The New York Giants weren’t the best third down team last year. Or the year before that. The Giants have struggled on both sides of the ball but the defense is notable for coming up just short a lot of the time in 2019, with a number of games where a couple more stops could have put the Giants in a much better position to win.
But they have a new signing who believes third down will be more enjoyable this year. That’s Kyler Fackrell, who was brought in to assist with the pass rush when it looked like there was no way Markus Golden would return.
Golden is back for another year now but the Giants still have the addition of Fackrell, who is looking to repeat his sole season with double digit sacks. Fackrell will have to compete with Golden to get time on the field, but that’s not a concern of his based on his statements.
He’s excited about the talent the Giants have at outside linebacker this year.
Third down to be a fun down in 2020?
“I think we’ve been working, we’ve been getting a lot better in the one on ones and everything. That work has been great. We were watching some clips from last year with pressures and stuff,” Fackrell told reporters. He then praised teammate Oshane Ximines, as well as Lorenzo Carter. “As a rookie, X produced. I think he had four, four and a half sacks, which is awesome for a rookie. The same kind of thing with Zo. He’s going into his third year.”
But most notably, he says third downs should be better than they were last year.
“It’s a fun room, it’s a fun group to be a part of. The mixture of us as outside linebackers as well as all the talent in the interior D-line. I think third down is going to be a fun down.”
The Giants getting sacks on third down is an appealing concept, but the team’s pass rush hasn’t been up to par for at least the past three years. This year, there’s a bit more depth on the edge. A chance to change that legacy from recent years.
Time will tell whether or not the players on the current defensive front are able to take advantage of that chance in front of themselves.