While it may seem impossible to find any positives from the New York Giants’ demoralizing 30-6 defeat to the Las Vegas Raiders last Sunday, second-year linebacker Micah McFadden put together yet another strong shift. Despite the teams’ struggles this season, McFadden continues to impress in his amplified role alongside high-profile free-agent acquisition Bobby Okereke.
Looking back at McFadden’s rookie campaign, there were few highlights. With injuries and lackluster talent plaguing the linebacker unit, the fifth-round pick out of Indiana was bolstered into a significant role very quickly and struggled mightily. According to PFF, McFadden ranked 85th out of 90 qualifying linebackers in 2022 - a rookie season to forget.
Fortunately for the Giants, McFadden appears to have transformed himself this season, establishing himself as a skillful and talented player. His standout performance on Sunday included six tackles, highlighted by a remarkable tackle for a loss. Finally, McFadden is getting the respect he deserves from the PFF grading system.
Micah McFadden looks confident in his second year under Wink Martindale
While the Giants have not reaped the benefits of McFadden’s efforts in the win column, it’s challenging to envision the defense without the second-year 'backer on the field. Since Week 6, McFadden has been a tackling machine, accumulating an impressive 23.
When asked about his substantial improvement in his second year, McFadden said: “Obviously, just having a year under my belt with the defense, having the same scheme, and the same group of guys around me - I think it’s helped a lot.”
McFadden, along with others on the defensive side, has benefited from another year to grasp Wink Martindale’s defensive system fully. Now, more than ever, it is crucial for the defensive unit to continue to gel and do everything possible to keep the Giants competitive.
As the Giants look down the barrel for the rest of the season, their focus has shifted from mere victories to demonstrating consistent improvement and unity. With upcoming back-to-back division games against the Dallas Cowboys and Washington Commanders, McFadden and the defense need to continue working as a cohesive unit, as Giants fans continue to search for a glimmer of hope in what has been a disheartening season thus far.