The New York Giants‘ defense exceeded all expectations in 2020. The Giants’ defense allowed only 349.3 yards per game, the twelfth-best average by a defense in the NFL this season. New York’s biggest strength in 2020 was their run defense, allowing only 111.4 rushing yards per game (tenth-best).
The Giants benefit from having an impressive core of defensive lineman holding down the front of their defense. The trio of Leonard Williams, Dalvin Tomlinson, and Dexter Lawrence make up the strongest positional unit on the Giants’ roster.
The Giants’ defense improved drastically in 2020 when compared to 2019. New York allowed only 22.3 points per game in 2020 after allowing 28.2 points per game in 2019. The defense is the strength of the New York Giants, but there is still room for improvements.
Heading into the offseason, the Giants are focused on fixing the offense. But they could afford to allocate some assets towards the defensive side of the ball as well.
Where can the Giants improve on defense?
The Giants have an excellent, youthful defensive line. Their linebacker corps is led by Blake Martinez, a stud inside linebacker that totaled 151 combined tackles this season. Cornerback James Bradberry had an elite season in the Giants’ secondary. And, holding down the back end, is a phenomenal trio of safeties made up by Jabrill Peppers, Logan Ryan, and Xavier McKinney.
The Giants have good players in their front seven and their secondary. But neither one of these units is perfect. Within the Giants’ front seven, there is a major weakness at the edge rusher position. New York’s pass-rush was solid this year, but mainly because of their excellent interior defensive linemen. The pass-rush was lacking off of the edge and New York needs to find a way to improve that position this offseason.
The secondary has an obvious weakness as well. While Bradberry performed as a shutdown cornerback this season, the Gaints also enjoyed a solid rookie season out of Darnay Holmes in the slot. However, opposite of James Bradberry, the Giants had a revolving door at their second cornerback position. From Ryan Lewis to Isaac Yiadom and even safety Julian Love, the Giants experimented plenty at the cornerback position and struggled to find consistent play.
One could debate which position is a bigger position of weakness for the Giants entering the 2021 offseason. Regardless the Giants need to improve these areas to take their defense to the next level. The Giants should prioritize adding or developing talent off the edge and at their second cornerback position in 2021.