Will the New York Giants receive any compensatory picks this year?

New York Giants, Cleveland Browns

The New York Giants are not expected to be awarded any compensatory draft picks in the 2021 NFL Draft. The Giants hold the 11th overall pick in the 2021 Draft. They will only have six picks overall to fill the many needs on the roster.

In addition to their first-round pick, the G-Men will have the 42nd overall pick in round two, No. 76 overall in round three, No. 107 overall in round four, and two sixth-round selections — No. 172 and No. 177, the latter received in exchange from the Arizona Cardinals in the Markus Golden trade.

The Giants do not have a fifth-round selection due to the trade with the New York Jets for Leonard Williams. Big Blue also does not have a seventh-round selection either due to the trade with the Denver Broncos for Isaac Yaidom.

According to the compensatory draft pick cancellation chart compiled by “Over The Cap,” the Giants are not due any additional selections due to their aggressive shopping spree in free agency last March. They signed cornerback James Bradberry, linebacker Blake Martinez, kicker Graham Gano, outside linebacker Kyler Fackrell, quarterback Colt McCoy, tight end Levine Toilolo, and safety/special teamer Nate Ebner.

Safety/Special Teamer Michael Thomas was signed by Houston, but according to the chart, he is listed as non-eligible for compensation.

New York Giants have no players selected to the 2020 All-Pro team

New York Giants, Blake Martinez

The New York Giants have been shut out of the 2020 NFL All-Pro team. This is now back-to-back years where the Giants have had zero All-Pro selections. Their last All-Pro selection came in 2018, with Saquon Barkley making the second team along with Aldrick Rosas.

No Giants made the All-Pro teams this year, despite having a number of worthy candidates. The Giants’ defense in particular saw numerous players put together standout seasons in the 2020-2021 regular season. Some Giants players received votes for the All-Pro teams, but no one received enough votes to actually earn a spot.

Who received votes?

Blake Martinez, Leonard Williams, James Bradberry, and Graham Gano all received votes for the 2020 All-Pro teams. Williams and Martinez received two votes each while Bradberry and Gano each received one vote.

Arguably the most confusing snub on the list of Giants snubs is cornerback James Bradberry. The Giants’ cornerback had a career-year and even made Pro Football Focus’s All-Pro team this season. Bradberry was second-team All-Pro via PFF, behind Jaire Alexander.

James Bradberry was phenomenal this season, totaling a combined 17 interceptions and pass breakups on the year, the third-most in the NFL. Bradberry was also selected to the Pro Bowl this year for the first time in his career. So he did receive some recognition, but one could argue that James deserves far more recognition than he is getting after seeing the 2020 All-Pro teams.

Leonard Williams also had a career-year in 2020, but he did not receive any recognition. Despite totaling a career-high 11.5 sacks and racking up an insane 62 pressures, Williams missed both the Pro Bowl and All-Pro selections. Granted, there is a lot of strong competition amongst interior defensive linemen, but Big Cat had an elite season that should have seen him earn some recognition.

Graham Gano is another player that received no recognition, despite a phenomenal 2020 season. After missing all of 2019 with a hip injury, Gano came back strong with the Giants. Graham hit 30 straight field goals this year, a Giants record. He also missed just one kick (57-yards), making 31 of 32 attempts (97%). Gano was not selected to the Pro Bowl and only received one All-Pro vote, but he was truly dependable for the Giants this year.

Finally, Blake Martinez, one of the Giants’ biggest 2020 free-agent acquisitions, also received zero recognition from the league for his phenomenal season. Martinez totaled 151 combined tackles this season, 3 sacks, 2 forced fumbles, and 0 touchdowns allowed in coverage. At the very least, Martinez should have made the Pro Bowl.

These Giants were snubbed but a good part of the reasoning why could be the team’s win-loss record. Finishing 6-10, the Giants were never a top team in the NFL. Many voters might have held the team’s lack of success against these individual players. Regardless, the Giants and their fans know the level of talent that these players possess. This All-Pro absence will only serve as motivation for these players as they look to build towards the 2021 season.

