New York Giants: Daniel Jones injury update heading into week 13

New York Giants, Daniel Jones

The New York Giants are preparing to be without quarterback Daniel Jones in week 13 against the Seattle Seahawks. After pulling his right hamstring against the Cincinnati Bengals in a 19-17 victory, a contest at thrust the Giants to first place in the NFC East, there is optimism that Jones could still suit up against Seattle.

Head coach Joe Judge has kept his answers vague when asked about Daniel’s readiness, and since he was forced to leave Sunday’s game prematurely, the expectation is that the injury could last at least one week.

The New York Giants enjoyed hopeful MRI results for Jones:

MRIs showed that Jones didn’t have any significant damage to his hamstring, which was a great sign and indicates he could be back sooner rather than later. I still believe that Colt McCoy will start against Seattle this upcoming weekend, simply based on the fact that the Giants are not favored in the game and need Jones for the final four game stretch of the season leading up to the playoffs.

Judge stated that he would be waiting to hear back from trainers on Wednesday regarding Daniel and their program for the rest of the week. McCoy will be earning a majority of first-team snaps to prepare against the Seahawks, and considering he hasn’t started in more than five games since 2011, the Giants will have an uphill battle ahead of them.

As of this moment, Jones is simply working hard to regain his health, but you can’t speed up the healing of muscle tissue. Wrapping an ankle with a minor-sprain is much easier than preparing a hamstring to play a 60-minute football game, especially when your quarterback runs the ball often.

Ultimately, the Giants knew running the ball with Jones more often would increase the probability of injury. On the season, Jones has completed 228 passes for 2,335 yards, eight touchdowns, and nine interceptions. He has rushed for 403 yards and one score, already breaking his rushing total from 2019 and two fewer games.

It is also important to mention that the former Duke star has cut back his turnover significantly, fumbling 11 fewer times in a similar time frame compared to last season. He hasn’t turned the ball over in 2.5 games and is looking to extend that streak once he returns to be starting offense.

Where can the New York Giants exploit Seattle’s weaknesses?

New York Giants, Leonard Williams

Overcoming the Seattle Seahawks will be a significant challenge for the New York Giants, but I wouldn’t guarantee a loss for Big Blue just yet. The Seahawks had some problems with the Philadelphia Eagles on Monday night, eventually winning 23-17. The Philadelphia defense kept Russell Wilson in check, allowing 230 yards and one touchdown through the air and just 76 yards on the ground.

The Giants have a notoriously better unit, ranking 10th in points allowed per game and 5th in rushing yards per game. Their secondary has increasingly gotten better, too, making a jump from 27th in passing yards per game to 19th the past three weeks.

Overall, it is clear that the Giants have a better team than the Eagles at this point in the season, and considering the Seahawks just barely squeaked out a 5 point win, I believe the Giants and Joe Judge have a fighting chance against Seattle.

Nonetheless, losing quarterback Daniel Jones to a right hamstring pull this past weekend against Cincinnati is problematic. It will force back-up quarterback Colt McCoy to take the reins, and it will be difficult for the Giants’ offense to game momentum without Jones and his legs.

However, let’s take a look at some of the weaknesses the Seahawks have and how the Giants might be able to exploit them.

Can the New York Giants exploit the Seahawks’ weaknesses?

1.) Poor secondary

The Seahawks have the worst secondary in the NFL, allowing 328.8 yards per game on average. That’s a separation of more than 30 from the 31st ranked team, the Atlanta Falcons.

They allow the 26th most points on a weekly basis, at 27.6, but the Giants offense ranks among the worst in points for every week. They have slowly been climbing the ladder but only average 19.5 points per week. The defense is their saving grace, holding it down and keeping them in close contests.

In coverage, Seattle has Quinton Dunbar, Tre Flowers, and Shaquill Griffin as their primary options. Griffin has been their best corner this year, playing in only seven games. He has been inconsistent at times in coverage but has been solid in run defense.

Dunbar has been awful in coverage for the most part, with his last game coming in week nine against Buffalo. He hasn’t played since, and I imagine he won’t be available against the Giants.

Flowers has hovered in the average category the past few weeks, not allowing over 56 yards since week four against Miami. He’s actually been decent in coverage but could be at a disadvantage against Darius Slayton, who can outrun him on streak routes.

I expect Griffin to line up against Sterling Shepard and Flowers against Tate and Slayton, mostly on the outside receiver. The Giants should be taking shots downfield, but Colt McCoy’s arm could significantly restrict their play-calling.

