While the defense has been far from the unit to blame for the 1-4 start to the season for the New York Giants, they have surely had their fair share of struggles. Missed assignments in coverage, poor tackling, and miscommunications have all contributed to lackluster play so far this season, but one key factor has really hurt the Giants.
The New York Giants need to improve this facet of the defense immediately:
Pass-rush. There has been none of it, and the entire point of transitioning to a 3-4 defense was to improve the pass-rush by utilizing the linebackers in a more aggressive fashion. While exempting week 5, the Giants rank dead last in the league with just six sacks, and after week 5, they have seven. There is a serious problem with the defense when it comes to getting to the quarterback.
The answer could surely be OLB Olivier Vernon, who according to head coach Pat Shurmur returned two weeks ago, but is still nursing a high-ankle sprain.
Vernon would bring the strength and presence to rush the opposing QB and force more wayward throws. Safety Landon Collins applied pressure to Cam Newton on one of his interceptions last Sunday, and the lack of it has allowed passers to thread the Giants throughout close games.
New York has allowed the most points in the NFC East at 128. The team behind them has just 104 (Philadelphia).
Now, it was expected that the defense would take time to gel, especially with two rookies featuring in the trenches more than anticipate. Both Lorenzo Carter and B.J. Hill have had heavy workloads this season, and they have performed well in certain areas. There’s a lot of improvement to be made, but they will be key contributors moving forward.
The Giants will face a tough Eagles team on a short week on Thursday. They will need every player to step up and perform at a high level; Philly has a solid offensive line and a young slinger in Carson Wentz, it will be a challenge, but the Giants have the pieces to emerge victorious.