Football is the brutal theory of Darwinism applied to sports, and no sport changes as fast as the NFL between seasons. To stay competitive, teams must draft good players, sign free agents and re-sign current players to smart contracts. If they can’t do this then they will look like the New York Jets and suffer a year without hope.
The biggest disappointment of the 2012 NFL season for the New York Giants was the inconsistent play of the defense. Last year, the Giants’ defense was 25th against the rush, 28th against the pass and 31st in total yards given up. The only team given up more total yards was the New Orleans Saints.
Still, opposing teams didn’t put up an obscene amount of points on the board, thanks to turnovers, as the Giants’ averaged giving up 21.5 per game. Eli Manning and the offense scored on averaged 26.8 points last season thereby bailing out the defense’s atrocious performance. At 9-7, it wasn’t good enough to make the playoffs unlike two years ago when they entered the playoffs with the same record and won their second Super Bowl in five years.
At the 2013 NFL draft, Giants’ GM Jerry Reese decided to sure up the defensive line with two selections (Johnathan Hankins and Damontre Moore) and added a safety (Cooper Taylor), but neglected to draft a linebacker.
Two weeks ago, the Giants’ signed former Oakland Raiders linebacker Aaron Curry who spent most of last season on the physical unable to perform (PUP) list and was cut by the cash strapped Raiders to save salary-cap room. Curry says that his bum knees have been rehabbed but it remains to be seen if he can play a full season, making the team’s linebacker corps the weakest part of the Giants’ defense.
The evolution of the 2013 Giants defense must contain the new breed of quarterbacks who run the read option. Until we know what Chip Kelly is up to with the Philadelphia Eagles, the Giants main rival will be the Washington Redskins.
Big Blue needs to bounce back from a uncharacteristically bad 2012 defensive campaign that has traditionally been their strength. In the next series of 53-man roster themed articles we will take a look at who will make the team for the defense.