Despite finishing the 2017 campaign with the 27th ranked run-defense in the league, the New York Giants have added several essential pieces to help change the narrative in the months ahead. The defensive line features Damon “Snacks” Harrison, Dalvin Tomlinson, and B.J. Hill. Two of the assumed starting three have less than two years of experience, which would question the idea that the Giants could have one of the league’s most prolific run-stopping units next season.
Having Harrison automatically gives the Giants the boost they need to land in the top-10, but as we saw last year, without a group of solid linebackers to plug the holes, it’s near impossible to effectively stop the run. Trading for Alec Ogletree and drafting Lorenzo Carter should help exponentially. Additionally, B.J. Goodson should be a solid secondary inside linebacker alongside Ogletree. Goodson recorded 17 tackles in week one of the 2017 season, but failed to replicate the performance due to consistent injuries.
How did the New York Giants defense fair against the run last season?
Big Blue allowed 4.2 YPC and 120.8 YPG to opposing running backs in 2017, which indicates a porous defensive unit and surely doesn’t promote any sort of optimism for the coming season.
It takes all 11 members of the defense to truly reach their goals, but with the acquisitions and fortifications made by GM Dave Gettleman, I’m confident we will see a major boost in rankings and overall effectiveness.
The influx of talent at the linebacker position and the installation of the 3-4 defense will ultimately be the reason the Giants have one of, if not the best run-stopping unit in the league. Having physical linebackers to play the run in a scheme that heavily focuses on blitzing will only keep the offense honest and force them to pass the ball.