Sep 212022
 
Adoree' Jackson, New York Giants (September 18, 2022)

Adoree’ Jackson – © USA TODAY Sports

GRAHAM GANO NAMED “NFC SPECIAL TEAMS PLAYER OF THE WEEK”…
New York Giants place kicker Graham Gano has been named “NFC Special Teams Player of the Week” for his performance against the Carolina Panthers last Sunday. In that 19-16 victory for the Giants, Gano was 4-of-4 on field goal attempts, including from distances of 31, 36, 51, and 56 yards. The 56-yarder ended up being the game-winning kick. It also tied the record for the second-longest field goal in team history. Sunday’s game was the fifth in which a Giants’ kicker had two 50+-yard field goals. Gano has four of them.

SEPTEMBER 21, 2022 NEW YORK GIANTS INJURY REPORT…
WR Sterling Shepard (maintenance day), WR Wan’Dale Robinson (knee), WR Kadarius Toney (hamstring), DL Leonard Williams (knee), CB Aaron Robinson (appendicitis), CB Nick McCloud (hamstring), and S Dane Belton (unknown) did not practice on Wednesday.

OLB Kayvon Thibodeaux (knee) and OLB Azeez Ojulari (calf) were limited in practice.

I’ll just start with Thibs (Thibodeaux) and Azeez,” said Head Coach Brian Daboll before practice. “They’re getting close. They’re going to take some team reps today. So, I think they took a little bit last week, but they’re going to take more this week. They’re getting close, so we’ll see with them. I’d say they’re still day-to-day even though they’re on the close side. Leo’s rehabbing. Again, Leo’s a quick healer. He tells me he’s a quick healer. So, I’m not going to put it past Leo to be ready to go. Would it shock me either way? No. But he’ll stay in; he’ll get treatment today during practice, so you guys know. I that’s the best thing for him. And then ARob (Aaron Robinson) I think is really a wildcard. He’s getting better; he’s walking around. But I’d say I won’t know that, probably any of us won’t until the end of the week… (Wan’Dale is) getting better. Close. For this week, I’m not sure.”

I got really involved today, so I really was able to open it up and do some things,” said Thibodeaux after practice. “But today (I) had a lot of progress. Was able to open it up and do a lot of things. So yeah, today I’m definitely confident.”

PRACTICE SQUAD MOVE…
The Giants have terminated the Practice Squad contract of offensive lineman K.C. McDermott. The 6’5”, 311-pound McDermott was originally signed as an undrafted rookie free agent by the Jacksonville Jaguars after the 2018 NFL Draft. He spent 2018 on Jacksonville’s Practice Squad and 2019 on Injured Reserve. McDermott split time between the Jaguars’ Practice Squad and 53-man roster in 2020 and 2021. Jacksonville cut him in late August 2022. The Giants signed McDermott to the Practice Squad on September 12th.

HEAD COACH BRIAN DABOLL…
The transcript of Brian Daboll’s press conference on Wednesday is available in The Corner Forum while the video is available on YouTube.

THE PLAYERS SPEAK…
Transcripts and video clips of the media sessions with the following players are available in The Corner Forum and on YouTube:

WHAT’S UP NEXT…
The Giants practice on Thursday afternoon (12:45-2:45PM). The team’s coordinators and select players will also address the media.

Aug 302022
 
Quincy Roche, New York Giants (November 7, 2021)

Quincy Roche – © USA TODAY Sports

NEW YORK GIANTS REDUCE ROSTER TO 53 PLAYERS…
As required by the NFL, he New York Giants reduced their roster to 53 players on Tuesday. The team cut the following players:

  • QB Davis Webb (contract terminated)
  • RB Jashaun Corbin
  • WR C.J. Board (contract terminated)
  • WR Alex Bachman
  • WR Jaylon Moore
  • TE Austin Allen
  • OL Jamil Douglas (contract terminated)
  • OL Garrett McGhin
  • OL Will Holden (contract terminated)
  • OL Roy Mbaeteka
  • DL Jalyn Holmes (contract terminated)
  • DL David Moa
  • DL Ryder Anderson
  • LB Quincy Roche
  • CB Khalil Dorsey
  • CB Harrison Hand
  • CB Darren Evans
  • CB Zyon Gilbert
  • S Nate Meadors
  • S Trenton Thompson

RB Sandro Platzgummer also will remain exempt as part of the NFL’s International Player Pathway Program, which also allowed him to remain on the team’s Practice Squad in 2020 and 2021 without counting towards the Practice Squad limit. 

The roster clearly is not finalized. Head Coach Brian Daboll admitted some players will be moved to short-term Injured Reserve. “There’s probably a few,” said Daboll. “But we’ll get to that here. (I’ll) have a better answer for you tomorrow or the next day.”

