The New York Giants may have stumbled into a diamond in the rough for the second straight season.
Last year, injuries to the wide receivers gave a little-known wide receiver named Victor Cruz a shot to start. 13 games later he had shattered the Giants franchise record for receiving yards. When Kenny Phillips went down with a sprained MCL a few weeks back, a similar opportunity was presented to Stevie Brown, who has ran with it and made a name for himself.
Brown has shown a knack for being around the ball. While he can struggle in coverage at times, he has made big plays in just about every single game while filling in for Phillips.
In the last four games, which Brown started, he has 21 tackles, four interceptions and one fumble recovery. He capped off the month of October with a dominating game against the Dallas Cowboys. He had two interceptions and a fumble recovery and was voted the NFC Defensive Player of the Week.
The question now becomes, what do the Giants do with Kenny Phillips? Phillips practiced fully on Wednesday, indicating he’ll be good to go when the Giants take on the Pittsburgh Steelers this Sunday (assuming the game isn’t cancelled due to the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy).
The smart thing to do would be to give Phillips his spot back, considering there was a reason he was the starter in the first place, and utilize the depth at safety to improve the pass defense. The Giants currently rank 26th against the pass, so shaking things up could be the way to a solution.
The mostly likely scenario is that Phillips will return to the starting lineup and Brown will still find his way onto the field, similar to the way Deon Grant did in the past two seasons.