NYG-CLE grades: Jason Pierre-Paul stars in Giants’ victory

Giants' defense shuts down Browns in Week 12 win, while Odell Beckham Jr. has a big game.

| 2 weeks ago
(Gregory Shamus, Getty Images)

(Gregory Shamus, Getty Images)

NYG-CLE grades: Jason Pierre-Paul stars in Giants’ victory


New York Giants 27, Cleveland Browns 13

Here are the top-graded players and biggest takeaways from the Giants’ 27-13 Week 12 win over the Browns:

New York Giants

Quarterback grade: Eli Manning, 47.7

Manning picks his spots in win

Eli Manning completed 15 of his 27 pass attempts for 194 yards and three touchdowns in this one, but he was just 1-for-8 on passes of 20 yards or more downfield, for 37 yards, and he was 1-for-7 on passes under pressure for just 15 yards (although that one completion went for a touchdown). Manning had some accuracy issues on the day, but he also had some clutch passes, including a beautiful end-zone fade for a touchdown.

Top offensive grades:

OT Bobby Hart, 81.7

WR Odell Beckham Jr., 80.7

C  Weston Richburg, 78.0

TE Will Tye, 77.8

RB Rashad Jennings, 73.3

Giants offense makes enough plays in win

The Giants’ offense didn’t have a perfect day, but they did make some explosive plays to help secure the win. Odell Beckham Jr. had a big day, with his six receptions on 11 targets for 96 yards and two touchdowns helping to spark the Giants offense. Bobby Hart showed he is progressing, as the athletic tackle allowed only one pressure in pass protection, securing the edge and giving time for Manning to throw.

Top defensive grades:

DE Jason Pierre-Paul, 87.3

S Andrew Adams, 81.2

DT Johnathan Hankins, 79.6

CB Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, 78.5

DT Damon Harrison, 78.0 

Giants’ defense pressures Browns QB Josh McCown

DE Jason Pierre-Paul played his best game of the year on Sunday, finishing with three sacks, two QB hurries, and seven total stops. He also returned a fumble for a touchdown. Defensive tackles Johnathan Hankins and Damon Harrison solidified the middle of the defense, as Harrison was stout and strong in the run game with three stops, while Hankins produced as a pass-rusher with two sacks. In addition to the six sacks the Giants were able to produce, they finished with six QB hits and twelve QB hurries.

Cleveland Browns

Quarterback grade: Josh McCown, 38.1

McCown struggles in defeat

The Cleveland offense struggled to put anything substantial together against the Giants, despite a couple of drives where they were serviceable moving the ball. McCown  failed to produce under pressure, as he finished with a 38.5 completion percentage and only 45 yards on pass attempts under pressure. The deciding play of the game was a McCown strip sack by Jason Pierre-Paul on an attempted shovel pass.

Top offensive grades:

LT Joe Thomas, 78.8

WR Rashard Higgins, 74.6

LG Spencer Drango, 72.8

WR Terrelle Pryor, 72.4

TE Randall Telfor, 67.6

Pressure dooms Browns offense

The Giants defensive front’s abilty to wreak havoc was the demise of the Browns. Joe Thomas and rookie Spencer Drango were solid pass protectors on the left side of the line, but still struggled at times with the Giants’ quickness on the defensive line. Thomas surrendered three QB hurries and Drango gave up one sack, one QB hit, and one QB hurry, but both players held their own enough to be among the top Cleveland offensive grades. FB Dan Vitale only had 12 snaps, but he performed well in the running game, finishing with an 86.4 run-block grade. Rookie WR Rashard Higgins saw limited action as well but was able to produce at the end of the game, and WR Terrelle Pryor was one of the few consistent threats for the Browns’ offense despite his dropped pass.

Top defensive grades:

CB Briean Boddy-Calhoun, 87.1

CB Jamar Taylor, 78.4

ED Corey Lemonier, 75.1

LB Chris Kirksey, 74.2     

ED Emmanuel Ogbah, 74.0

Pair of Browns cornerbacks perform well in loss

Briean Boddy-Calhoun had a solid day for the Browns. He was targeted seven times and gave up just two receptions for 37 yards and a touchdown. Boddy-Calhoun also did his part in the Browns defensive run fits, as he had two tackles and was responsible for two stops. Manning stayed away from throwing into Jamar Taylor’s coverage, as he was targeted only once for seven yards. Up front for the Browns, Emmanuel Ogbah had two hits and two hurries as a pass-rusher, and Corey Lemonier had a sack and hurry to go along with a batted pass.

PFF Game-Ball Winner: Giants DE Jason Pierre-Paul

PFF’s player grading process includes multiple reviews, which may change the grade initially published in order to increase its accuracy. Learn more about how we grade and access grades for every player through each week of the NFL season by subscribing to Player Grades.

| Analyst

Taylor is an offensive line and run-game specialist at Pro Football Focus. He has coached at every level of college football, with experience at Mississippi Gulf Coast, Central Missouri, and Wyoming.