New York Giants: The top three most confusing Pro Bowl snubs

New York Giants, Blake Martinez

Right now, one of the major stories around the New York Giants is Evan Engram and James Bradberry making the Pro Bowl. It’s a good accomplishment as it marks the talent level on the roster going up compared to recent years where the Giants were less represented in the game. However, it’s safe to say the Giants should be sending more players than they actually are. Some players were confusingly left out, despite their high levels of performance all season.

Logan Ryan

One of the obvious ones is Giants defensive back Logan Ryan, who joined the team in the aftermath of Xavier McKinney’s training camp injury and immediately justified the Giants’ decision to sign him. He’s played in every game so far for the Giants and has 83 combined tackles so far.

He also has 9 passes defended, a single interception, and one fumble recovered. His play this season has largely made up for the Giants not having McKinney until late in the year.

Ryan was also the leader in fan voting for the NFC free safeties for a number of weeks. This ultimately, however, wasn’t enough to boost him into actually getting the spot. It won’t stop the large amount of offseason speculation about his contract situation that will come soon, however.

Blake Martinez

The Giants have really helped former Packers linebacker Blake Martinez turn it around after picking the free agent up to man the middle of the defense. Martinez has 128 combined tackles so far, and that ties him for the fourth spot in the overall standings.

Martinez had also led this list at one point and still has a chance to move further up it in the last two games of the season. On top of that, Martinez has assisted in multiple areas of the game with one interception, two forced fumbles, and two sacks.

Leonard Williams

Despite a dud of a first year with the Giants, Leonard Williams has turned it around under Patrick Graham to have the best pass rushing year of his career. 8.5 sacks is a career high for him and places him at the number eleven spot overall on the league charts for the statistic.

He’s also got 24 QB hits, which places him at sixth overall in the league right now. It really seems like Williams is having a Pro Bowl caliber season, especially with the inclusion of Evan Engram from the Giants, who hasn’t stepped up as much by comparison at his own position.

New York Giants: Giants should “Enter the Wu” and draft Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah

Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah, New York Giants

Drafting Notre Dame’s Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah would take the New York Giants defense from being a very good defense to being an elite defense.

I know what you are probably saying to yourself, “Why are we already talking about who the New York Giants should draft in the 2021 NFL Draft when there are four weeks remaining in the season, and the team is in first place in their division?”. I totally understand the confusion. In recent years, writers were forced to look ahead to NFL Draft prospects for the Giants by this time of year because the season was already over for Big Blue, and there was nothing else to look forward to.

Obviously, this year is different. If the season were to end today, the New York Giants would qualify for the playoffs, despite currently having a losing record of 5-8. The Giants are coming off a four-game win streak that has propelled them to the top of a weak NFC East. Despite their record, the team has looked exponentially better this season and looks like they could represent a difficult matchup should their current trajectory hold up and they make the playoffs.

Much of their success has been a direct result of a massive improvement on the defensive side of the ball. New defensive coordinator, Patrick Graham, has the Giants’ defense playing at a level that we have not seen in recent years. Currently, New York is ranked eighth overall in the NFL after stifling a very potent Seattle Seahawks offense that came into last week as the third-highest scoring offense in the league.

The Giants’ defense has a very solid young core that should allow them to wreak havoc on the National Football League for years to come. Their defensive line is lead by Leonard Williams (26), Dalvin Tomlinson (26), Dexter Lawrence (23), and B.J. Hill (25). The linebacking corps consists of Blake Martinez (26), Oshane Ximines (24), Lorenzo Carter (25), Devante Downs (25), Carter Coughlin (23), Cam Brown (22), David Mayo (27), and Tae Crowder (23). The secondary is made up of James Bradberry (27), Jabrill Peppers (25), Julian Love (22), Logan Ryan (29), Darnay Holmes (22), Xavier McKinney (22), and Isaac Yiadom (24). To say that this talented defense is young would be a massive understatement, with no major contributor over the age of 30 and most aged 26-years-old or younger.

