The New York Giants visit the Denver Broncos in Week 6 of the 2017 NFL season. PFF previews the top player matchups of the game.
Coverage by: Aaron Jones
Matchup: New York Giants offense vs. Denver Broncos defense
- TE Evan Engram vs. LB Brandon Marshall – Rookie tight end Evan Engram is now thrust into the receiving spotlight after season-ending injuries to wide receivers Odell Beckham Jr. and Brandon Marshall. Engram currently leads all tight ends with 177 snaps in route, and his 30 targets are fifth-most among all tight ends. His 200 receiving yards are the eight-most among tight ends, and the highest among all rookie tight ends. Marshall has struggled in coverage this year, ranking 46th among 74 qualifying linebackers with a coverage grade of 45.8. The Giants will need to figure out how to scheme Marshall into coverage against Engram, as this may be one of the few positive matchups they have coming into Sunday.
- Giant’s WRs vs. CBs Aqib Talib and Chris Harris Jr. – Whoever lines up at wide receiver for the Giants is going to have a tough matchup. Both Talib and Harris Jr. are having typical good years, currently ranking seventh and 15th, respectively, among 109 qualifying cornerbacks. Talib’s 0.41 yards allowed per coverage snap is currently the seventh-best rate among cornerbacks. Harris Jr. is allowing a passer rating of 67.4 when targeted in coverage, the 25th lowest mark among 115 qualifying cornerbacks.
- T Ereck Flowers vs. Edge Shaquil Barrett – Bobby Hart vs. Von Miller will get all of the attention on Sunday night (and rightfully so), so let’s take a look at the matchup on the other side of the offensive line. Flowers has allowed four sacks on the season, tying for the second-most in the NFL among offensive tackles. His 15 total pressures allowed are tied for the 17th most among 69 qualifying offensive tackles. Flowers is projected to matchup against Shaquil Barrett, the current 28th rated (out of 105 qualifying edge defenders) edge defender in the league. Barrett has been prolific against the run, with his run defense grade of 87.1 the seventh-highest mark in the league among edge defenders. The Giants will have to continue to get the ball out of Eli’s hands quickly, as both offensive tackles this week project to have tough matchups.
Coverage by Daniel Cohen
Matchup: Denver Broncos offense vs. New York Giants defense
- WR Demaryius Thomas vs. CB Janoris Jenkins – Thomas has a tough matchup this week against Giants top cornerback. Jenkins has allowed just 44.4 percent of targets to be caught, and quarterbacks have a 62.0 passer rating when targeting Jenkins. Thomas caught just 1-of-4 targets in Week 4, and also had a dropped pass, leading to a season-low game grade of 46.0. If Thomas manages to score on Jenkins, it’ll mark both Thomas’ first touchdown of the year and the first touchdown allowed by Jenkins this season.
- G Ron Leary vs. DI Damon Harrison – The Broncos’ highest graded offensive lineman will face off with one of the top run stopping interior defenders this week in Harrison. While Leary (highest pass-blocking grade of all guards, 88.7) should hold off Harrison’s pass-rush, Leary ranks just T-21st in run blocking among guards (73.3 grade). Harrison has a run defense grade of 91.5, second among all interior defenders, and his 11 run stops is tied for fourth-most among defensive tackles.
- HB C.J. Anderson vs. LB Jonathan Casillas – Working in the Broncos’ favor in the run game is a vulnerable Giants linebacking corps led by Casillas. Casillas’ run defense grade of 31.9 ranks 86th of 87 linebackers. Anderson’s 84.4 overall grade ranks fourth among running backs, and he has forced a total of 13 missed tackles on rush attempts, T-11th most among running backs. Anderson has yet to have a negatively graded game, and should continue to find success against Casillas and the Giants this week.