The New York Giants put up 52 points in their win against the New Orleans Saints this past Sunday. What may be forgotten in this game is how the defense played. The Giants certainly helped out by putting up more than enough points for the victory. However, the Giants will need to buckle down defensively if they want to win the final three games.
To the Giants’ credit, the Saints moved the ball on their defense throughout the game, but on two possessions they were able to hold the Saints’ offense to field goals. Brees wasn’t as effective as he would like also, and he was also picked off twice by S Stevie Brown.
Brown has seven interceptions in about a half season’s worth of playing time. That is pretty impressive. The Giants will need that kind of performance from him against two quarterbacks who still have a lot to prove in Atlanta Falcons’ QB Matt Ryan and Baltimore Ravens’ QB Joe Flacco.
The Falcons’ defense and the Ravens’ defense are better than the Saints’ defense. As a matter of fact, every defense in the NFL are better than the Saints. The Giants’ defense can’t expect the Giants to score 52 points again. They will need to play better, and here’s how they’ll be able to do so:
They need to go with the three-safety look almost exclusively. The Giants have a solid linebacker core when LB Chase Blackburn and LB Jacquian Williams are healthy. They already have LB Mathias Kiwanuka and LB Michael Boley as well. However, Kiwanuka is usually asked to rush the passer as a down lineman, so his opportunities will not be affected.
Williams isn’t an every down linebacker so they can rotate him in on special plays or to give someone a blow. However, when the Giants go with the three safety look, it puts more speed out onto the field. S Kenny Phillips is hurt now, but Will Hill is capable of filling in temporarily while Antrel Rolle seems comfortable playing slot corner or just roaming around the box.
The three-safety look gives the pass rushers time to get to the quarterback. As was the case in their win against the Green Bay Packers, QB Aaron Rodgers was having a difficult time finding his receivers open, resulting in a number of coverage sacks. The Giants aren’t terrible against the run, but they have given up big plays in the air. If they want to win out, they’ll need to make that a distant memory.