The Giants will need to address the expiring contracts of Leonard Williams, Dalvin Tomlinson, and Logan Ryan, who have all played a major part in the success of this defense. According to spotrac.com, they currently are slated to have just over $18 million in remaining cap space heading into 2021, which doesn’t bode well for keeping the trio. However, moving on from Nate Solder, Kevin Zeitler, and Golden Tate would free up another $21.5 million in cap space, which may allow them to keep all three.

However, if this scenario does play out and the Giants are able to keep all three free agent defenders, they will have limited cap space remaining and will unlikely to be able to sign any additional big named free agent players. That means that the defense will have to add any additional significant improvements to the defensive unit via the NFL Draft.

While a case could be made to draft a big-play wide receiver for Daniel Jones or another young piece along the offensive line in the first round of the 2021 NFL Draft, a case could be made to take an impact defensive player who can take an already excellent defense to elite status for years to come. After all, we all know that great defenses win championships.

If the Giants continue to have success to close out the 2020 season and do, in fact, make the playoffs, elite defensive talents such as Penn State linebacker Micah Parsons, edge rushers Gregory Rousseau of Miami and Carlos Basham of Wake Forest, and TCU safety Ar’Darius Washington will likely be gone when New York makes their pick. However, the best fit for the GMEN on defense will likely still be on the board when they step up to the podium. That player is Notre Dame outside linebacker Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah.

The 6’1″ and 215-pound Owusu-Koramoah, or “JOK” or “Wu,” as Irish fans affectionately know him as is a bit undersized at the linebacker position. However, Owusu-Koramoah makes up for his lack of size with incredible athletic ability. JOK has thrived as the leader of a stout Notre Dame defense the past two seasons. He has been exceptional as the rover linebacker for the Irish, recording 127 total tackles, 10 sacks, five forced fumbles, one interception, seven pass deflections, and a fumble return for a touchdown over that span.

Anyone who watches Notre Dame football is likely to notice #6 flying all over the field, seemingly making big plays at will. While Owusu-Koramoah wasn’t a big-time prospect coming out of college, rating only as a 3-star recruit out of Hampton, Virginia, his ability to make plays has catapulted him to become one of the elite defensive players in college football.

Owusu-Koramoah was recently named as a semi-finalist for the Lott IMPACT Trophy, awarded to the player who was the best defensive player with the best character in college football. Additionally, he was named as a finalist for the Bronko Nagurski Trophy (national defensive player of the year), Butkus Award (best linebacker), and Bednarik Award (best defensive player). A strong showing against Clemson in the ACC Championship game next weekend would go a long way in helping to secure those awards.

Owusu-Koramoah appears to be the perfect fit for the New York Giants in the upcoming draft. One of the few weaknesses remaining on the Giants defense is at outside linebacker. While the GMEN have arguably one of the best middle linebackers in the game in Blake Martinez, they are lacking production at the outside linebacker position. Some of this is due to losing both Oshane Ximines and Lorenzo Carter to season-ending injuries. Both Carter and Ximines have shown flashes of becoming solid pass-rushing options at the outside linebacker position, but neither is a sure thing, especially coming off of major injuries.

Adding a playmaker of Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah’s caliber to play alongside Martinez would represent a major improvement on an already impressive Giants defense. “Wu” would give Patrick Graham’s defense a player who is excellent as a pass rusher, who can provide solid coverage in the passing game, and who has a propensity to come up with huge plays at critical times. If either or both of the tandem of Carter and Ximines return and reach their potential, the linebacking group of Martinez, Owusu-Koramoah, Ximines, Carter, and the young late-round picks from last year’s draft give the Giants a very young, talented, and deep linebacking corps to go along with their young, talented, and deep defensive line and secondary.

If the New York Giants are able to secure this best-case scenario and resign the trio of Williams, Ryan, and Tomlinson and then are able to add a player of Owusu-Koramoah’s ability in the draft, this defense looks poised to be among the best in the National Football League for years to come. Having a strong defense takes a lot of pressure off of Daniel Jones and the offense. If they can pull off these moves in the offseason AND add a few offensive weapons for Jones, this team will be a legitimate Super Bowl contender.

