Xavier McKinney is One of the NFL’s Top Safeties
Xavier McKinney is beginning to blossom into one the game's top safeties. The second-year player registered a team-high eight tackles, two pass breakups and one interception as the New York Giants held onto a 13-7 victory over the Philadelphia Eagles.
McKinney showed off tremendous range and ball skills when he picked off Jalen Hurts with 6:02 remaining in the third quarter. It was his fifth interception of the season and his third in the last three games. His ability to break on the football are some of the best in the game and was evident in late incompletion that could’ve been a pick.
“I’m trying to be a playmaker,” McKinney said, “Trusting what I see and go get it.” In just his 16th NFL game, the former Alabama standout has only begun to scratch the surface of what kind of player he can be.
Giants head coach Joe Judge offered high praise for McKinney after the game.
“The one thing he really does exceptionally well is playing the deep part of the field,” said Judge, “That's where he's made a lot of plays right now. He plays with very good vision, very good instincts. He's very intelligent. He understands what he's seen earlier in that game as well as on tape to kind of go ahead and calculate the formation along with the personnel and how they're using it, what they're going to get to. He plays with good discipline on the backend of the field.”
On a day where the Giants retired Michael Strahan’s jersey, McKinney stated it served as extra motivation for the Giants defense.
"We want to make the players that played before us and built the foundation for us proud,” said McKinney.
The Giants will be on the road next Sunday to face the Miami Dolphins. McKinney will lineup against a couple of his former Alabama teammates: Tua Tagovailoa and Jaylen Waddle.