Losers: QBs Mac Jones and Bailey Zappe. After a week full of quarterback questions and mysteries, both Jones and Zappe got a half of work on Sunday. None of it was good.
Starting with Jones, who drew the start but was relieved after a scoreless half. It was the same Jones we've seen of late as he tossed two ugly interceptions and missed several other throws.
Zappe wasn't much better in a watered down offense (1.4 average depth of target) that feature mostly screens. The second-year QB then tossed a poor pick of his own on one of his lone downfield throws.
New England (entered and) leaves New York without a quarterback.
Loser: K Chad Ryland. New England’s rookie kicker had a 35-yard field goal attempt to send the game to overtime. But, as he did in Germany, Ryland missed the chip shot. While he was accountable for the miss post game, these are kicks he needs to make that may have cost New England victories.
Winner: S Jabrill Peppers. Sunday’s game was an important one for New Jersey native and former Giant Jabrill Peppers. You could tell instantly. Peppers made an impact from the start as he recovered an opening drive fumble. He then additionally tallied a sack on the next drive as he remained one of New England’s best defensive players.
Loser: CB J.C. Jackson. In his return to action, cornerback J.C. Jackson was a favorite target for Giants QB Tommy DeVito. Jackson did record one of his better PBUs at one point, but was also beaten several times downfield by rookie Jaylin Hyatt. Jackson also whiffed on a tackle attempt down near the end zone on third down to help lead to New York’s lone score.
Winner: DL Christian Barmore and the pass rush. Similar to Peppers, Barmore continued being one of New England’s lone bright spots in this one. Barmore was causing havoc as usual, recording a sack, QB hit, batted pass, and drew a penalty. He was the catalyst for a revived pass rush that recorded six sacks and had Tommy DeVito flustered throughout the second half.
- We avoided giving the offense it’s own “winner,” but it would have gone to the ground game. Rhamondre Stevenson continued his strong second half of the season Sunday, piling up 98 rushing yards on 21 total carries (4.7 YPC). He also added the lone score, while Ezekiel Elliott also averaged over 5.0 yards per carry over his nine carries.
- Before leaving with a head injury, rookie receiver Demario Douglas continued to be New England’s best pass catcher. He finished with six receptions for 49 yards, with a pair of third down conversions.
- Tight end Mike Gesicki finished catchless after a pair of targets his way which both featured a miscommunication with Mac Jones. Additionally, Hunter Henry didn't see a target all afternoon.
- Trent Brown and Conor McDermott rotated in at the left tackle spot, but the pass protection seemed inconsistent during live viewing. Jones was stripped by Kayshon Thibodeaux who beat McDermott, while New England stalled on two third downs due to pressure.