New York Giants receive bad injury news on defense and optimism on offense

New York Giants, Blake Martinez

When New York Giants quarterback Daniel Jones went down in week 12 against the Cincinnati Bengals, the expectation was that they would lose against Seattle Seahawks in week 13.

However, reserve quarterback Colt McCoy did just enough to help his team to victory, with the defense stepping up in a big way, limiting a potent Seattle offense to just 12 points.

This week, Jones has been working his way back to full health but is not 100% healthy. He was seen jogging lightly down the field following a running back screen in practice, but it was clear there was still a limp in his step, indicating that he might need one more week to return as the starter.

“There was some progress made,” Judge said, per Giants beat writer Art Stapleton. “We had a long talk with [Jones] after practice, a long talk with him [Friday] morning again. We’re going to put him through it again and see how he responds to it. I’m fairly optimistic but at the same time there’s a ways to go and we gotta be fair to him.”

While the offense could gain back their quarterback, the defense could lose theirs against the Arizona Cardinals this weekend.

Against Seattle, linebacker Blake Martinez suffered a back injury in the 4th quarter that held him out for the remainder of the contest. With the game on the line, the Giants’ defense had to survive without him, and they got the job done despite their best run-stopping LB sitting on the sidelines.

Despite the injury, Martinez had a fantastic game against the Seahawks and altogether has been a stud for the Giants this season, racking up 111 tackles, six tackles for loss, five quarterback hits, and 2.0 sacks.

Losing Martinez would be a significant blow to the defense against Arizona, who has one of the best running games in the NFL. As a top run-defender in the league, Martinez has 47 stops this year and has done a great job mitigating big plays at the second level.

In his absence, the Giants would have to utilize backup David Mayo, who physically is a similar player to Martinez but lacks his speed and vision.

Last season, Mayo started in 13 games, earning 82 combined tackles and five tackles for a loss. He was actually quite solid for Big Blue, and while losing Martinez is a massive blow, this is why the Giants signed Mayo to an extension as a depth option.

New York Giants: Record aside, Giants pose a difficult playoff matchup

New York Giants, Daniel Jones

Despite a lackluster 4-7 record, the New York Giants are in first place in the NFC East and have the makings of a difficult matchup in the playoffs.

In a typical year, if the New York Giants were sitting with a record of 4-7 in December, they would likely be looking forward to the next season, with their playoff hopes seemingly dashed. However, this is 2020, and the 4-7 Giants sit atop the putrid NFC East and would make the playoffs if the season ended today.

The disappointing 4-7 record is a bit misleading, as the Giants have not been nearly as bad as their record would indicate. In their seven losses, the Giants have lost by an average of 7.86 points per game. When you take away the 36-9 drubbing at the hands of the San Francisco 49ers, the average drops to only 4.67 points per loss.
Of the seven losses that the Giants have suffered, six have been against teams with defenses currently ranked in the top 15 in the league, including the Steelers (#1), Rams (#4), Bears (#8), 49ers (#11), Eagles (#14), and Buccaneers (#15). Additionally, they have defeated the Redskins (#6) twice and the aforementioned Eagles. To say that the GMEN have faced a gauntlet of difficult defenses this season would be an understatement.

The Giants have some difficult defensive matchups remaining on the schedule with the Ravens (#3) and Cardinals (#13) still to come. The Giants’ offense has shown the ability to hang with the best defenses in the National Football League, which is something they will undoubtedly be tasked with again, should they make the playoffs.
Speaking of excellent defenses, the Giants boast a stout defense of their own.

Currently, Big Blue has the tenth-ranked defense in the National Football League. They have allowed the fifth-fewest rushing yards in the league and are currently 19th in the league in passing yards allowed. They are tied for 11th in sacks with 27, tied for 14th in interceptions with nine, and tied for third in forced fumbles with 9. This season, the Giants defense has shown the ability to come up with big plays, something that has been severely lacking in recent seasons.

