While the other New York City-area defensive coordinator was shown the door after horrendous play-calling, Patrick Graham of the New York Giants just put together what could very well be his magnum opus of 2020 against the Seattle Seahawks.
Under head coach Joe Judge — who continues to impress in his debut season — Graham has throttled the Giants’ defense from liability to showpiece, hearkening back to the days of yore when Big Blue’s resistance was the backbone of great teams.
His unit has been one of the very best in the NFL during a four-game winning streak, which was improbably extended against a heavily-favored Seahawks team that was meeting a Daniel Jones-less Giants side.
The Giants have allowed an average of 16.5 points per game during their win streak, including 12 in a five-point victory against a Seahawks team that is one of the most high-powered units in the game, entering Week 13 with the No. 3 scoring offense in football anchored by MVP-candidate quarterback Russell Wilson and the gargantuan second-year receiver, DK Metcalf.
While they were outgained 327-290, the Giants sacked Wilson five times, forced two turnovers, put relentless pressure on him throughout the game, and kept the dangerous attack on its toes all evening.
“I think they did a really good job of doing some stuff with their coverage, just trying to keep everything in front pretty much,” Wilson said. “They had some timely calls… I think they did a good job. They did a good job of making some plays and pressuring, timely pressures, and this and that against us.
“They’re a good defense, balanced, they have done a good job. Coached well. They had some things covered up and they kind of tried to keep everything in front and that, and we didn’t really have anything down the field. It’s an NFL team. Sometimes it’s going to be a tough battle. It was one of those days… They played really well tonight.”
Of the five Giants sacks, defensive end Leonard Williams accounted for 2.5 of them to increase his season total to 8.5 on the season.
He’s arguably been one of the largest benefactors of Graham’s new defense considering he recorded just a half-sack last year and 7.5 over the last three seasons combined.
“We always joke around about how Pat is like a computer,” Williams said. “He’s just like a genius when it comes to scheme-ing guys and understanding who he has and who he has to go against. He just puts guys in a great position to play their best.”
And play their best they are. The Giants’ upset win guaranteed they would remain in first place in the NFC East for at least another week with just four games remaining.