The Seahawks have a solid slot corner in Ugo Amadi, so focusing on the outside options and trips with Evan Engram on the inside slot should be a priority.

2.) Make them rush the passer

When it comes to rushing the passer, the Seattle Seahawks rank 26th in overall pressure grades, per PFF. With Carlos Dunlap and Benson Mayowa acting as their primary two pass rushers, the Giants should hold an advantage.

Dunlap has seven sacks on the year, leading the team in pass rush success rate. If they can chip him and take him out of the contest, Colt McCoy should have plenty of time in the pocket to make throws down field and wait for his receivers to get open. The offensive line must have a fantastic outing, but the Giants must be aware of interior defender Jarran Reed, who also has six sacks on the season.

It is clear the Giants must have a solid game in the trenches if they want to keep this contest close, as Seattle has two solid pass rushers at their disposal.

3.) Attack the right guard position

Seattle’s offensive line has played above expectations this year, but their right guard is the one weakness. I expect to see Leonard Williams and Dexter Lawrence attacking that position routinely to collapse the pocket.

Seattle has rookie guard from LSU Damien Lewis manning the position, and he has a 54.5 past blocking grade this year, making him the weakest link. He is a stellar run blocker, though, so this is a good matchup for the Giants, and their pass rush heavy interior defensive line.

New York Giants: Kyler Fackrell to IR, three players return from reserve list

New York Giants, Matt Peart

The New York Giants have the odds stacked against them when they face Seattle on Sunday, to try to remain in first place in the NFC East. However, they’ll have three players back even as they lose one player to the injured reserve list after their last win.

The player that’s headed to the IR is outside linebacker and pass rusher Kyler Fackrell, who went out during the Bengals game with a calf injury. The more significant injury from that game was of course the one that took down QB Daniel Jones, but Jones didn’t need to be placed on the IR because it’s believed he could still return for the Seahawks game – and if Jones doesn’t come back then, his return should be shortly after.

It’s not all bad news for the Giants. The team does gain three players back after they were previously placed on the reserve/COVID-19 list. Those players are tight end Kaden Smith, offensive tackle Matt Peart, and receiver Dante Pettis.

The most significant of the players to come back may be Peart, who was in direct competition with top draft pick Andrew Thomas earlier in the season. Considering his status as a third round pick, Peart has been one of the overachievers for the Giants this season.

Kaden Smith, on the other hand, has seen less use this season compared to Evan Engram but offers further depth at the tight end position.

The latest round of roster moves also includes dropping punter Ryan Santoso, who was primarily signed to the team due to the temporary loss of Graham Gano.

New York Giants’ 2021 draft spot plummets, but who cares?

New York Giants, Daniel Jones

The New York Giants are within arms reach of a playoff spot for the first time in four years, overcoming the Philadelphia Eagles in week 10 to bring their divisional record to 3-4. The Giants are currently 4-7 on the season and are in first place in the NFC East after Philadelphia lost to the Seattle Seahawks on Monday night.

The Giants overcame the Cincinnati Bengals to put them in first place, but it didn’t come without a cost. Quarterback Daniel Jones injured his right hamstring, which could keep him out for several weeks as they prepare for a four-game streak against winning opponents. The Giants have won three straight games for the first time since 2016 and have one of the best defenses in the NFL. However, without Jones, their offense will be difficult to spark, as back up Colt McCoy will likely get the start against Seattle in week 13.

The New York Giants are trending up:

Nonetheless, winning builds confidence and is a byproduct of success, but some fans will harp on the loss of a high draft spot in 2021. Since the Giants are in first place, if they theoretically win the division after 17 weeks, they will have the 19th overall pick in the first round (if they lose in the first round of the playoffs).

The Giants have adapted to a new mentality, and it doesn’t involve losing and tanking for a better draft selection. The players want to win, and while they might miss out on players like Ja’Marr Chase, Micah Parsons, or Gregory Rousseau, they will have a winning record on their back and confidence moving forward.

Considering the defense ranks 10th in points allowed per game and fifth in stopping the run, keeping that unit similar next season is all the Giants really need to do. They have rookies in Darnay Holmes, Cam Brown, Xavier McKinney, and Carter Coughlin working their way up and will have Lorenzo Carter and Oshane Ximines back. I’m not entirely worried about the defense, but the offense is one unit that could use some support.