The defensive line has been excellent against the run and has also shown the ability to get after the quarterback.  Dalvin Tomlinson, Dexter Lawrence, Jabaal Sheard, and B.J. Hill have outperformed expectations along the defensive line. Meanwhile, Leonard Williams has been extremely productive, recording a career-high six sacks already this season for the Giants.

The linebacker play has been better than expected as well. Offseason free-agent addition Blake Martinez is currently in consideration for the Defensive Player of the Year Award with 101 total tackles, two sacks, one interception, one forced fumble, and one fumble recovery. The outside linebackers have done admirable after losing two of their top pash rushers, Lorenzo Carter (ruptured Achilles) and Oshane Ximinez (torn rotator cuff) to a season-ending injury and trading another in Markus Golden to the Arizona Cardinals. A combination of David Mayo, Kyler Fackrell, Tae Crowder, Carter Coughlin, Cam Brown, and Devante Downs have stepped up to fill the void of losing the top trio of outside linebackers.

The secondary for the Giants has been excellent as well. James Bradberry, Logan Ryan, Jabrill Peppers, and Julian Love have become one of the more formidable secondaries in the league. The four of them have combined for six interceptions, four forced fumbles, and 33 pass deflections. Isaac Yiadom and Darnay Holmes have provided serviceable play as well in the secondary. The Giants received another boost to their defensive backfield last week, when their uber-talented second-round draft pick, Xavier McKinney, made his debut. As McKinney receives more reps and gets a more prominent role in the Giants secondary, this defensive backfield looks to be a major strength as the team heads into the final part of the regular season.

While the defense has been excellent for New York this season, the offense has struggled. Currently, they are ranked 30th overall in points scored, 28th in passing yards, and 29th in rushing yards. On the season, Big Blue has averaged a paltry 19.5 points per game. However, over the past seven weeks, the team has averaged a much more respectable 27.14 points per game.

A lot of the offensive struggles for the GMEN can be attributed to the fact that nine of the eleven teams that they have faced have featured defenses ranked in the top 15 in the league. Some of the offensive ineptitude is a direct result of injuries. Superstar running back Saquon Barkley was lost early in the second game of the season, and Sterling Shepard missed four weeks of action after being injured against the Bears in Week 2.

Perhaps the biggest hindrance to offensive production early on for the Giants was due to poor play from the offensive line. The lack of preseason games negatively impacted the early performance along Big Blue’s offensive line. Nick Gates had not received any game action at the center position after moving from the tackle spot. Draft picks Andrew Thomas, Matt Peart, and Shane Lemieux did not benefit from NFL game action prior to being inserted into the lineup. Cameron Fleming didn’t receive any reps with his new linemates after coming over via free agency from Dallas.

The initial results were indicative of an offensive line with a lot of new personnel, a new coach, and little to no experience playing next to one another. However, Big Blue’s offensive line has shown improvement over the past few weeks. The improvement in the offensive line has been apparent in the reduction of turnovers from Daniel Jones, as well as the ability of the offense to have a productive running game in recent weeks. Through the first nine games of the season, Daniel Jones had 14 turnovers (nine interceptions and five fumbles). In the past two weeks, Jones has not turned the ball over.

During the first five games of the season, the Giants averaged a pathetic 79 rushing yards per game and had only one game with over 100 yards (136 against the Rams). Over the past six games, the Giants have rushed for over 100 yards in every game and are averaging 142 rushing yards per game. If they can continue to rush at the clip they have over the past six games, their rushing attack would rank in the top five in the NFL. The GMEN seem to have found something in Wayne Gallman, who has rushed for 293 yards and six touchdowns over the past five games.

The passing attack for the GMEN has not been as good as it was in 2019 when they averaged 233.2 passing yards per game. Currently, they are averaging 200.5 yards per game on the season. However, they have averaged 216.16 passing yards per game over the past six contests, further evidence of improvement from the offensive line. The recent emergence of Evan Engram and the return of Sterling Shepard should help further the advancement of the Giants’ passing attack moving forward.