GIANTS TEAM CAPTAINS SELECTED…
The players voted for the following team captains of the 2022 New York Giants:

  • Offense: QB Daniel Jones, RB Saquon Barkley, and LT Andrew Thomas
  • Defense: S Xavier McKinney, DL Leonard Williams, DL Dexter Lawrence, and S Julian Love
  • Special Teams: LS Casey Kreiter, PK Graham Gano, LB Cam Brown, and S Julian Love

Love was voted for both defense and special teams.

https://twitter.com/Giants/status/1564730313053552641

AUGUST 30, 2022 NEW YORK GIANTS INJURY REPORT…
TE Daniel Bellinger (concussion), TE Chris Myarick (foot), LG Shane Lemieux (foot), OLB Kayvon Thibodeaux (knee), OLB Azeez Ojulari (calf), OLB Elerson Smith (ankle/foot), and CB Rodarius Williams (unknown) did not practice.

When Head Coach Brian Daboll was asked if anyone but Lemieux would miss the opening game, he responded, “I’ll get that to you here in the next couple days.”

HEAD COACH BRIAN DABOLL…
The transcript of Brian Daboll’s press conference on Tuesday is available in The Corner Forum while the video is available on YouTube.

THE PLAYERS SPEAK…
Transcripts and video clips of the media sessions with the following players are available in The Corner Forum and on YouTube:

WHAT’S UP NEXT…
The Giants practice Wednesday afternoon (1:30-3:30PM). Head Coach Brian Daboll and select players will also address the media.

Mar 212022
 
Matt Breida, Buffalo Bills (November 21, 2021)

Matt Breida – © USA TODAY Sports

NEW YORK GIANTS SIGN MATT BREIDA AND JIHAD WARD…
The New York Giants have signed unrestricted free agents running back Matt Breida (Buffalo Bills) and defensive end Jihad Ward (Jacksonville Jaguars).

The 27-year old, 5’10”, 195-pound Breida was originally signed as an undrafted rookie free agent by the San Francisco 49ers after the 2017 NFL Draft. He has spent time with the 49ers (2017-2020), Miami Dolphins (2020), and Buffalo Bills (2021). Breida has played in 64 regular season games with 19 starts, rushing the ball 466 times for 2,281 yards (4.9 yards per carry) and seven touchdowns. He also has caught 83 passes 729 yards and six touchdowns. In 2021 with the Bills, Breida played in nine games, only carrying the ball 26 times for 125 yards and one touchdown. He also caught seven passes for 72 yards and two touchdown. Breida has fumbled the ball seven times in his career.

The 27-year, 6’5”, 290-pound Ward was originally drafted in the 2nd round of the 2016 NFL Draft by the Oakland Raiders. He has spent time with the Raiders (2016-2017), Dallas Cowboys (2018), Indianapolis Colts (2018-2019), Baltimore Ravens (2019-2020), and Jaguars (2021). Ward has played in 68 regular-season games with 15 starts, accruing 91 tackles, 12 tackles for losses, 10 sacks, and three fumble recoveries. In 2021 with the Jaguars, Ward played in all 17 games with one start and finished the year with 32 tackles, three tackles for losses, and two sacks.

For an overview of the team’s free agent activity, see the 2022 New York Giants Free Agent Signings and New York Giants 2022 Free Agency Scorecard sections of the website.

FALCONS SIGN LORENZO CARTER…
The Atlanta Falcons have signed New York Giants unrestricted free agent linebacker Lorenzo Carter to a 1-year contract.

A year after rupturing his Achilles’ tendon in 2020, Carter surprisingly bounced back quickly in 2021 and played possibly the best football of his career down the stretch of the season. Carter started all 14 games that he played in (66 percent of defensive snaps), missing three mid-season games with an ankle injury. He finished with career-high stats in tackles (44) and sacks (5) while also being credited with six tackles for losses, eight quarterback hits, one interception, two forced fumbles, and one fumble recovery.

The Giants drafted Carter in the 3rd round of the 2018 NFL Draft. He played in 15 games with two starts as a rookie, and then started 12-of-15 games in 2019. Carter missed 11 games in 2020 due to the Achilles’ injury.

For an overview of the team’s free agent activity, see the 2022 New York Giants Free Agent Losses and New York Giants 2022 Free Agency Scorecard sections of the website.

GIANTS RE-STRUCTURE GRAHAM GANO’S CONTRACT…
ESPN is reporting that the Giants and place kicker Graham Gano have agreed to a contract re-structure. The Giants converted $2.63 million of Gano’s salary into a bonus, creating $1.753 million in cap space. A void year was also added to his contract, which was set to expire after the 2023 season.

MEDIA SESSIONS WITH PLAYERS…
The media sessions with following recently signed players are available at Giants.com:

Oct 272021
 
Graham Gano, New York Giants (September 16, 2021)

Graham Gano – © USA TODAY Sports

OCTOBER 27, 2021 NEW YORK GIANTS INJURY REPORT…
The New York Giants held a light practice on Wednesday at Quest Diagnostics Center in East Rutherford, New Jersey. However, since the team does not play until Monday, the Giants are not required to issue an injury report until Thursday.