The OL is finally coming together with a band of rookies, and the receivers have done their job for the most part. They will be gaining back Saquon Barkley, who is capable of turning the offense on its head. Adding a top receiver in free agency is all the Giants need to elevate their team exponentially.

When looking at this team realistically, a high draft pick would obviously help but isn’t necessary if they’re winning football games and proving they can compete with the talent already on the roster. While the NFC East is historically bad this season, the Giants are trending up and competing against quality opponents. At one point, they were on a three-game losing stretch with a combined point differential of six. With a bit more momentum and healthy players, the Giants walk away with victories and are currently 7-4 on the season.

With a tough stretch of opponents coming up, it will give us an idea of who the Giants really are and what they’re capable of, but making the playoffs would be a massive step forward in their development and a huge testament to the influence of new head coach Joe Judge.

New York Giants: Does Evan Engram’s play making ability make up for his turnover-problems?

New York Giants, Evan Engram

Teams usually know what they have in a fourth-year player, but New York Giants tight end Evan Engram flip-flops size in a polarizing way every single week. On the one hand, he is making incredible catches on spray fade routes and hauling in touchdowns, but on the other hand, he allows balls to hit him in the face or bounce off his hands and turn into interceptions.

This past week against the Cincinnati Bengals, Engram made a solid catch and was diving to the ground when Bengals defender Vonn Bell hit the ball out of his hands just before his elbows touched the turf. While this was a fantastic defensive play from the safety, Engram simply can’t find a way to hold onto the football without turning it over. He only has one fumble on the year, but he has been directly involved in seven turnovers this season, including six of Daniel Jones’ nine interceptions.

From an outside perspective, Engram is one of the most exciting and lethal offensive weapons in the NFL at the tight end position. He has incredible speed and ranks off the charts in athleticism but simply makes boneheaded plays far too often.

How has Evan Engram performed for the New York Giants this year?

So far this season, Engram has 44 catches for 476 yards and one score. He has caught 57.9% of his targets, the second-lowest since his rookie season when he dropped over eight balls.

Here’s a prime example of how polarizing the former Ole Miss stand out is, making two fantastic deep catches against Cincinnati but then fumbling and turning the momentum on its head.

Engram hauls in two fantastic fade routes on deep balls by Daniel Jones, showing off his ability to beat man coverage against cornerbacks. What I like most about these two plays is that he lines up in the slot as a receiver instead of off the line of scrimmage as a tight end.

In the next clip, you will see Engram slip at the point of attack, leading to an interception on a stick route. These are the types of mistakes that can’t be tolerated by receiver, especially one as talented as Evan.

This past week against the Bengals, Engram had a career game, logging 128 receiving yards, good for 14.33 yards per target. He played 96% of snaps, the second most of the season. Interestingly, he only played in 69% against the Philadelphia Eagles in week 10.

One category that Engram was struggling in to start the year was run blocking. His pass blocking has gotten significantly better as the season progressed, and his run blocking is above average now, taking a turn for the better after week eight against Tampa Bay.

He has been a focal point in the Giants’ run game, who have posted three consecutive games of 140+ yards pin the ground. The slender tight end is exerting extra effort to get downfield and help his running backs, which has translated to more success on offense.

When considering all of the mistakes he’s made and turnovers he’s caused, the Giants might’ve actually won several more games, but you can make the argument that being close in those contests, to begin with, was a big thanks to Engram and his play-making ability.

The Giants elected to retain him when teams called at the trade deadline, which instilled faith and confidence in his abilities. There is no question he can be one of the best players at his position in the NFL, and he has shown significant progress in run blocking.

Overall, I think his play at the moment justifies the mishaps he causes every now and then. However, at the beginning of the year, he was a detriment to the team and could not be trusted. He’s playing himself into a more prominent role, in my opinion.

 

New York Giants: One big play on offense and one big play on defense for week 12

New York Giants, Evan Engram

The New York Giants have a lot to worry about going into their game with the Seahawks, where they may be missing Daniel Jones. But for now, they can celebrate another consecutive win after taking down the Cincinnati Bengals by a narrow margin. Despite the low scoring nature of the game, the Giants had some big plays on both offense and defense. And now that it’s all said and done, it’s worth going back and taking a look at both.

Evan Engram’s 53 yard reception

Evan Engram has struggled in recent years, and even during this current season. He had a somewhat slower start and his most well known moment this season is likely the drop that cost the Giants their first game with the Eagles. However, Engram has started to pick his game up recently and had some of the biggest receptions for the Giants in their win against the Bengals.

