The New York Giants clinched a hard-fought 14-7 victory over the Washington Commanders this past Sunday. In this matchup, the defensive unit, led by stars Leonard Williams, Kayvon Thibodeaux and Dexter Lawrence, took center stage and excelled with multiple game-changing plays.
Williams proved instrumental in the victory by delivering the first blocked field goal for the Giants since 2017. His relentless effort on special teams not only helped record the victory, but it also presented a potential turning point for the Giants, as they continue striving to overcome their early season struggles.
While Williams, like several of his teammates, has encountered adversity throughout the beginning of the season, his remarkable effort during a seemingly straightforward 27-yard field goal attempt showcased the resilience of this Giants team. This play is going to be talked about for quite some time:
Peter King gave Leonard Williams a ton of praise for his outstanding game in Week 7
The pivotal blocked field goal was just one of Williams’ highlights during the afternoon. In the first quarter, he recorded a crucial sack on third down, driving the Commanders out of field goal range and forcing a punt. Williams also excelled in his pass-rush, amassing two quarterback hits and three pressures.
His constant motor played a pivotal role in keeping Commanders’ QB Sam Howell uncomfortable and out of rhythm throughout the game. Thanks to his tremendous effort, national insider Peter King had no choice but to shower him with praise, including him among his Special Teams Players of the Week. Williams deserved it, no doubt.
"Special teams is about effort in so many cases, and Williams' effort on a field-goal block early in the fourth quarter of a tightly contested game was huge," wrote King. "With the Giants up, 14-7, and Joey Slye lining up for a 27-yard chip shot to make it a four-point game, Williams burst through the center-guard gap and got one huge hand on Slye's boot. Big, big play in the Giants' 14-7 win."- Peter King
While the spotlight was on the effective pass-rush on Sunday, the significance of having robust run-stoppers in the trenches cannot be underestimated. Williams and the defensive line limited Commanders running back Brian Robinson Jr. to a mere 2.9 yards per rush attempt. This strategy forced the Commanders into a one-dimensional, pass-first approach, aligning perfectly with Wink Martindale’s aggressive defensive scheme. In the NFL, success hinges on the line of scrimmage, and the Giants are increasingly resembling a team capable of dominating in this crucial area.
When the Giants signed Williams to a three-year, $63 million extension in March 2021, they envisioned results of this caliber. With momentum now in their favor and the defense operating smoothly under Martindale’s scheme, we can anticipate more impressive statistics and continued excellence from Williams and the defensive unit for weeks to come.