished with average grades but looked quite good on film. He was active in the running game, clearing paths and looking for work, but was also consistent in the passing game. He protected Colt McCoy’s blindside well after helping contribute to an eight-sack performance last week against the Arizona Cardinals.

It was a nice bounce-back for the offensive line as a whole, and the Giants should be truly excited about Thomas’ development and how well he performed against several quality pass rushers.

His final stat-line against Garrett was one sack, one quarterback hit, and two pressures allowed. He didn’t allow a quarterback hurry, which altogether seems to be a fine result considering the player he was up against.