Another major asset for New York this season has been the addition of Graham Gano. After the team cut Aldrick Rosas following his arrest for a DUI, the kicking game for the Giants was thrown into disarray. The team would ultimately sign free agent Graham Gano who was released in July by the Carolina Panthers after he missed the final four games of the 2018 season and all of the 2019 season due to a leg injury. Gano has been nothing short of spectacular this season for the Giants, going 25-26 in field goal attempts and 17-17 in extra-point attempts.

Last week, Gano set a Giants record by making 22 straight field goal attempts. Currently, he is 4th in the NFL in field goal percentage at 96.2% and is 9th in points with 92. Big Blue wisely signed Gano to a three-year $14 million extension. Gano gives the Giants arguably their most clutch kicker since Lawrence Tynes.

Certainly, losing Daniel Jones to a hamstring injury during this playoff run is not ideal. Jones was able to practice in a limited capacity this week, suggesting that his absence may not be prolonged. The dual-threat that he poses at the quarterback position presents a challenge for opposing defenses to gameplan against. The Giants will need backup Colt McCoy to basically be a game manager this week against the Seattle Seahawks if they hope to win. Luckily, Seattle comes in with the worst pass defense in the league, which should help his cause.

While the Cowboys and Redskins both arguably have easier remaining schedules, the Giants seem to have a better team than both of their division rivals. If they can get past Seattle, the Giants have the Cardinals, Browns, Ravens, and Cowboys remaining. They will need to continue to show improvement if they hope to capture their first division title since 2011.

Should the New York Giants make the playoffs, there are a lot of reasons to believe that they will be a difficult matchup. From their defense, which has performed well thus far and continues to improve, to their young athletic offensive line that seems to be improving each week, to their newly found rushing attack, to their quarterback who is always a threat to tuck it and run or to find an open receiver for a big play, to their clutch weapon in the kicking game, or the bravado that this team brings with new head coach Joe Judge at the helm, this team has shown the ability to hang with some of the best teams in the National Football league and likely is a team that contenders are hoping to avoid a matchup against in the playoffs.

New York Giants: 3 players on defense who have surprised in 2020

New York Giants, Blake Martinez, James Bradberry

The New York Giants are entering their bye week with back to back wins against division opponents. The Giants are sitting at a 3-7 record, that might not sound the best, but the Giants are just a half-game back from first place in the division. In the last few weeks, the Giants have made some drastic improvements.

There is a lot to like about the Giants this season. The coaching for the G-MEN has been impressive, to say the least. We can give all the credit to the coaches, the players are going on the field and playing every week.

Three New York Giants players who have played above their weight-class:

James Bradberry

James Bradberry has been a solid cornerback throughout his career but would not consider him elite until his first season with the New York Giants.

With his first season with the Giants, Bradberry just isn’t one of the best cornerbacks in the NFC East, he is one of the best cornerbacks in the entire NFL. Through 10 weeks, Bradberry leads the NFL with 14 passes defended and three interceptions.

Dave Gettleman was the former general manager of the Carolina Panthers. Gettleman drafted Bradberry back in 2016 in the second round. Once Bradberry hit free agency this past offseason, Gettleman jumped all over him. Bradberry received a three-year deal, worth $43.5 million. What a massive signing by Gettleman this past offseason.

Blake Martinez

Blake Martinez was a tackling machine in Green Bay for years but never brought much else to the table. The Packers couldn’t have been more wrong.

Martinez is tied for the most tackles in the NFL through 10 weeks, but he has done much more for the Giants than that. Martinez has provided a rock in the middle of the defense and being the vocal leader of this Giants’ defense. This is what the Giants needed on the defensive side of the ball.

Dave Gettleman again made another great signing this past offseason. Gettleman signed Martinez to a three-year deal, just like he did to Bradberry. Martinez’s deal is worth $30 million over three-years. This Giants defense has found their leader for years to come.

