Eli Manning‘s free fall from football paradise has effectively masked one of the New York Giants‘ most gaping holes: The pass rush. Through six weeks, the Giants have just five sacks, placing them second-to-last in the NFL to the Pittsburgh Steelers. The Steelers have one less sack, but have also played in one less game.
Opposing quarterbacks have had enough time to chain-smoke a pack of cigarettes between the snap and any kind of pressure from the Giants’ defensive front.
Last year’s struggles and offseason back surgery have followed Jason Pierre-Paul into 2013. In his last 13 games, the All-Pro defensive end has recorded just one sack. Also, Justin Tuck has only half of a sack this season. These are two players that have had 10 or more sacks in a season.
ESPN New York’s Dan Graziano quoted head coach Tom Coughlin in a Friday article:
“The quarterback pretty much stands back there and does what he wants to do without a lot of pressure,” Coughlin said after a day spent reviewing the game film of the loss to the Chicago Bears with his players and coaches. “He can run the ball when he wants to and comes out of the pocket when he wants to. That’s two weeks in a row. He goes 24-for-36 in the passing game. He stands back there and he’s very accurate and not a lot of stuff is being contested there. We don’t get any turnovers. We don’t get any kind of pressure on the quarterback.”
Even on blitzes, the Giants can’t get remotely close to the quarterback. It puts a tremendous amount of pressure on a team’s secondary when the defensive line cannot generate any kind of pass rush.
A lot of Giants fans have been pleading for the firing of offensive coordinator Kevin Gilbride. If things don’t turn around fast, defensive coordinator Perry Fewell is going to find himself in a similar position.