The New York Giants’ defense has been their saving grace this season while the offense has played underwhelmingly. However, over the past few weeks, the offense and quarterback Daniel Jones have taken significant strides forward, balancing the scale and offering the team a new look.
Despite the defense playing above their weight class, they have had their own deficiencies. One of their weakest links is at CB2, a position that has been a revolving door since the start of the 2020 campaign. At first, the Giants feature CB Corey Ballantine, who enjoyed 92% of defensive snaps in week one but saw his share drop to 45% in week two. By the time week four rolled around, Ballantine wasnâ€™t even involved in the defense. He was purely named a kick returner and eventually was cut and picked up by the New York Jets.
Then you have Ryan Lewis, who played in five games before injuring his hamstring, being placed on injured reserve. He has played 90+ percent of reps from week 5-7, but his injury allowed former third round pick Isaac Yiadom to take his spot.
The New York Giants are watching Yiadom grow before their eyes:
Issac has played 100% of snaps the past three weeks, totaling 17 tackles, two passes defended, and a compiled 65.5% completion rate against. He has allowed three touchdowns and an average 135.4 passer rating. Overall, he has been a liability in coverage, but Yiadom’s week 10 performance against the Philadelphia eagles represented his best game of the year. He finished with a 65.1 overall grade, per PFF, giving up three receptions for 37 yards.
Oddly, Philadelphia targeted James Bradberry more in coverage, which ended up being a terrible mistake. Isaac held his own against some quality pass-catchers, and the Giants desperately needed him to rise to the occasion as they attempted to win their first game against the Eagles since 2016.
Isaac’s development isnâ€™t due to luck, it is due to coaching. Coordinator Patrick Graham has done a phenomenal job fitting his players to their strengths and utilizing them properly. Defensive backs coach Jerome Henderson has also been a focal point in preparing his players for live-action. Versatility in the secondary and the ability to adapt is how he trained his guys, and it is showing fantastic results in the shape of Bradberry and Yiadom.
The Giants are expected to get back Lewis in the coming days, but they might stick with Yiadom at CB2 for the time being as he continues to develop in the role. Heâ€™s a far superior athlete but lacks the technical and fundamental side of football, but it seems as if heâ€™s slowly becoming a serviceable option at the position.