As a follow up to yesterday’s article on the continuing improvements of the New York Giants defense, in particular their secondary, the NFL has wholeheartedly concurred by awarding cornerback Terrell Thomas the NFC Defensive Player of the week Award.
The award comes not only as recognition but serves to reinforce the fact that the Giants defense is rekindling the type of form for which they were so revered, and renowned, for for many years. After compiling two defensive shutouts in their last two games, the Giants D have moved to address their record-setting points-against total by allowing just 14 over the course of their last two games.
The stellar work that began against the Minnesota Vikings in Week 7 was continued against the Philadelphia Eagles this past Sunday. Naturally, the flip side to the argument will be the fact that both opponents had rotational quarterback issues that served to aid the Giants’ cause. A level-headed response would be that you can only beat what is put in front of you, whilst also pointing out that there were some A-grade players among the opposing offensive ranks that felt the full force of this resurgent defense.
The last time a Giants cornerback received the award in question was back in 2008 during Thomas’ rookie season, since which time he has been on a long and winding road. Thomas established himself as a regular starter during his sophomore season and much was expected from the USC prospect as he went on to start all but one regular season game in the two years that followed.
The next two years could not have been more contrasting. Thomas tore his ACL during preseason and was forced to sit out the 2011 season in its entirety, he was also forced to sit back and watch his teammates haul in a 4th Super Bowl championship in franchise history . The ACL was repaired but subsequently damaged again as Thomas hit the comeback trail in 2012, putting an end to yet another regular season and given foundation to the rumors that this was to be yet another promising career cut short.
Given his injury struggles, the awarding of the NFC Defensive Player of the Month is even more significant in regards to Thomas. In Week 8 of the 2013 regular season, Thomas turned in his most productive performance since his ACL nightmare began. He led the Giants with 11 tackles (10 solo), defended one pass, made one interception and also forced a fumble.
Thomas ticks another box for a Giants defense that are getting healthier and seemingly stronger by the week. Given the continuing issues with the offense, it appears that continuing production on the other side of the ball will be imperative to any Giants’ success from here on in.