The most notable one from this game, of course, is the 53 yard reception that came relatively early in the game during the first quarter. The Giants scored a touchdown on this drive to take the initial lead and that was in large part because of Engram helping them get down the field to make it possible.

Also, it’s worth noting that this wasn’t a completely uncontested catch either. Engram has had trouble over his entire career with catching the ball under pressure, so seeing him make the longest reception of the Giants season so far while also beating a defender is a nice moment worth recognizing after the fact.

Jabaal Sheard’s game ending sack

Jabaal Sheard isn’t the most used defensive lineman that the Giants have. He played on about half their defensive snaps against the Bengals and played in 28% of their defensive snaps in the game before that, against Philadelphia. However, Sheard picked up his first sack of the season in this game in addition to registering three tackles for the second time this year.

The sack was a rather significant one as it ended the game and secured the win for the Giants. Brandon Allen went down for a 13 yard loss and Leonard Williams picked up the forced fumble to ensure the Bengals wouldn’t have a chance at getting the field goal that they were looking for, which would have given them the win.

After the Giants have blown other games this season which they could have won, it’s good to see a play like this – a clutch defensive play coming at the end of the game and keeping the result in favor of the Giants rather than throwing out the lead and allowing the other team to jump ahead.

New York Giants: Logan Ryan makes PFF Week 12 Team of the Week after big performance

The New York Giants are coming off of a huge Week 12 victory over the Cincinnati Bengals. The Giants’ defense was dominant in this week’s victory that pushed the Giants to first place in the NFC East. New York held Cincinnati’s offense to a total of only 155 yards.

The Giants’ defense was exceptional against both the run and the pass and even forced three turnovers. New York saw multiple defensive players have standout performances, but none greater than safety Logan Ryan.

Logan Ryan Week 12 Stats and Highlights

Logan Ryan had a phenomenal Week 12 performance that saw earn a spot on Pro Football Focus’s Team of the Week. Ryan was a defensive force for the Giants, totaling 6 combined tackles, 1 pass defended, 1 forced fumble, and 1 fumble recovery. He was a true defensive playmaker for New York against Cincinnati.

Logan Ryan was listed as the FLEX defender on PFF’s Team of the Week. According to PFF, Ryan had two pass breakups when not the primary coverage defender this week. His forced fumble in the fourth quarter was also one of the most clutch plays of the game:

This was another great performance in the midst of an excellent season for Logan Ryan. Ryan seems destined to become a Pro Bowler this season. Ryan was leading all NFC free safeties in Pro Bowl voting earlier this week. This would be Logan’s first Pro Bowl nomination of his career.

This is well deserved as Logan Ryan has been phenomenal as a new member of the New York Giants’ secondary in 2020. Playing opposite of Jabrill Peppers, Ryan has flourished in his new role as a free safety. The Giants signed Ryan to a one-year deal this offseason, but with the way he has played, it seems likely that he will be around longer than that. The Giants would be wise to extend their standout safety.

Giants’ Daniel Jones has better than expected MRI results on hamstring

New York Giants, Daniel Jones

New York Giants quarterback Daniel Jones receive some positive news on Monday afternoon regarding a pulled right hamstring he suffered against the Cincinnati Bengals in week 12. Leading up to the injury, Jones had completed 16 passes on 27 attempts for 213 yards.

Jones has confirmed himself to a running style quarterback in Jason Garrett’s new offensive scheme, and with running comes a higher probability of injury. This hamstring issue could last several weeks, but the latest MRI results showed that the injury wasn’t severe, and he has an outside chance of playing against the Seattle Seahawks, Per Ian Rapoport.

Following the injury, Jones was walking along the sideline without a grimace, which was a positive sign, to begin with. Thankfully, the injury should only keep him out for one week at the most, and a game the Giants were expected to lose anyway against MVP candidate Russell Wilson.

On the year, the Giants are 4-7 and leading the NFC East by just half a game. Jones has completed 63.2% of his passes for 2,335 yards, eight touchdowns, and nine interceptions. He has also rushed for 403 yards and a touchdown, bringing out a strength the Giants didn’t realize he had in during his rookie season.

However, Daniel has subsequently fixed his turnover problems, going 2.5 games without turning the ball over. He’s also found a rhythm in the passing game, getting the ball out of his hands faster and maneuvering in the pocket more efficiently. He has taken significant strides the past few weeks in his development, and the Giants feel confident he can be their quarterback of the future.

