From the 80’s through the early 2000s, the NY Giants Defense was the gold standard– sort of the way the Chicago Bears and Ravens are talked about today. Since 2002 though, it has been a different story, as we have had an extremely lucky string of all-pro defensive ends, and little else.
Big Blue has an uncanny way of “rising to the occasion,” to the tune of two Super Bowls in the past decade. But when that occasion is not beckoning, we are met with the reality of last Sunday vs. the Steelers, in which if it weren’t for Big Ben keeping us in the game, the Giants should have been blown out. The tackling was a flat out embarrassment.
To quote my friend, former Plymouth State football coach Joe Appelbaum’s poetic text to me from MetLife Stadium on Sunday, “I can’t believe that I’m actually missing Chase Blackburn.” Yes, it has come to that, Giants fans. Pulling for the guy who watched the first half of last season from his easy chair, because he couldn’t make an NFL roster. Or maybe the injured Keith Rivers is better than we think…probably not!
We are all pulling for Mike Herzlich. Heck, my son has leukemia- nobody’s pulling for him more than I am. But damn, was he soft at the point of attack. He couldn’t get off blocks, and fell into traps of being over-aggressive and running past the ball carrier. Within the first two series, it was obvious that the Steelers were keying on him in all facets of their offense.
The Giants secondary is shaky to begin with…Lord help them if Antrel Rolle goes down. Lets not even talk about Stevie Brown being replaced with soon to be healthy, buck lack of performance…Kenny Phillips.
Can someone tell me why is Perry Fewell is rotating and resting Justin Tuck, Jason Pierre-Paul and Osi Umenyiora, all active and healthy? If someone is going to sit…let it be Osi. JPP is the best defensive end in the league. He needs to be on the field and Perry Fewell needs to let him loose.
Captain Tuck needs to be on the field too, even if just for leadership purposes. He doesn’t look to me like a guy who physically needs a blow every couple of plays! If I’m the Steelers or Bengals and I see JPP on the sidelines on ANY play…I am happy. Hey Perry- Can we try to make the other team UNHAPPY this week?
Let’s hope that this little hiccup gets resolved against a soft Bengals team, and rectified over the upcoming bye week.
Andy Pritikin, GiantsRush Featured Columnist
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