  • Nunya Biz

    Sigh. Again. The Eli thing is startling at this point. Eli wasn’t “great” so not deserving of an 80 or above grade, but he also made some fantastic throws (Dwayne Harris TD, Odell 40ish yard gain, Cruz deep ball) that were just perfect, plus he got the ball out so quickly he was never sacked despite the oline being not great. There’s no way you can score this is as a below average. But instead I’m supposed to believe he was only slightly better than McCown.

    • crosseyedlemon

      Giants fans have become such whiners that nobody really cares what they believe.

      • Nunya Biz

        Oh, super solid point. Well reasoned and good backing.

        Since you seem a little slow, let me fill you in, that was sarcasm.

      • KMax

        These aren’t even all Giants fans in an uproar over Eli’s grade week to week moron.

    • johnnyste

      Any time you think there is a conspiracy and the people in your ire have no legitimate reason to do it.
      You’re probably missing something quite obvious.
      This NYG offense is bad. So usually, a bad offense will lead to bad QB grades. Not always but in Eli’s inaccurate case, often enough.

      • KMax

        Granted there’s no conspiracy against Eli Manning. The point is, Eli’s grades when he is playing well show a massive flaw in PFFs grading metrics. And it’s not just with Eli. It’s with a lot of QBs. Fans (who have played the game and understand what the hell they are watching) watch the games and then see the grades and go wtf way too many times.

        • mormonrock124

          For example Cam Newton received a 48 grade against the Raiders yet he threw a pick 6, lost a fumble and completed less than 50% of his passses, the grading system for PFF is a joke when discussing QB’s period.

    • McGeorge

      Eli could have had at least 2 more interceptions as well.
      That was not a good game for him, despite him making some nice throws too.

  • KMax

    Eli’s grade is mothering facking absurd. You guys should roll up your tents and go away.

  • GreenBay100

    Just put in a disclaimer for Eli Manning’s grade every week. There is zero nuance to PFFs system for grading QBs, a position filled with nuance.

    He’s playing very well, but these grades really favor a QB who is in a system that throws downfield. The Giants cannot do this right now, so the head coach and QB work around it skillfully.

    Outside of a few misses early on, at everyone needs to nitpick, Eli was dead on the money on many of his throws. They got the lead, then went into their shell trying to get the run game going.

    His fade TD to Harris was perfect. His deep ball to Cruz, perfect. One of his passes to Odell between defenders, perfect. It just feels like people look to highlight Eli’s misses more than admire his, let’s be honest here, “dead on” perfect throws. I’m using Matt Millen’s description here who seemed floored by the placement of some of Eli’s throws. Who wasn’t? (Answer: PFF lol)

    I think PFF needs to grade according to difficulty more consistently. Because there’s no way they do if they consistently grade Eli in the 40s.

  • MikeC4

    I didn’t see any major accuracy issues with Eli on the day. Certainly none that warrants this grade. Biggest pet peeve about PFF for me is that they watch the game and act like they know what the routes are and then grade accordingly. It’s complete and utter nonsense.

    Example. The opening long ball where Eli “missed” Odell. It was right where it needed to be. Almost everyone blamed Eli and the beat writers were whining about it on Twitter. Eli launches it. Odell loses the ball turning the wrong way. Had he done what he was supposed to, the ball would have been right there.

    The scrutiny Eli Manning takes is over the top.

    • mormonrock124

      I agree the other side of the argument with QB grades if you look at the grades for QB across the league the reasoning behind the grades all differ. A QB gets a 66 grade because he had one lost fumble, but a QB that had no turnovers and 3 TD passes gets a poor grade because he missed deep throws when WR’s were covered. End of the day there just isn’t any consistency in the grading for QB’s and Eli’s week to week grades highlight these inconsistencies.

      • MikeC4

        Yeah, it makes no sense at all. Agreed. It’s not just Eli, although his grades are glaring. A few PFF writers on Twitter will get into it with fans who criticize their metrics. They’re pretty thinned skinned and insist there is no bias towards players. But there is a clear bias and it needs to be addressed if they want to stop getting laughed at by everyone but stat geeks and beat writers looking to get clicks. They need to make some changes.

        There’s also a ton of stuff out there from players who think PFF is an absolute joke. Olinemen get the biggest laugh because how they grade out from their coaches and what PFF writers think they know is night and day. Look, Bill Belichick was right when he basically nuked this site a few weeks back. It’s nothing to take seriously.

  • therza82

    Did I miss something? Tye had two catches for 12 yards in this game. He only was targeted twice by Eli. He wasn’t someone that the defense was game planning for and double covering, allowing other guys to get favorable one on one match-ups. At best, he does an average job as a blocker.

    How did Vernon not get a top five grade? Let me wrap my head around this….Vernon had 1.5 sacks/2.5 TFL/5 QB hits/4 tackles. Those are impressive stats when you look at them. However, they are made even more impressive by the fact he put these numbers up while lined up across the best LT in the league in Joe Thomas…You know, the same Joe Thomas that PFF says was the best player for the Browns offensively and their second best player overall.