GRAHAM GANO NAMED “NFC SPECIAL TEAMS PLAYER OF THE WEEK”…
New York Giants place kicker Graham Gano has been named “NFC Special Teams Player of the Week” for his performance against his former team, the Carolina Panthers, last Sunday. In the 25-3 win for the Giants, Gano was 3-of-3 on field goal attempts, including fields from 44, 49, and 53 yards.

Gano’s 10 field goals of 50+ yards in just 23 games as a New York Giant is a franchise career record.

HEAD COACH JOE JUDGE…
The transcript of Joe Judge’s press conference on Wednesday is available in The Corner Forum while the video is available at Giants.com.

THE PLAYERS SPEAK…
Transcripts and video clips of the media sessions with the following players are available in The Corner Forum and at Giants.com:

WHAT’S UP NEXT…
The Giants practice again on Thursday. The coordinators and select players will also address the media.

Oct 242021
 
Tae Crowder, Azeez Ojulari, and Dexter Lawrence; New York Giants (October 24, 2021)

Tae Crowder, Azeez Ojulari, and Dexter Lawrence – © USA TODAY Sports

NEW YORK GIANTS 25 – CAROLINA PANTHERS 3…
The New York Giants soundly defeated the Carolina Panthers 25-3 on Sunday afternoon at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey. With the win, the Giants improved their overall record to 2-5.

Statistically, the Giants dominated the game. New York out-gained Carolina in first downs (21 to 11), total net yards (302 to 173), net yards rushing (103 to 56), net yards passing (199 to 117), and time of possession (34:35 to 25.25).

The story of the game was the Giants’ defense that held the Panthers to just 11 first downs and 173 yards. Carolina scored their only points of the game (a field goal) on their opening possession, a 13-play, 46-yard drive. The Panthers’ other 11 possessions resulted in seven punts, a safety, an interception, and two turnovers on downs.

Missing key component parts at running back, wide receiver, and on the offensive line, it was not pretty for New York’s offense for much of the game either. The Giants gained two first downs on their opening possession but were then forced to punt. New York started their second possession at the Carolina 41-yard line. Five plays later, the Giants had a 1st-and-goal from the 2-yard line. But in four attempts (two passing and two running), the Giants could not punch the ball in, leading to a turnover on downs. The Panthers still led 3-0.

Momentum began to shift on Carolina’s third possession. On 3rd-and-9 from their own 3-yard line, quarterback Sam Darnold was pressured by defensive lineman Leonard Williams, causing Darnold to throw the ball away and be flagged for intentional grounding in the end zone. The penalty resulted in a safety and the Giants now trailed 3-2.

The Giants received the ball back on the free kick. Despite only gaining 32 yards on six plays, it was good enough to set up place kicker Graham Gano to successfully kick a 49-yard field goal. Giants 5 – Panthers 3.

Neither team would score for the remainder of the half. The Panthers punted two more times and Darnold was also picked off at the New York 5-yard line, ending Carolina’s longest drive of the game (nine plays and 52 yards). The Giants also punted twice.

The game remained 5-3 for much of the 3rd quarter as both the Giants and Panthers punted twice to start the second half. However, on New York’s third possession after intermission, quarterback Daniel Jones led the Giants on an 11-play, 75-yard drive that resulted in a 5-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Dante Pettis on 3rd-an-3. This drive was highlighted by a one-handed, 16-yard catch by Jones on a gadget-play throw by Pettis. The Giants now led 12-3 as the quarter ended.

The Panthers went three-and-out and the Giants added three more points on the ensuing possession. Despite only gaining 16 yards on six plays, ex-Panther Gano nailed a 53-yard field goal to give the Giants a 15-3 advantage with less than 13 minutes to play.

After another three-and-out by Carolina, New York moved the ball just 32 yards in 10 plays, but again, Gano came through with a 44-yarder. Giants 18 – Carolina 3 with just under six minutes left to play.

New York’s final points came after a 4-play, turnover-on-downs by the Panthers at their own 19-yard line. On the very next snap, running back Devontae Booker broke off a 19-yard touchdown run, giving the Giants a comfortable 25-3 advantage with less than five minutes in the game. The Panthers reached the New York 29-yard line on their final possession, but again turned the ball over on downs. The Giants then ran out the clock.

Jones finished the game 23-of-33 for 203 yards, one touchdown, and no interceptions. He caught one pass for 16 yards and also ran the ball eight times for 28 yards. Jones’ leading targets were tight end Evan Engram (6 catches for 44 yards), wide receiver Darius Slayton (5 catches for 63 yards), and Pettis (5 catches for 39 yards and a touchdown). Booker carried the ball 14 times for 51 yards and a touchdown.

Defensive linemen Leonard Williams was credited with 6 tackles, 1.5 sacks, 3 quarterback hits, and caused a safety. Linebacker Azeez Ojulari had 5 tackles, 2.5 sacks, 4 quarterback hits, and 3 tackles for losses. Defensive lineman Dexter Lawrence and safety Jabrill Peppers each had sacks as the team garnered six sacks overall. Bradberry had the lone turnover (an interception) for either team.

