The New York Giants defense has been up and down all season long. They’ve had spectacular games (Carolina Panthers, San Francisco 49ers, Green Bay Packers), but also been burned by several teams (Dallas Cowboys, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Cincinnati Bengals). They are eighth in the league at just 20.8 points allowed per game but that is mostly due to the amount of turnovers they’ve been able to force.
They are 25th in yards allowed and 27th in passing yards allowed.
However, the biggest issue this season has been the inconsistency of the defensive line. The pass rush disappears in games and that really gets the defense into trouble. Defensive coordinator Perry Fewell claims his game plan sometimes reduces the chances for the front four to get sacks.
Perry Fewell adds he is not “exonerating” his ends from getting sacks and he still wants sacks. But says game plan sometimes affects that
— Ohm Youngmisuk (@NotoriousOHM) December 13, 2012
Fewell spoke to the media today and mentioned (prior to the above statement) his defensive line executed the game plan against the New Orleans Saints well, but that he did not give them many opportunities for sacks. The Giants only have 31 sacks this season and have only gotten 15.5 from their big three of Jason Pierre-Paul, Osi Umenyiora and Justin Tuck (three players have more by themselves).
This sounds like an excuse to me. In what universe would the defensive line not need to bring pressure? Especially against a high flying offense like the Saints, who love to air it out?
It is not like they dominated the Saints as a defense. They gave up 487 total yards and 345 yards passing. The four turnovers created ended up being the major difference in the game, but was also the only way the Saints were stopped.
While the defense has shown the ability to create turnovers in a majority of their games, it is a bad sign when turnovers are the only means for stopping an offense. The stats show when they don’t create turnovers, they lose. In their five losses they only forced five turnovers total despite forcing 34 on the season.
If the pass rush doesn’t come along, they won’t have anything to fall back on when the turnovers disappear. Instead of making excuses for the defensive line Fewell should be challenging them to perform better. There are certain expectations for this group and, by all accounts, they are not meeting those expectations.