It’s the best start to a season for New York since 2008 and has many excited for what’s to come. Of course, the Giants were expected to win this game, but it’s still essential. Good teams are supposed to beat their lesser competition, and the Giants took care of business Sunday.
The offense put together some strong drives throughout the game, which help put the Giants in a position to play with a lead. In addition, the defense made some big plays when the team needed it, and the special teams didn’t make any critical mistakes similar to the Seahawks game a couple of weeks ago. Altogether, this was a team, but here are three takeaways from Sunday’s win over the Texans.
1. Saquon Barkley Continues To Carry A Heavy Workload On Offense
After the week off to rest and recuperate, Giants Running Back Saquon Barkley used that energy to manage a lot of touches in the run game on Sunday. He carried the ball 35 times for 152 yards and a touchdown. That’s the most carries Barkley has had in a game in his entire career, beating out the 31 carries he had against the Bears earlier this year. During the postgame press conference, Barkley was asked if it’s fun to carry the ball that much during a game.
“Really fun, to be honest. At the end of the day, just trying to find a way to win games, and today that was the mindset that we needed to get the job done, and we got the job done,” Barkley said postgame. Giants.com
Of course, Barkley and the Giants must realize that this kind of workload isn’t sustainable for all 17 regular-season games. However, Barkley felt good after the bye week to receive that kind of production and did an excellent job producing. He’s the best skill-position player on this offense and will continue to be the focal point in the future. The team, though, must be wary of his health so that he can continue to produce into January.
2. Kenny Golladay Is Once Again In The Doghouse
Giants Wide Receiver Kenny Golladay has been recovering from a calf injury he suffered earlier this season and hasn’t played since week four. He finally felt good to play Sunday, and many expected him to see a good amount of playing time with the other injuries to receivers on the team. However, after a disappointing first half, Golladay was benched for Isaiah Hodgins, who the team just signed a week ago.
The benching was due to Golladay dropping two passes in the first half that hit his hands. Head Coach Brian Daboll then turned to Hodgins in the second half, who caught two passes for 41 yards on the day. After the game, Daboll said he decided at halftime that they wanted to see more of Hodgins. He didn’t say whether the drops from Golladay were a factor, but one can assume that he hurt his chances of playing with those two plays. So now Golladay has to fight once again to get on the field and prove why he’s good enough to play valuable minutes for this team.
3. Dexter Lawrence Is Playing At An All-Pro Level
Before the season, the Giants chose to use the fifth-year option on Defensive Tackle Dexter Lawrence. He had been a good team player but never considered elite. However, after the season he’s had so far, he can now be considered one of the best defensive tackles in the league. He had another strong day racking up five tackles, a sack, five QB hits, and a tackle for loss. After the game, EDGE Rusher Kayvon Thibodeaux gave Lawrence some glowing remarks about his play this year.
“I mean, I told Dexter, I’ve never seen Aaron Donald play in person, but it’s him and him, as far as interior defensive linemen,” said Kayvon Thibodeaux after the game. Giants.com
Lawrence also recorded nine QB pressures during the game, which is astonishing. According to Doug Kyed of PFF, Lawrence’s nine pressures are the most single-game pressures by a player over 320 pounds in the PFF era. Tied for second on that list is Lawrence again earlier this year when he had eight against the Bears. He’s been a game-wrecker all year and should be regarded as one of the best defensive players, not only in his position but in the entire league.