The New York Giants weren’t one of the top defenses in the NFL last season by any means – the team was one of the very worst teams when it came to the pass rush which showed in several close games where the Giants could have won if they were able to pull out one or two more defensive stops, and even one less touchdown or field goal given up could have resulted in a win.
The secondary wasn’t the best part of the team last year but it also would have been crazy to say it was great, and it looks like the team is going to have some growing pains in that area this season while moving from starters such as Landon Collins and Eli Apple and transitioning to a younger group that includes DeAndre Baker and Jabrill Peppers.
However, not everyone is down on the defense following the sweeping changes that were made during this recent offseason, which gives the Giants one of the younger lineups in the entire league going into the 2019 season.
“We will be better. There is no reason for us not to be a top-10 defense. [Or] top-five. We are going to be a great defense. Weâ€™ve got the right pieces here. Weâ€™ve got to go put in the work and do things better than we did last year,” said outside linebacker Alec Ogletree on Wednesday, one of the team’s better starters from last season and a player known for his versatility at the position.
“It keeps guys like me fresh and on our toes,” Ogletree added, on the subject of the overall young age of the defense. “We have to be able to teach those guys the right way to do things and make sure weâ€™re on top of our game. Everybody has talent in this league. Granted some have more experience than us, but I donâ€™t think thatâ€™s an excuse as to why you canâ€™t be a great defense.”
While it does look like the Giants will be somewhat talented on defense this year with potential to improve, them being one of the top 10 defenses in the league looks like it might be dangerous hype at this point, setting high expectations that fans will be disappointed in when the results on the field end up different from the prediction.
That’s not to deny that the Giants have added talent since last season – the secondary might just be deep depending on whether the offseason hype around Peppers translates into good play on the field, and whether or not DeAndre Baker and Julian Love adapt quickly to life in the NFL.
The addition of Dexter Lawrence could be one of the better ones the defensive line has received in years, and Markus Golden could easily become a better Olivier Vernon if he can recover some of his skills from past years that seemed lost with injury.
But none of those things are certain to happen, and so for now, at the start of training camp, it’s hard to place the Giants defense as good or bad. If anything, they might just be one of the NFL’s biggest unknowns right now.