Video highlights are available at Giants.com.

ROSTER MOVES, PRACTICE SQUAD ACTIVATIONS, INACTIVES, AND INJURY REPORT…
On Saturday, the Giants signed WR David Sills to the 53-man roster from the Practice Squad.

The Giants also elevated DL David Moa and LB Benardrick McKinney to the 53-man roster from the Practice Squad.

Inactive for the game were RB Saquon Barkley (ankle), WR Kenny Golladay (knee), WR Sterling Shepard (hamstring), WR Kadarius Toney (ankle), NT Danny Shelton (pectoral), CB Sam Beal (hamstring), and CB Josh Jackson.

LB Lorenzo Carter (ankle), S Jabrill Peppers, and LT Matt Peart (finger) all suffered injuries in the game. Peart returned to play.

POST-GAME REACTION…
Transcripts and video clips of post-game media sessions with Head Coach Joe Judge and the following players are available in The Corner Forum and at Giants.com:

WHAT’S UP NEXT…
Head Coach Joe Judge and select players will address the media by conference call on Monday.

Aug 062021
 
Joe Judge, New York Giants (July 29, 2021)

Joe Judge – © USA TODAY Sports

AUGUST 6, 2021 NEW YORK GIANTS TRAINING CAMP REPORT…
The New York Giants held their ninth full-team summer training camp practice on Friday at Quest Diagnostics Training Center in East Rutherford, New Jersey. Practices are not open to the public this year.

We’ll progress with our training camp back in pads today, moving around,” said Head Coach Joe Judge before practice. “It’ll be kind of an on and off the field type of day due to some of the numbers and availability to kind of work with some guys in some different situations. So we’ll be on the field today, progress on our install. We’ll start building a little bit more into team periods and kind of the flow of calling the plays from the sideline and get guys lined up and hearing the play in the huddle, break it and get going. We’re kind of getting away a little bit of the transition of drill to drill that you guys see in the first part of camp that we operate with. We’ve got to get in this next couple flow of weeks and just playing some football, getting out there and letting our guys operate.”

ZACH FULTON RETIRES…
New York Giants reserve guard Zach Fulton has retired from the NFL. He is the third Giant to retire this past week, joining linebacker Todd Davis and center/guard Joe LooneyThe Giants signed Fulton in March 2021 after he was cut by the Houston Texans. The 6’5”, 321-pound Fulton was originally drafted in the 6th round of the 2014 NFL Draft by the Kansas City Chiefs. He spent four seasons with the Chiefs before signing with the Texans in 2018. In all, Fulton has played in 107 regular-season games with 90 starts. Fulton started 44 games at right guard for the Texans, including all 16 games in 2020. He has also started games at center and left guard in his career.

I had a good conversation with Zach last night,” said Head Coach Joe Judge. “He talked with me, (Offensive Line Coach) Rob (Sale), (Offensive Consultant Pat Flaherty), (Offensive Coordinator) Jason (Garrett), (General Manager) Dave Gettleman and a few other people in the organization. I would say specifically to Zach’s situation, look Zach was doing a good job for us. He’s a guy that I didn’t want to see go; however, I respect his decision. I’ll let him speak completely for himself. I would say that a lot of these older vets, they’re at a different point in their life with different things. Zach’s a guy that started a business in the offseason, he just had his son. His family is down in Texas. This is an opportunity for him to get back. We talked a lot about just the duration, a career and different things. Without going into everything, look, he indicated to us, hey listen, coming out of where he was last year, your body’s in a different point than when you’re younger. You get to the point to see do I think I have it for 16 games? And you have to respect when these guys look us in the eye and say, ‘listen, I really wanted to see if I could push through it, but I don’t think my body’s at that point,’ and you can leave this point in the game with your health.

“I’d say all three situations are different. Everyone has a different personal circumstance. I respect all three. We’ve left the door open for all three. These are three good guys who worked hard for us. Listen, I can’t tell you how much respect I have for the players who come in and work hard for us. I know this is a demanding place. I know this is a place that will want to work them, but we’re smart about how we work our players and we’re very calculated. But at the same time, we have to push our players and train them that when they go on the field, number one, they’re safe and, number two, they play effectively. It’s our job to help these players produce on the field and put them in position. It’s training camp. There’s different things that come up along with it, but I think in terms of these three vets, look, it’s not unique to the league. I know there’s been several vets that are retiring. It’s not unique to this year. One thing I’ll say that is a little different this year than previous years is there’s more people that you call that are on the street trying to get into camps calling, where the agents indicated that they’re done playing football. I’d say these are guys with varying ages, but mostly guys that I’d say have six years in the league. You call these guys this time of year normally and everyone’s training and waiting to get to training camp. This year’s just been a different year.”

