There were plenty of top-notch performances worth praising in the final week of the NFL regular season, as the likes of LeGarrette Blount, J.J. Watt, Jordy Nelson, and Dee Milliner all had outstanding games. But there was one man who stood above the rest, and he isn’t a big name in this league at all.
New York Giants cornerback Trumaine McBride quietly had a nice season as a starting corner for the team, and he capped off his season in loud way with an incredible performance. The Giants totally shut down the Washington Redskins offense, as they won 20-6 over their division rivals to finish with a 7-9 record overall. McBride was at the front-and-center of this victory, and he put up some incredible numbers in coverage. The Ole Miss product intercepted two passes, defended four more throws from Kirk Cousins, and he also didn’t have to record a tackle due to his amazing coverage.
McBride had the easier assignment, since he didn’t have to cover superstar receiver Pierre Garcon, who came into the game as the league’s leading receiver and dominated Brandon Carr and the Dallas Cowboys the week before. The Giants did a great job of quieting him down to six receptions for 56 yards, but McBride’s work on No. 2 receiver Aldrick Robinson was a thing of beauty.
Robinson was targeted a whopping 11 times by Cousins, and yet he finished with just three receptions for 33 yards. Those are horrendous numbers, and Cousins averaged just 3.0 yards per attempt when throwing it to Robinson. In fact, Cousins didn’t fare out much better when targeting other receivers, as he averaged just 3.4 yards per attempt in total and threw two INTs (both to McBride) with no touchdowns and had an unsightly 31.8 QB Rating.
The man who deserves the credit for that is definitely Trumaine McBride, and defending as many passes as Garcon caught in a game (six) is certainly no easy feat. McBride was simply all over the place as a playmaker in coverage, and he just glued down Robinson. According to the Pro Football Focus, McBride allowed just two receptions for 20 yards on 12 targets, and you can tell that Cousins really shouldn’t have picked on McBride as much as he did. The Giants CB made him pay big-time, and it’s crazy how Cousins averaged just 1.7 yards per attempt with two picks and four additional PDs when throwing it to McBride.
Those are mind-blowing numbers, and it was arguably the best performance by a cornerback this season; he definitely deserves to be honored in this space, even if Aldrick Robinson isn’t nearly as good as Garcon.