The New York Giants have had a rocky start this season but picked up their second win when they defeated Washington on the road on Sunday. It’s the second time the Giants have beaten Washington this year and while they were only able to pull out a narrow win of three points, there’s reasons to think the result signals good things for the future.
Daniel Jones had a game without an interception, after a week where he was heavily criticized for his turnovers, and the Giants were able to get the running game going better than in some of their previous outings. However, many of the real top performers for the Giants are on their defense this season.
Two elite players for the Giants defense
Blake Martinez leads the NFL in tackles with 92.
In 9 games, Leonard Williams has 5.0 sacks. J.J. Watt has 4.0 sacks in 8 games.
— Art Stapleton (@art_stapleton) November 9, 2020
It’s been a while since the Giants have had a star linebacker but it’s safe to say they have one now in Blake Martinez, who leads the league in tackles. He also has six tackles for a loss, which is more than his direct competitors for the leading tackler spot.
Martinez registered 155 tackles during his last season with Green Bay and it looks likely that he’ll break that mark by the end of this season given his current pace. It’s also worth giving some credit to the coaching staff. After all, this is a step up from Martinez’s performance in Green Bay and some fans were skeptical at first over whether he deserved the money. The staff likely had some role to play in the raise in performance.
Leonard Williams is another player that has picked up his performance this season, with 5 sacks so far. It puts him in the top 20 for the NFL’s pass rushers this season. The number may improve further based on what we’ve seen from Williams so far.
If these two players hadn’t stepped it up this season, it would have certainly reflected badly on GM Dave Gettleman and would likely have a negative impact on Gettleman’s job status with the team. But with these two additions becoming key members of the team, the Giants front office is faced with more complex and less clear decisions once we approach the offseason.