A resurgence from the New York Giants‘ defensive unit is the main reason the team is not dead in the water after nine games.
It’s a major turnaround considering how the defense started the year. The Giants allowed 30 points or more in each of their first five games of the season. They were surrendering points at a record rate and a big reason was a failure to pressure the quarterback.
Over the course of the first seven games of the year, the Giants collected a mere six sacks, which had them ranked last in the NFL at the time. However, in the last two games, New York has recorded eight sacks (four in each game) and the impact on the field has been evident. The team hasn’t surrendered a passing touchdown since Week 6 against Jay Cutler and the Chicago Bears.
Mathias Kiwanuka has collected two sacks in the past two games and Jason Pierre-Paul (remember him) even had a sack against the Oakland Raiders. Pierre-Paul showed some speed and explosiveness he hasn’t displayed all year before leaving the game with a shoulder injury. He should be good to go this Sunday.
Sure, people can point to the weakness of the Giants’ opponents in recent weeks. After all, in their three wins, New York faced Josh Freeman in his Minnesota debut, rookie Matt Barkley and an inconsistent Terrelle Pryor, who is still trying to find his footing in the NFL.
The Giants keep that streak going next week as they host the Green Bay Packers led by third-string quarterback Scott Tolzien.
Either way, New York is handling bad teams, which is all you can ask of them right now. We’ve all seen what kind of damage the G-Men can do with an effective pass rush and the results can be lethal. In the coming weeks, the Giants will need that pass rush to turn up the heat, and keep it there.