The New York Giants‘ defense has been criticized heavily throughout the week. The criticism is completely deserved as the Giants’ defense allowed the Cowboys’ offense to gain a total of 494 yards of offense in week one. They also allowed Dak Prescott to have a career day with a perfect passer rating of 158.3.
Prescott was rarely pressured and usually had all day to throw. The Giants did not record a sack against the Cowboys and the entire pass-rushing unit seemed to have disappeared. This begs the question, where is the Giants’ pass-rush?
Lorenzo Carter’s Disappointing Start To The Season:
There was a lot of hype surround Lorenzo Carter entering his second season. Carter flashed his potential in limited playing time as a rookie and seemed ready for an expanded role in 2019. Lorenzo got off to a hot start at training camp but has fizzled out since.
Lorenzo Carter, despite all of his highlights in practice, was nowhere to be found in the preseason. He did not record a sack and rarely pressured the quarterback. The hope was that this was just due to limited playing time in the preseason, but, unfortunately, it was just more of the same in week one.
Lorenzo Carter is young and extremely athletic. He has a huge frame and a lot of speed. If he can develop his technique as a pass-rusher Carter could be a special player. But he is going to need to put it together soon if he wants to help New York turn their season around.
The Defensive Line’s Disappearance:
Like Carter, there was a fair amount of hype surrounding the Giants’ defensive line heading into the 2019 season. The Giants have a ton of young talent on their defensive line, but it has not been clearly evident so far this season.
B.J. Hill looked like a draft steal after recording 5.5 sacks in his rookie season. Hill was the only defensive lineman to perform up to his standards in week one. He was solid in run defense and finished with four total tackles on the game. Still, no signs of pass-rush in this unit.
Dexter Lawrence was maybe the most underwhelming player on the Giants’ defensive line in week one. Granted, he is a rookie, and maybe he just needs more time to acclimate to the pro-game, but he was almost nonexistent against the Cowboys.
The Giants’ second first-round draft pick in 2019 was meant to be an instant-impact rookie. Lawrence is an underrated pass-rusher, but even if it takes him some time to get that part of his game going, his giant frame and run-defense abilities should impact the game. Unfortunately, it did not in week one.
The Giants’ defensive line is young and inexperienced. That could be the reason for their lack of impact against Dallas. But the Giants’ pass-rush as a whole might have an even bigger problem than player performances.
Signs Of A Poorly Coached Defense:
The Giants’ defense looked unprepared and lost on Sunday in Dallas. Players blew their assignments left and right. Every piece of the defense struggled, even the proven veterans. Cornerbacks were constantly burned, the defensive line got no push, linebackers fell for every play action.
These are the signs of a poorly coached defense. The players seemed like they had no clue what to do at times. When running play-action, Dak Prescott was 12-13 for 192 yards and 3 touchdowns. This is inexcusable. The Giants’ defense just does not know how to defend against play-action.
This is a deeper issue than a lack of talent. The Giants’ defense is not coached well enough to scheme together pressure or to cover play-action passes. Giants linebackers bit on just about every play-fake, despite the Cowboys running play-action on almost every pass.
This lack of discipline in the linebacker corps needs to be fixed heading into week two. The Giants have a good matchup against a turnover-happy Bills offense, led by second-year quarterback Josh Allen. If the Giants want to beat the Bills, their defense needs to keep Josh Allen from having a career day like Prescott.