The New York Giants had one of the NFL’s best defenses in 2020. The unit ranked top-ten in points allowed per game as Joe Judge and Patrick Graham made strong impressions during their first year coaching the Giants. The Giants’ defense really turned things around after allowing the third-most points per game in 2019.
The acquisitions that the team made in the 2020 offseason were crucial for the defense’s success last season. New York made a few splash signings on the defensive side of the ball, adding the likes of James Bradberry, Blake Martinez, and Logan Ryan. This new core of veteran defenders surrounded by young talent allowed the Giants’ defense to outplay all expectations last season.
James Bradberry was selected to his first-career Pro Bowl in his first season with the Giants in 2020. Many felt like Blake Martinez should have been selected to one too, however, the Giants’ star linebacker received no such honor. According to Pro Football Focus, heading into 2021, Blake Martinez has a great chance of earning an even more prestigious honor: an All-Pro selection.
Why Blake Martinez could be an All-Pro in 2021
Blake Martinez was phenomenal for the New York Giants in 2020. The Giants have suffered through various struggles from the inside linebacker position for years. Last season, that changed with the arrival of Blake Martinez.
Martinez spent the first four years of his career with the Green Bay Packers. In 2020, he signed a three-year, $30.75 million contract with the Giants. Blake Martinez was the fifth-most valuable off-ball linebacker in the NFL, according to PFF’s Wins Above Replacement metric. His PFF grade was an impressive 75.9 overall last year.
In 2020, Blake Martinez totaled 151 combined tackles, 9 tackles for loss, 3 sacks, and 2 forced fumbles in his career year. This was the fourth season in a row that Martinez totaled 140 or more combined tackles. He has been consistently one of the best run-stuffing linebackers in the NFL throughout his career, but Blake Martinez has never been recognized as such. That could change in 2021 if Martinez can put together another impressive season with the New York Giants.