Can the New York Giants win with Colt McCoy?

New York Giants, Colt McCoy

The New York Giants are gearing up to face off against the Seattle Seahawks in week 13. Defensively, they allow the 27th most points at 28.7 per game, but the Giants just lost quarterback Daniel Jones to a right hamstring injury, which could keep him out for as long as 3-4 weeks.

Despite the injury, the Giants walked away with a victory against the Cincinnati Bengals in week 12, just barely edging it out and claiming first place in the NFC East heading into a four-game stretch against winning opponents. The next four games for Big Blue will be tumultuous, especially if Jones is unable to play, but that leads me to my question.

Can the New York Giants win with Colt McCoy?

All teams have to be prepared with a back-up in place, and the Giants will roll with McCoy if Jones is forced to miss ample time. The last time he threw 100 or more completions was back in 2011 with the Cleveland Browns. McCoy tossed 2,733 yards, 14 touchdowns, and 11 interceptions. His latest real action was in 2018 when he played in five games, completing 34 passes for 372 yards, three scores, and three interceptions. He logged a 63 overall completion percentage, which isn’t too bad compared to others in the NFL.

McCoy can be graded as back-up level, finishing the win over Cincinnati with six completions, 31 yards, and a 65 overall passer rating. Against the struggling Seahawks defense, who is dominant against the run but ranks last in the league in passing yards allowed, they will force the Giants to utilize McCoy more frequently than one would hope.

The Giants have now rushed for 140+ yards in three straight contests, with the fourth-year player Wayne Gallman performing extremely well. With the Seattle defense capable of shutting down opposing running games,  McCoy will have to prepare to throw at least 30 times next week.

Losing Jones suddenly becomes a significant problem, and it really shows how much value he brings on offense. Before going down, Jones threw for 2,335 yards, eight touchdowns, and nine interceptions. His throwing statistics haven’t been elite by any means, but he’s also capable of running the ball extremely well, picking up 403 yards and one rushing touchdown this season. He’s also cut his turnovers down significantly, going 2.5 games without turning the ball over.

My overall prediction is that the Giants will struggle against Seattle based on their efficiency against the run and McCoy’s passing ability being unproven at this point. The defense will have to step up significantly to keep them in games, but they’ve done so all season, and I expect them to rise to the occasion.

Should the New York Giants expect to have Daniel Jones in week 13 vs Seattle?

New York Giants, Daniel Jones

Entering the week 12 contest against the Cincinnati Bengals, New York Giants quarterback Daniel Jones had completed 63.5% of his passes for 2,122 yards, 8 touchdowns, and 9 interceptions. While his touchdowns are down significantly compared to 2018 (24), he is still adapting to Jason Garrett’s new offensive scheme.

With a healthy blend of running the football and schemed passes, Jones has found himself developing in a new system that is built to fit his mold. However, with running the football comes the increased risk of injury, and that is exactly what happened to Jones against the Bengals on Sunday afternoon.

In the second half, Daniel went down after extending the play with his legs. He was holding his hamstring on the way up and attempted to stay in the game but was pulled shortly after. The official diagnosis was a right hamstring pull, which forced him out for the remainder of the game and required Colt McCoy to step in at quarterback.

Jones going down is extremely problematic for the offense, which relies on him to keep opposing defenses honest with his legs but also with his accuracy. Prior to his injury, Jones successfully completed two beautiful passes to Evan Engram down-field and just barely missed on a 55-yard bomb to Darius Slayton, slipping through his fingertips.

Jones has taken massive steps forward the past few weeks, with the Giants winning three consecutive games for the first time since 2016.

The New York Giants are hopeful Jones can make a quick comeback:

Following the win, head coach Joe Judge stated that he was optimistic Jones would be able to play against the Seattle Seahawks in week 13.

This seems more like coach-talk than reality. Hamstring injuries can be extremely tumultuous and lengthy when it comes to rehabilitation. The Giants desperately needed to win against the Bengals, though, as they prepare to go on a four-game-streak against winning football teams. Their four wins this season are all against losing squads, but the sign of a good team is beating the bad ones and not playing down to competition.

Even Jones mentioned that extent of the injury is tough to tell at this point. Tomorrow when he receives treatment, they will have a better understanding of how bad the pull was. An X-ray should uncover the severity. However, if the Giants are forced to utilize McCoy for more than one week, they will be in serious trouble, hurting Jones’s development in the system and continuity. Hopefully, the injury wasn’t as bad as previously thought.