Leonard Williams

Leonard Williams was a Pro Bowler his rookie season in the NFL but after that season never played up to his expectations. Why would Dave Gettleman give up a third-round and fifth-round pick for an average defensive lineman?

Williams was the final piece to the puzzle for this Giants defensive line. The Giants now have Williams, Dexter Lawerance, and Dalvin Tomlinson are the starters, with B.J. Hill getting solid playing time coming off the bench.

The Giants were not able to sign Williams to a long-term extension and were forced to give him the franchise tag. Williams’ franchise tag is worth $16.1 million.

Whatever your feelings about the trade for Williams, you can not deny that he has been one of the best players on this entire Giants team. Williams is playing as he did back in his rookie season. He is finally becoming that all-around playmaker Gettleman traded for in 2019. Williams currently is leading the Giants in sacks with five, tackles for loss with eight, and quarterback hits with 17.

New York Giants: Just how great has Blake Martinez been at linebacker?

New York Giants, Blake Martinez

When the New York Giants signed Blake Martinez to a three-year, $30 million contract, most were skeptical over the move. Having poor grades and inconsistent coverage abilities with Green Bay, nobody expected Martinez to be one of the Giants’ best players through 10 weeks. He has been a leader on defense and one of their premier playmakers for Patrick Graham’s unit.

This is Graham’s first year as the Giants’ defensive coordinator, and his unit currently ranks in the top 10  for points allowed per game. They are one of the best run-stopping teams in the league, and Martinez has played a significant part in that metric. While he had his worst game of the season against the Philadelphia Eagles in week 10, missing several tackles and allowing a few receptions, he has been stellar the entire year.

How good has Blake Martinez been for the New York Giants?

Martinez is tied for first in the NFL with 96 combine tackles, also earning five quarterback hits, six tackles for loss, 2.0 sacks, and one forced fumble. He also has an interception, allowing 80.4% of passes thrown his way to be caught. He has a 7.7% missed tackle rate, which is right in line with his previous seasons in Green Bay, but he has been much more active with the Giants this year, as they seem to prioritize linebacker and utilize Martinez as a blitzer and premium run stopper.

Through 10 weeks, Martinez has made 41 stops, which is a measurement that tells when a runner is stopped before gaining 40% of the yardage necessary to pick up a first down. His run defense has quietly decreased in effiencity, but his coverage grades have improved. He is finding a balance between the two, and as he continues to learn Graham’s defensive scheme and adapt, we should expect improvement.

Considering how good he has been for the Giants, there’s a good chance he makes the Pro Bowl this year. Comparably, fans were calling for the Giants to sign Cory Littleton in free agency, and he has been one of the worst starting linebackers in the NFL this year with the Las Vegas Raiders. He has a 36.7 overall defensive grade, with a 39.4 run defense grade and 38.9 coverage grade. Overall, he is not even in the same realm as Martinez, so it seems as if the Giants made a fantastic decision with Blake in free agency.

Chemistry is important:

It is also important to note that Martinez had previous experience with Graham, and this was a specific choice for the Giants’ new defense. He fits the run-stopping role perfectly, and I don’t expect him to be a coverage linebacker. That is one of the positives from this team, they played to the player’s strengths and not force them into uncomfortable situations. Former coordinator James Bettcher did the opposite with cornerback DeAndre Baker, playing him in off-ball zone coverage instead of press-man, which was his strength at Georgia.

It is nice to see the Giants with coordinators who are playing to their strengths and not forcing weaknesses to improve.

Three reasons the New York Giants can get win number three on Sunday

New York Giants, Wayne Gallman

The New York Giants take on the Philadelphia Eagles on Sunday, and they have a chance to win back to back games for the first time this season. The team followed up their first win of the season with close back to back losses to Philadelphia and Tampa – now, they’ll have a chance to change that track record and get revenge for their bad loss in Philly.

But why should we be confident the Giants will pull this one out?

