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Jabrill Peppers: Giants defense 'had a different swagger' in shutting down Wilson, Seahawks

The New York Giants strode into Seattle and put the clamps on Russell Wilson and the Seahawks in a 17-12 road win.

Big Blue's defense played masterfully, holding Seattle to 327 yards on 70 plays and 4.7 yards per play. A team that has scored 30-plus points seven times this season struggled to hit double digits.

"We walked in here confident, I'm not going to lie," safety Jabrill Peppers said, via the team's official website. "Team had a different swagger about them, team had a different juice about them today because we knew if we played our brand of football, we knew we could shock a lot of people. The ball rolled in our favor. I'm proud of the way guys fought."

The Giants defense has played masterfully the past several weeks. Since Week 9, New York has allowed just 16.5 points per game, fourth-best in the NFL (entering MNF). Over that span, Patrick Graham's defense has been a bully, allowing just 307.5 total yards per game (fifth in NFL), 86.0 rush YPG allowed (third in NFL), generated 10 takeaways (T-fourth in NFL), and allowed just a 25.0 percent third-down conversion rate (best in NFL).

"This has been a fun season," defensive lineman Leonard Williams said. "I think the beginning of the season is when the team and the guys and the coaches proved to each other what type of team we really have. It's easier to be happy and see the good things when you are winning, but I feel like we all see the good things in each other and what we have, even when we were losing. That just helped continue to build our confidence in each other and build on what we have working here. Eventually, it turns into a snowball and it keeps building up. I feel like we have a real culture here now and I love the way this team is going."

Williams was a star Sunday, sacking Wilson 2.5 times and generating five QB hits. In a contract year, Williams looks like the top-10 pick he once was, earning a career-high 8.5 sacks through 12 games. As a team, New York compiled five sacks, 10 QB hits, four tackles for loss, seven passes defended, one INT, two forced fumbles and one fumble recovery.

Sunday, the Giants' defensive line bullied Wilson as the back end smothered receivers. Graham's defense is a complementary unit that has squashed offenses.

"I think schematically we did a good job making (Wilson) feel pressure and making him uncomfortable," Williams said. "He felt like he had a guy on his side and had to hold the ball. I felt like we were coming at him from a lot of angles and it made him a little bit confused sometimes. Overall, he's the head of the offense being the quarterback and making him uncomfortable is what we needed to do. I think we did a good job of that."

The victory was the Giants' fourth straight, the club's longest streak since a six-game win streak in 2016, the last time Big Blue made the playoffs.

It also gave Joe Judge's team the lead in the NFC East ahead of Washington's game against Pittsburgh Monday night.

If the Giants play how they did Sunday, beating a playoff team on the road with a backup QB who threw for 105 yards, New York should be considered frontrunners for the division title.

"We know we have to keep stacking them," Peppers said. "That was a great team we just played but we know we have another great team coming in next week. We're going to enjoy the win tonight, get this tape corrected, cleaned up and shift our focus to Arizona."

In his first season, Judge wanted to build a physically demanding squad. Sunday, it coalesced into the most impressive performance of the year for a defense that is surging at the right time.

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