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Lots of defensive backs saw time
One of the things everyone wanted to know prior to Monday’s New York Giants-Pittsburgh Steelers game is how Giants defensive coordinator Patrick Graham would deploy the variety of new pieces in the team’s secondary.
Let’s look at the snap counts from the Giants’ 26-16 loss to the Steelers to get an idea. One thing we know — as promised, a lot of guys get chances to play.
- Julian Love and James Bradberry played every defensive snap, and Jabrill Peppers missed just one play.
- Corey Ballentine started at cornerback opposite Bradberry and played 59 snaps. 92 percent of the defensive plays. He seemed to acquit himself fairly well.
- Newly-acquired Logan Ryan played 38 snaps, or 59 percent. When he was in the game, Peppers generally dropped down into the box or into a pseudo-linebacker role.
- Isaac Yiadom and Adrian Colbert each played just five snaps. Yiadom was victimized for a 10-yard score by JuJu Smith-Schuster.
- Rookie Darnay Holmes was the primary slot cornerback, as expected. He played 47 snaps, 73 percent.
A few other defensive notes:
- Devante Downs started at linebacker, but played only 14 snaps (22 percent). He generally came off the field when Ryan came on or whenever the Giants went with extra defensive backs.
- Leonard Williams played the most snaps of any defensive lineman. He was on the field for 44 plays (69 percent).
On offense, the Giants’ most interesting decision was to only carry four wide receivers with Golden Tate inactive due to a hamstring injury.
- The Giants went with a tight end heavy game plan. Evan Engram played 64 snaps (94 percent), Kaden Smith played 29 snaps (43 percent) and Levine Toilolo played 28 snaps (35 percent).
- Backup wide receivers C.J. Board played 21 snaps (31 percent) and Damion Ratley played 18 snaps (26 percent). Board had two receptions for 17 yards.
On special teams, Nate Ebner played a team-high 24 snaps, or 92 percent.