The New York Giants, with a 1-2 record to kick off the 2023 season, managed to barely secure a win against an underperforming Arizona Cardinals side. Their season debut against the Dallas Cowboys witnessed a thorough defeat, while the San Francisco 49ers dominated them in the recent Thursday night matchup. Despite these challenges, what stands out the most are the Giants’ evident flaws, particularly in their tackling prowess.
Missed Tackles: A Concerning Pattern
Week 3 against the 49ers was telling, with the Giants racking up an alarming 16 missed tackles. Players like Xavier McKinney, Bobby Okereke, and Jason Pinnock were some of the contributors to this tally, while both Micah McFadden and Tre Hawkins together accounted for six. The recurring theme? The Giants’ secondary emerged as a significant weak link. This is troubling since Wink Martindale, their defensive coordinator, heavily leans on his defensive backs for a robust run-game defense. Disturbingly, the Giants’ mix of cornerbacks and safeties have accumulated a staggering 15 missed tackles in just three games.
It’s perplexing to see a team led by Martindale, who’s renowned as a top-tier coordinator, exhibit such a lack of discipline. The message is clear: unless the Giants refine their technique and bring more aggression to the table, their defensive outings will continue to be bleak.
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Third Down Woes
The Giants’ inability to thwart the 49ers on third downs further illustrates their struggles. They conceded nine conversions, with several stretching beyond 10 yards. This inability to hold the line, especially during crucial third and long situations, will be their undoing.
Giants’ Offense and Injury Concerns
While the offense has its share of troubles, it’s the defense that remains the focal point of concern. As injury concerns continue to proliferate, the prognosis for the Giants looks increasingly grim.
Coaching Emphasis and Upcoming Challenges
It’s imperative for the coaching staff to address the team’s tackling deficiencies and bolster their third-down defense. The looming challenge against the Geno Smith-led Seattle Seahawks offense further heightens the need for a defensive resurgence.
Pressuring the quarterback is another area the Giants must prioritize. So far, they’ve only managed a paltry 42 total pressures this season. Dexter Lawrence has been the standout with 13 pressures, but as a team, they’ve secured just three sacks, all recorded against the 49ers in Week 3.