INJURY REPORT…
WR Kenny Golladay (hamstring), WR Dante Pettis (unknown), TE Levine Toilolo (torn Achilles’ tendon), CB Adoree’ Jackson (unknown/possible maintenance day), LB Lorenzo Carter (calf), LB Elerson Smith (hamstring), LB Trent Harris (unknown), and WR Austin Mack (hamstring) did not practice on Friday.

DL Raymond Johnson left practice early, possibly due to a heat issue. OLB Ifeadi Odenigbo and RB Gary Brightwell also left practice early.

The following players remain on various PUP and reserve lists:

  • Reserve/COVID-19 List: TE Rysen John
  • Active/Physically Unable to Perform (PUP) List: RB Saquon Barkley (knee), TE Kyle Rudolph (foot), LB Oshane Ximines (hamstring), and CB Aaron Robinson (core muscle)
  • Reserve/Non-Football Injury (NFI) List: LB Ryan Anderson (back)
  • Reserve/Injured: WR Derrick Dillon (unknown) and RB Mike Weber (hip flexor)

PRACTICE NOTES…
Some snippets from various media sources:

  • WR Kadarius Toney participated in 11-on-11, full-team drills with the second-team unit.
  • Brett Heggie was working at second-team right guard with the retirement of Zach Fulton. Kyle Murphy also saw increased reps. When Heggie and Murphy were flagged with false starts, they were replaced on the second unit by Nick Gates and Jake Burton.
  • Niko Lalos received first-team reps at outside linebacker again. Azeez Ojulari was the other first-team outside linebacker.
  • CB Rodarius Williams tipped a QB Daniel Jones pass intended for WR Sterling Shepard. S Jabrill Peppers intercepted the ball off of the deflection.
  • CB Rodarius Williams, playing with the first-team defense, then undercut WR Alex Bachman to intercept another pass from QB Daniel Jones.
  • CB Quincy Wilson intercepted an overthrown pass from QB Clayton Thorson intended for WR Alex Bachman, who was well covered by CB Darnay Holmes.
  • LB Niko Lalos broke up a QB Daniel Jones pass at the line of scrimmage intended for WR Sterling Shepard.
  • LB Cale Garrett broke up another pass.
  • CB James Bradberry had excellent deep coverage on WR John Ross to break up a pass.
  • S Josh Kalu intercepted a pass from QB Mike Glennon. Kalu also broke up another pass.
  • RB Corey Clement had a few big runs.
  • DLs Leonard Williams and Dexter Lawrence pressured the quarterback a number of times on Friday.
  • OLs Andrew Thomas and Kenny Wiggins impressed in 1-on-1 drills.
  • WR C.J. Board continues to make receptions in practice.
  • TE Evan Engram had another big catch from QB Daniel Jones. Jones also had a big gain on a quarterback keeper.

HEAD COACH JOE JUDGE…
The transcript of Joe Judge’s press conference on Friday is available in The Corner Forum while the video is available at Giants.com.

THE PLAYERS SPEAK…
Transcripts and video clips of the media sessions with the following players are available in The Corner Forum and at Giants.com:

WHAT’S UP NEXT…
The New York Giants practice Saturday (10:45 AM-12:45 PM). Head Coach Joe Judge and select players will also address the media.

Feb 052021
 
Riley Dixon and Graham Gano, New York Giants (October 11, 2020)

Riley Dixon and Graham Gano – © USA TODAY Sports

It is exceptionally rare for a special teams coach to become an NFL head coach. So when John Mara hired Joe Judge as the next head coach of the New York Giants, it shocked many in the media and fanbase. However, Judge quickly won over many with his fiery inaugural press conference and the composition of his coaching staff. That initial luster began to dim after an 0-5 start, culminating with a Dallas Cowboys come-from-behind victory.

Judge and the Giants began turning it around in mid-October. Their first victory came against Washington, and was followed by two very close, heart-breaking losses to the Eagles and Buccaneers in games where the Giants also held 4th-quarter leads. Then came the high-point of the season, a 4-game winning streak against Washington, Philadelphia, Cincinnati, and Seattle. The Giants were 5-7 and remarkably still very much alive for the division title. Judge began receiving praise from all quarters.

The emotional high of soundly defeating the Seahawks was immediately dampened by a 3-game losing streak against clearly better teams. At 5-10, the Giants needed to beat the Cowboys and pray that the Eagles would upset Washington. The Giants accomplished the former, but the Eagles laid down like dogs against Washington and the 6-10 Giants missed the playoffs.

Through all of this, the irony is that the New York Giants special teams did not improve under Judge. To be fair, the special teams unit under Thomas McGaughey had actually been the strength of the team in recent years. Judge smartly decided to retain McGaughey. The team was also left scrambling when 2018 Pro Bowl/All-Pro place kicker Aldrick Rosas was cut in July after a hit-and-run arrest. The Giants decided to sign 32-year old Graham Gano who had missed 2019 with a knee injury. Unexpectedly, Gano ended up having one of the greatest seasons in franchise history as a kicker.

