With Week 2 quickly approaching for the New York Giants, the coaching staff is well on their way to rounding out a strategy to stop a Carolina Panthers offense that consists of far more receiving talent compared to the Tennessee Titans.
With DJ Moore, Robbie Anderson, Terrace Marshall, and even Christian McCaffrey out of the backfield, the Giants have a tall task ahead to stop a Baker Mayfield led group.
However, if there’s any singular way to stop an opposing team, it is through heavily blitzing and putting pressure on opposing quarterbacks. That is Wink Martindale‘s primary strategy, and while his defense didn’t show that same aggression against the Titans, stacking the box to stop Derrick Henry, that is about to change with a more shifty running back in Christian McCaffrey and more refined receiving talent.
The Giants blitzed on only 48.6% of the Titans’ drop-backs in Week 1, per Pro Football Reference, which ranked as the 3rd highest rate in the league, but Martindale has still yet to unleash the full capacity of his unit. His two pass rushers on the outside in Week 1, Jihad Ward and Oshane Ximines produced seven tackles, two quarterback hits, and three total pressures. The return of Kayvon Thibodeaux would go a long way, and the star rookie has already indicated his desire to play this upcoming weekend, despite not being 100% healthy.
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The Panthers have an entirely different offensive structure:
The Panthers lost their Week 1 battle against the Cleveland Browns, producing 24 points against a solid Browns defense. Mayfield threw for 235 yards, including a touchdown and interception, but gave up four sacks in the process.
McCaffrey finished with 33 yards on 10 carries, presenting a significant issue for the Panthers and their run-blocking scheme. In fact, the Panthers ranked 28th in pass blocking in Week 1 and 24th in run blocking, per PFF. Overall, their offensive line is young and inexperienced at several important spots, meaning they are vulnerable to pressure and unique blitz packages.
The New York Giants need to force turnovers:
The Giants need to rattle Mayfield early and force him to make mistakes, but their coverage needs to hold up on the back-end if Martindale plans to send the house and leave his corners on an island. Without CB2 Aaron Robinson in the lineup after having his appendix removed, the Giants may look to practice squad CB Fabian Moreau, who has starting experience.
Supplementing a major loss in the secondary isn’t easy for a team that has a serious lack of depth there, but blizing consistently can mask deficiencies on the defensive side.