Daniel Jones cutting down on turnovers

The most recent game for the Giants was the first one this season where Daniel Jones had one or more touchdowns and no interceptions. He also didn’t lose a fumble, getting him out of the game with no turnovers. Turnovers have been a big problem for Jones this season and have earned him plenty of criticism from fans.

During the team’s back to back losses picked up following their first win of the season, Jones threw three interceptions and lost one fumble. Taking more care of the ball is a different trend from the rest of the season, as Jones already has nine interceptions right now. If he can keep up the safer decision making, the Giants have a better chance of winning this one.

The Giants came close last time

The Giants should have won their first meeting with the Eagles. That’s not a biased statement, but the truth. The Giants only had to run the clock out and they would have walked away with a victory. However, the now infamous drop from Evan Engram cost the team a first down and the game ended as an unexpected loss.

These types of weird situations usually don’t happen twice. No one in the NFC East is a very good team this year and the Eagles should still be a beatable team. The Giants did alright the first time around when they played the Eagles. They made plays on offense just at the right time, and would have produced just enough to come away with a win if it wasn’t for the late drop that gave the Eagles another possession.

This time, the Giants might know better than sending the ball Evan Engram’s way if the team is in trouble late in the game.

High performance defense

Several defensive players for the Giants have stepped it up this season. One of them, linebacker Blake Martinez, is leading the league in tackles right now. Martinez has 92 tackles right now, an impressive accomplishment for a player that was considered a castoff from Green Bay and who faced skepticism after signing his deal with the Giants. Martinez had a big contribution to the Giants’ second win, with 10 tackles as well as an interception.

Another player stepping it up is Leonard Williams. He’s had sacks in back to back games and has had five so far this season. That’s a pretty big step up from his poor statistics last season after joining the Giants, and Williams has justified the team’s decision to keep him around for another year.

James Bradberry has taken up the top cornerback mantle from Janoris Jenkins and done good things in the role. He has 3 interceptions so far which ties him for 5th in the league and will likely be a factor in Giants wins going forward.

Can the Giants pull it off?

The Eagles barely managed a win in the first meeting between these two teams. That was with a home crowd at their backs and the advantage of facing a first time head coach with a new administration. This time, the Giants have a bit more familiarity with their opponent and experience crafting a game plan to face the Eagles. Daniel Jones also did better last time out avoiding turnovers and the top performers on defense haven’t let up in their performances.

There’s no guarantee that anyone will win any game in the NFC East this year, but it’s safe to say the Giants at least have a good chance to beat the Eagles and pick up their third win of the season on Sunday.

Two New York Giants defenders playing with elite numbers

New York Giants, Blake Martinez

The New York Giants have had a rocky start this season but picked up their second win when they defeated Washington on the road on Sunday. It’s the second time the Giants have beaten Washington this year and while they were only able to pull out a narrow win of three points, there’s reasons to think the result signals good things for the future.

Daniel Jones had a game without an interception, after a week where he was heavily criticized for his turnovers, and the Giants were able to get the running game going better than in some of their previous outings. However, many of the real top performers for the Giants are on their defense this season.

Two elite players for the Giants defense

It’s been a while since the Giants have had a star linebacker but it’s safe to say they have one now in Blake Martinez, who leads the league in tackles. He also has six tackles for a loss, which is more than his direct competitors for the leading tackler spot.

Martinez registered 155 tackles during his last season with Green Bay and it looks likely that he’ll break that mark by the end of this season given his current pace. It’s also worth giving some credit to the coaching staff. After all, this is a step up from Martinez’s performance in Green Bay and some fans were skeptical at first over whether he deserved the money. The staff likely had some role to play in the raise in performance.

Leonard Williams is another player that has picked up his performance this season, with 5 sacks so far. It puts him in the top 20 for the NFL’s pass rushers this season. The number may improve further based on what we’ve seen from Williams so far.

If these two players hadn’t stepped it up this season, it would have certainly reflected badly on GM Dave Gettleman and would likely have a negative impact on Gettleman’s job status with the team. But with these two additions becoming key members of the team, the Giants front office is faced with more complex and less clear decisions once we approach the offseason.