Overall, the Giants special teams played decently during the first half of the season, and there was a feeling that Judge, McGaughey, and the special teams unit were improving and building to a stronger second half. The reverse occurred. Against the Bengals, the Giants allowed a 103-yard kickoff return for a touchdown, a 29-yard punt return that almost cost them the game, and a fake punt conversion for a 1st down. Seattle blocked a Riley Dixon punt for a safety and Gano missed his first extra point of the season. Against Arizona, Dion Lewis fumbled away a kickoff return that set up a touchdown. Judge decided to run an odd fake field goal attempt against the Browns that failed miserably when the score was still 0-0. The Ravens hurt the Giants with both punt and kickoff returns.

Statistically, the Giants finished:

  • Field Goal Percentage: 3rd (up from 30th in 2019)
  • Kickoff Returns: 16th (down from 10th in 2019)
  • Punt Returns: 6th (down from 3rd in 2019)
  • Kickoff Coverage: 16th (down from 1st in 2019)
  • Punting: 26th (down from 23rd in 2019)
  • Punt Coverage: 21st (down from 6th in 2019)

As you can see, other than field goal percentage, the Giants were down in every other special teams category. The team was significantly worse in kickoff and punt coverage. The Giants never really replaced Cody Core, their extraordinary punt/kick coverage specialist who tore his Achilles’ tendon in training camp.

The star of the entire unit was clearly Gano. He only missed one field goal all season and was 5-of-6 from 50+ yards.

KICKERS

The Giants signed Graham Gano in August 2020. Gano had a superlative season for the Giants in 2020, converting on 31-of-32 field goal attempts (96.9 percent – second highest in team history) and 21-of-23 extra point attempts (91.3 percent). He was 5-of-6 from 50+ yards out (single-season franchise record), with a long of 55 yards. Gano converted on 30 consecutive field goals, which also was a franchise record. Thirty of his 73 kickoffs (41 percent) resulted in touchbacks. Gano spent most of his NFL career with the Washington Redskins (2009-2011) and Carolina Panthers (2012-2019). However, he missed the last four games of the 2018 season and all of the 2019 season with a knee injury. The Panthers released him in late July 2020. Gano made the Pro Bowl in 2017.

Punter Riley Dixon saw his gross (44.8 yards per punt) and net (38.8 net yards per punt) fall in 2020, with 28 of his punts being downed inside the 20-yard line and one blocked. The 6’5”, 226-pound Dixon was originally drafted in the 7th round of the 2016 NFL Draft by the Denver Broncos. He was named to the All-Rookie team. The Giants traded with the Broncos for Dixon in April 2018, giving the Broncos a conditional 7th-round draft pick.

Ryan Santoso spent 2020 on the Giants’ Practice Squad after the team signed him in early September. Santoso was originally signed by the Detroit Lions as an undrafted rookie free agent after the 2018 NFL Draft. He has spent time with the Lions (2018-2019), Montreal Alouettes (2019, 2020), and Tennessee Titans (2019). Santoso has only played in three NFL games, solely as a kickoff specialist.

LONG SNAPPERS

The Giants signed long snapper Casey Kreiter as an unrestricted free agent from the Denver Broncos in April 2020. The 6’1”, 250-pound Kreiter was originally signed as an undrafted rookie free agent by the Dallas Cowboys after the 2014 NFL Draft. After spending two camps with the Cowboys, Kreiter made the Denver Broncos in 2016. He made the Pro Bowl for his performance in 2018.

The Giants signed long snapper Carson Tinker in early September 2020. He spent the year on the team’s Practice Squad. The 6’0”, 237-pound Tinker was originally signed as an undrafted rookie free agent by the Jacksonville Jaguars after the 2013 NFL Draft. He played in 69 regular-season games for the Jaguars from 2013-2018. The Jaguars cut him in March 2019 and he did not play that year.

RETURNERS

The Giants did not return a punt or kickoff for a touchdown. The leading punt returner was Jabrill Peppers, who only returned 15 punts all season, but who averaged a very respectable 12.5 yards per return and came close to breaking a couple. His long return was 20 yards. On the flip side, some of his decision-making on when and when not to field a punt was questionable.

Dion Lewis did not impress on his 24 kickoff returns, fumbling three (two of which he lost). He averaged 22.4 yards per return with a long return of 48 yards. Corey Ballentine also returned nine kickoffs before he was cut.

LEADING SPECIAL TEAMS PLAYERS SNAP COUNT PERCENTAGE

  • S Nate Ebner: 74.27%
  • LB Cam Brown: 70.87%
  • FB Eli Penny: 59.47%
  • LB Devante Downs: 57.77%
  • LB David Mayo: 46.36%
  • S/CB Julian Love: 42.96%
  • CB Corey Ballentine: 34.47%
  • TE Levine Toilolo: 34.22%
  • DL Dexter Lawrence: 33.74%
  • LB Carter Coughlin: 33.50%

Nate Ebner had a quiet year despite playing 3/4ths off all special team snaps. The Giants signed him as an unrestricted free agent from the New England Patriots in March 2020 to a 1-year, $2 million contract strictly to be a special teams stud. The leading special teams tacklers were David Mayo (8), Eli Penny (7), Cam Brown (6), and Devante Downs (6).

