new york giants player grades
(Photo by Abbie Parr/Getty Images)

The New York Giants have extended their NFC East lead, defeating the favored Seattle Seahawks 17-12 on the road.

An away game? On the other side of the country? With a team that had four more wins? With a backup quarterback?

Nothing phases the New York Giants, and they certainly weren’t rattled when they traveled to Seattle for Sunday’s matchup with the Seahawks.

It wasn’t exactly clean football, but the Giants ultimately emerged victorious in a game where numerous guys stepped up in order to snag Colt McCoy the victory. The longtime veteran backup, of course, started due to Daniel Jones‘ hamstring strain.

The two focal points of the Giants’ success were the defense and run game; let’s begin with the latter.

Wayne Gallman has proven he belongs in this league. There’s no doubt in my mind and there shouldn’t be in anybody else’s mind.

The fourth-year running back continued his recent success, gaining 135 yards on the ground amid 16 carries — his first-ever 100-yard rushing performance in the NFL. He, along with the improving offensive line, entered this game knowing they needed to take the pressure off their quarterback, a guy who hadn’t started a game since 2019.

And did they ever.

Not only did Gallman find success, but veteran back Alfred Morris additionally rushed for 39 yards on eight carries with a touchdown. Morris also caught a touchdown pass from McCoy in the third quarter.

Gallman continues to be a huge aspect of the Giants offense; he’ll need to continue this type of production down the stretch.

And now, to the defense, which came up big in a number of different instances but most importantly in the waning seconds of the victory.

On the Seahawks’ final offensive drive, Leonard Williams drove up the middle for a huge sack of Seattle quarterback Russell Wilson on third down, a play that resulted in an eight-yard loss. Then on fourth down, great coverage forced Wilson to keep looking for an open receiver, and after he launched the ball deep towards the right side of the field, a deflection sealed the victory — the Giants’ biggest win in years.

It wasn’t just those two plays though, as a number of defensive weapons impressed all game.

Although he recorded only two combined tackles, rookie edge rusher Carter Coughlin was in the backfield all game and followed through on his responsibility of filling the pass rush void left by the injured Oshane Ximines, Lorenzo Carter, and Kyler Fackrell.

Cam Brown, who possessed a similar responsibility to that of Coughlin, made a number of plays in this game as well.

Jabrill Peppers and rookie linebacker Tae Crowder were all over the place, with the former racking up five combined tackles and the latter recording seven combined tackles. Either had a sack on the day as well.

Despite a holding penalty late in the game, Darnay Holmes put together a productive performance and notched a crucial interception in the fourth quarter.

And Leonard Williams, taking advantage of the weak Seahawks offensive front, finished the game with 2.5 sacks and now has 8.5 in what’s been a stellar season for him.

It was a team effort, and with that, came a huge team win with Daniel Jones hopefully returning to the field next week.

Five wins. Seven Losses. Four straight victories. First place in the NFC East. Back to MetLife Stadium next Sunday to face Arizona.

Ryan Honey is a staff writer and host of the Wide Right Podcast.