xavier mckinney giants nfc defensive player of the week
Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports

Xavier McKinney played one of the best games of his NFL career in Week 9.

The second-year safety is really coming into his own at the professional level.

Giants defensive back Xavier McKinney has played great in 2021 and on Sunday recorded two interceptions against the Raiders, one of which was a pick-six in the third quarter.

For his efforts, the 2020 second-round draft pick has earned the NFC Defensive Player of the Week.

McKinney’s touchdown was a defining moment in that crucial win over Vegas. The score gave the Giants the lead, one which they never lost after that.

This coaching staff heavily values McKinney and the former Alabama standout is really proving to be more valuable than Jabrill Peppers, who’s out for the year with an ACL rupture and high-ankle sprain sustained in Week 7.

Expect the Giants to eventually part ways with Peppers, whose contract expires at the end of this season, and move forward with McKinney. Xavier is simply more reliable in pass coverage, which is so important in the current NFL.

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