Nov 292020
 
Wayne Gallman, New York Giants (November 29, 2020)

Wayne Gallman – © USA TODAY Sports

NEW YORK GIANTS 19 – CINCINNATI BENGALS 17…
The New York Giants narrowly defeated the Cincinnati Bengals at Paul Brown Stadium on Sunday afternoon 19-17. It was New York’s third win in a row and improved their overall record to 4-7. It was the Giants’ first win in Cincinnati in team history and 700th regular-season win in team history.

The Giants are now tied for first place in the NFC East with the Washington Football Team, depending on the outcome of Monday night’s Seattle Seahawks-Philadelphia Eagles game. The Eagles are 3-6-1. The Giants also own the tie-breaker against Washington.

Despite the Giants dominating the game statistically, they almost lost the game due a hamstring injury to their starting quarterback, shoddy special teams play including allowing a kick return for a touchdown, and untimely mistakes on offense. New York out-gained Cincinnati in first downs (19 to 11), total offensive plays (80 to 46), total net yards (386 to 155), net yards rushing (142 to 40), net yards passing (244 to 115), time of possession (37:26 to 22:35), and turnover margin (3 to 1).

The Giants started off the game well, driving 76 yards in nine plays to take 7-0 lead on running back Wayne Gallman’s 1-yard run on 4th-and-goal. The key play on this drive was a 53-yard strike on 3rd-and-2 from quarterback Daniel Jones to tight end Evan Engram to the Cincinnati 4-yard line.

However, all of this good mojo was immediately erased when Bengals’ kickoff returner Brandon Wilson returned the ensuing kickoff 103 yards for a game-tying touchdown.

Also unfortunately for New York, their offense struggled for the rest of the first half. The next two Giants’ drives resulted in a total of two first downs and 35 yards before punting the ball away. On their fourth drive, the Giants did reach the Cincinnati 33-yard line after converting on 4th-and-1. But on the very next snap, Engram fumbled the ball away at the 15-yard line. The Bengals recovered the loose ball and returned it to their 45-yard line. Nine plays and 29 yards later, Cincinnati took a 10-7 lead on a 44-yard field goal.

The Giants did manage to tie the game again on their fifth and final drive of the first half. New York gained 44 yards on 11 plays to set up place kicker Graham Gano’s 49-yard field goal.

At the half, the game was tied 10-10 despite New York out-gaining Cincinnati 223 to 66 in total yards.

The Giants’ defense forced a three-and-out to start the 3rd quarter. New York then moved the ball from their own 6-yard line to the Cincinnati 17-yard line. The big play was another big pass to Engram for 44 yards. However, quarterback Daniel Jones came out of the game after 2-yard pass to Gallman on 3rd-and-1 with a hamstring issue (he had injured himself on a 7-yard run two plays earlier). The drive immediately stalled and the Giants settled for a 40-yard field goal. Giants 13 – Bengals 10.

Both teams exchanged punts with Jones returning for two more plays before leaving the game for good. The Giants then got the ball back near the end of the 3rd quarter when defensive end/linebacker Niko Lalos intercepted a deflected pass at the Cincinnati 40-yard line. The Giants only gained 19 yards in eight plays, including converting on 4th-and-1, but this was good enough to set up a Gano field goal from 39 yards out. Giants 16 – Bengals 10.

Both teams exchanged punts again. The Giants were then handed a golden opportunity to put the game away when safety Logan Ryan forced a fumble at the Cincinnati 24-yard line that he returned to the 19 with 4:12 left in the game. The Giants only managed to gain five yards and take 18 seconds off of the clock before Gano kicked a 32-yard field goal to make it a 19-10 game.

At this point, the New York defense failed as the Bengals, led by their Practice Squad quarterback Brandon Allen, easily drove 72 yards in seven plays to cut the score to 19-17 with 1:21 left in the game. The Bengals were aided by two defensive penalties including a 15-yard roughing-the-passer penalty on defensive end Leonard Williams and a questionable 17-yard pass interference penalty on cornerback Darnay Holmes.

It looked like the Giants had sealed the win on the ensuing drive when back-up quarterback Colt McCoy completed a 10-yard pass to Gallman on 3rd-and-4. But right tackle Cam Fleming was called for holding on the play. Punter Riley Dixon’s 61-yard punt was then returned 29 yards by the Bengals to midfield with 57 seconds left. The Bengals only needed a field goal to win the game.

The Giants’ defense ended the game on the first play of the Bengals’ attempted game-winning drive. Linebacker Jaball Sheard sacked Allen, forcing a fumble that Leonard Williams recovered at the Cincinnati 37-yard line.

