Giants’ star defender places blame on the players for slow start

new york giants, dexter lawrence, leonard williams
Sep 18, 2022; East Rutherford, New Jersey, USA; New York Giants defensive end Leonard Williams (99) and defensive tackle Dexter Lawrence (97) celebrate after Carolina Panthers turn the ball over on downs during the second quarter at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

New York Giants defensive tackle Leonard Williams is optimistic that as the 2023 NFL season progresses, the 1-2 franchise will iron out its wrinkles in pursuit of a second consecutive playoff appearance.

Leonard Williams gives his outlook for the rest of the Giants’ season

Dan Benton of USA Today shared Williams’ thoughts on his outlook for the remaining 13 games of the year based on their early struggles and roster configuration:

“I mean, honestly, we are still finding (our identity),” he told reporters on Thursday. “That’s why I try to say every year is a new year, regardless of if you have a lot of the same players on the team, regardless of if you have a lot of the same coaches that are coming back.”

The Giants’ defense has struggled through three games. They currently have the second-fewest sacks in the league with only two but have been able to force four fumbles. Opposing rushing attacks have succeeded against New York, including the San Francisco 49ers’ current league-leading rusher Christian McCaffrey going off for 85 yards and one touchdown in Week 3.

The players need to tackle better

Safety Xavier Mckinney bluntly stated that the defense “just needs to be better tacklers” on Monday following their loss to the 49ers. He was also sure to let the media know that as NFL seasons fly by, it is a necessity for teams to capitalize on their positives and grow each week.

Williams’ sentiments clearly hold weight in the locker room as other teammates are pragmatic in their appraisal of where the team stands in their next three games. Six of the Giants’ final 13, are against teams that made the playoffs in 2022.

The schedule only gets tougher from here

New York will have to be ready for top-seeded Miami Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa following their contest against the Seattle Seahawks on Sunday. Tagovailoa is currently third in passing yards and averages the fewest time to throw in the NFL at 2.34 seconds per possession, as his high-speed receivers get off the line of scrimmage with ease and his offensive line keeps opposing front sevens from forcing him to scramble out of the pocket.

The Giants were fortunate to come out of the gates hot in 2022, but head coach Brian Daboll will need to galvanize his troops to right the ship as more losses in the next three weeks could seal their postseason fate prematurely.

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