3 Takeaways from Giants' Week 7 Win
The New York Giants came into Week 7 without wideouts Kadarius Toney, Kenny Golladay and Sterling Shepard, along with running back Saquon Barkley. Ultimately, though, it didn't matter, as they got enough offensively to put away the suddenly stumbling Carolina Panthers.
This was largely due to the fact that the Giants defense had its best game of the season. It held Carolina to just 173 total yards and watched as the Panthers benched quarterback Sam Darnold in favor of backup P.J. Walker.
While the win won't catapult New York into the playoff conversation or fix the team's injury woes, it does give notice that the Giants aren't going to go quietly. They showed on Sunday that they still have a lot of fight left in them.
Here's what else we learned during New York's big 25-3 victory in Week 7.
Allowing Daniel Jones to Move Is a Good Idea
With so many offensive weapons out and left tackle Andrew Thomas (ankle) on injured reserve, coordinator Jason Garrett had to get a little creative on Sunday.
Against an aggressive and talented Panthers defense—one ranked third overall and sixth in points allowed coming into the game—he utilized movement to create plays for quarterback Daniel Jones.
During the game, the 24-year-old regularly rolled out, carried on designed runs and even caught a pass from wide receiver Dante Pettis with a tremendous one-handed grab.
Jones was sacked twice and took several hard shots, but his athleticism helped him carry the offensive load.
"I just heard QB1, RB1 and Wide Receiver 1 today," cornerback Logan Ryan told reporters of the signal-caller after the game. "He put it on the line today and whatever it took to get those first downs, to grind it out."
Jones finished with 203 passing yards and a touchdown, 28 rushing yards on eight carries and 16 receiving yards. He has flashed his athleticism multiple times in the past, but Sunday's performance was further proof that it's an asset the Giants would be wise to utilize.
Dante Pettis Is Fine Depth but Shouldn't Be an Offensive Focal Point
With Golladay, Toney and Shepard out, the Giants needed Dante Pettis to come up big. He delivered, and not just on the throw to Jones.
Pettis, who was claimed off waivers last season, finished with five receptions, 39 receiving yards, one touchdown reception and the 16-yard throw to his quarterback. This marked the second week in a row in which he had five receptions. He had five for 48 yards in Week 6.
For the first five weeks of the season, the 26-year-old was inactive.
While it's great to have a receiver like Pettis deep on the depth chart, he isn't quite ready to be an offensive focal point. Although he caught all five of his targets, 27 of his 39 receiving yards came on a single play.
Pettis played a big role in New York getting the win on Sunday, but the Giants will be glad to have their top pass-catchers back in the lineup.
Azeez Ojulari Is a Rising Star
Improving New York's 27th-ranked defense was a focal point coming into Week 7.
"There was a great consciousness this week in terms of how to really be in the right place at the right time based on who we're playing," head coach Joe Judge told reporters after the game. "Thought they did a good job in preparation and it showed up in the game."
The defense certainly rose to the challenge, and rookie second-round pick Azeez Ojulari was a huge part of the equation.
The 21-year-old finished the game with 2.5 sacks, three solo stops and five total tackles.
The Georgia product has been making an impact since the season began, and he came into the game with three sacks and seven quarterback pressures. However, this was his biggest NFL outing to date. He and veteran Leonard Williams (1.5 sacks) terrorized Carolina's quarterbacks and look to be one of the league's rising pass-rushing duos.
With 5.5 sacks for the season, Ojulari has officially entered the conversation for Defensive Rookie of the Year.
*Advanced statistics from Pro Football Reference.