Daniel Jones completed 16-of-27 passes for 213 yards, no touchdowns, and no interceptions. Colt McCoy completed 6-of-10 passes for 31 yards, no touchdowns, and no interceptions. Wide receiver Sterling Shepard caught seven passes for 64 yards while Engram caught six passes for 129 yards. Gallman rushed 24 times for 94 yards and a touchdown.

Leonard Williams was credited with a sack, three quarterback hits, and a game-winning fumble recovery. Jaball Sheard had the team’s other sack and forced the game-winning fumble. Logan Ryan forced a fumble that he recovered.

Video highlights are available on Giants.com.

PRACTICE SQUAD ACTIVATIONS, INACTIVES, AND INJURY REPORT…
DE Niko Lalos was activated from the Practice Squad for this game.

Inactive for the game were OL Kyle Murphy, DE R.J. McIntosh, LB Trent Harris, LB T.J. Brunson, S Montre Hartage, and PK Ryan Santoso.

QB Daniel Jones left the game with a right hamstring injury in the 3rd quarter; he returned for a couple of plays before sitting out for good. LB Kyler Fackrell injured his calf in the 3rd quarter too and did not return. S Nate Ebner injured his knee in the 1st quarter and did not return.

“I don’t really know much (about Jones),” Head Coach Joe Judge said after the game. “I actually talked to him on the sidelines in terms of how he was. It was at a point where he couldn’t continue in the game, which takes a hell of a lot. Daniel is a really tough dude. So, we’ll take a look and see what it is. I don’t have much more information than what you guys probably got from the TV at the point right now. He just has the doctors and to get some MRI’s – things like that are standard procedure. We kind of MRI everything around here.”

POST-GAME REACTION…
Transcripts and video clips of post-game media sessions with Head Coach Joe Judge and the following players are available in The Corner Forum and at Giants.com:

POST-GAME NOTES…
Six of the Giants’ last seven games have been decided by three points or less, including three of their four victories.

The kickoff return touchdown was the first allowed by the Giants in a road game in 30 years.

PK Graham Gano has made 25 of 26 field goal attempts this season.

WHAT’S UP NEXT…
Head Coach Joe Judge and select players will address the media by conference call on Monday.

Nov 292020
 
Tae Crowder, New York Giants (October 18, 2020)

Tae Crowder – © USA TODAY Sports

The New York Giants have activated place kick Graham Gano off of the Reserve/COVID-19 List and linebacker Tae Crowder and safety Xavier McKinney off of Injured Reserve. However, the team also announced that linebacker Oshane Ximines, who has been on Injured Reserve since early October, will undergo surgery Monday to repair his right rotator cuff. Ximines had returned to practice this week, but the surgery will end his season. He had started three of the first four games of the year.

Gano was placed on the Reserve/COVID-19 List after the team’s last game two weeks ago.

Crowder, who has been on Injured Reserve since October 20th with a hamstring injury, returned to practice on November 11th. Crowder, the last player selected in the 2020 NFL Draft, has played in five games this year with two starts.

McKinney was placed on Injured Reserve in early September 2020 with a fractured left foot that he suffered in training camp and that required surgery. The team’s 2nd-round pick in the 2020 NFL Draft, McKinney has yet to play in a game this year. He returned to practice earlier this week.

Tight end Kaden Smith, offensive tackle Matt Peart, and wide receiver Dante Pettis remain on the Reserve/COVID-19 List.

Nov 172020
 
Graham Gano, New York Giants (November 15, 2020)

Graham Gano – © USA TODAY Sports

GRAHAM GANO TESTS POSITIVE FOR COVID-19…
New York Giants place kicker Graham Gano has tested positive for COVID-19. He has officially been placed on the Reserve/COVID-19 List and two other staff members were told to stay home.

While the Giants have their bye this weekend, Gano may miss at least one game. Because of this, punter/place kicker Ryan Santoso was signed to the 53-man roster from the team’s Practice Squad.

Gano spent most of his NFL career with the Washington Redskins (2009-2011) and Carolina Panthers (2012-2019). However, he missed the last four games of the 2018 season and all of the 2019 season with a knee injury. The Panthers released him in late July 2020. The Giants signed Gano to a 1-year contract in August 2020. On Sunday, the Giants announced that they extended the contract of Gano through the 2023 NFL season.

The 33-year old Gano has made 21 of his 22 field goal attempts this year for the Giants, only missing a 57-yard effort. He also has made all 16 PAT attempts.

Santoso was originally signed by the Detroit Lions as an undrafted rookie free agent after the 2018 NFL Draft. He has spent time with the Lions (2018-2019), Montreal Alouettes (2019, 2020), and Tennessee Titans (2019). Santoso has only played in three NFL games, solely as a kickoff specialist.

The Giants also signed tight end Nate Wieting to the Practice Squad. The 23-year old, 6’4”, 250-pound Wieting is an undrafted rookie free agent who has spent some time with the Cleveland Browns and Miami Dolphins.

WHAT’S UP NEXT…
Head Coach Joe Judge and select players will address the media on Wednesday.