The New York Giants allowed 17 straight points in a week two defeat against the Chicago Bears in the first half. They backed up that performance with a second-half gem, not allowing a single scoring possession for the Bears.
Despite their strong effort, the points they did give up were a direct result of poor coverage from the CB2 position. Corey Ballentine allowed one touchdown, and Isaac Yiadom missed multiple tackles that would have helped the Giants limit their points allowed.
The Giants simply can’t go on with Isaac Yiadom and Corey Ballentine as their second options at cornerback, considering they both looked lost against the Chicago Bears for a majority of the game.
Check out this play, where the Bears are attempting a 3rd-and-1 conversion, but Yiadom simply runs the opposite direction and then proceeds to miss a clear-cut tackle that would have minimized the gain from David Montgomery.
I'm pretty sure Yiadom and Ballentine are clueless like 99% of the time pic.twitter.com/uOdL7EY8ac
— Justin Penik (@JustinPenik) September 20, 2020
Moving on to the touchdown Ballentine allowed against Darnell Mooney. Mitchell Trubisky had about six seconds in the pocket, which benefited Mooney entirely, but Ballentine’s positioning and lack of aggressiveness attacking the ball was borderline embarrassing.
Mooney for six, Ballentine to the bench pic.twitter.com/Vguw3gqDdN
— The Giant Insider Newspaper & Podcast (@GiantInsider) September 22, 2020
In this clip, not only does Ballentine get beat immediately, but he loses positioning and ends up falling at the heals of Mooney, who easily secures the touchdown and walks into the sunset. Even though this was essentially a protection touchdown, Ballentine’s fundamentals completely failed him on this play, something James Bradberry or most other starting corners in the NFL might not succumb to.
Ballantine currently has a 41.6 overall grade, per PFF. He has allowed six receptions, which ranks 47th in the league.
How can the New York Giants solve this problem at CB2?
One option that makes a lot of sense for Big Blue is Ross Cockrell, who came close to signing a deal with New York before walking away. While it might have been a monetary issue, Cockrell would provide a major upgrade as a second cornerback position and actually make the Giants a competitive team.
That second spot manned by YiadomÂ and Ballantine is a major liability and has been the product of multiple touchdowns for opposing offenses. Signing a player like Cockrell would immediately make the defense better.
In 2019, Cockrell started 11 games and made 14 appearances for the Carolina Panthers alongside Bradberry. He tallied 62 combined tackles, eight passes defended, and two interceptions. Over the past four seasons, he has eight recorded turnovers. More relevant, he posted a 55.2% completion rate against, allowing just one touchdown. Overall, he is a more than capable corner that would immediately upgrade the position. It is possible he wants a multi-year deal, but at this point in time, the Giants have an opportunity to make their defense far better, and resisting the temptation will only hurt them.