Film Room: Giants Run Defense a No-Show

Giants Run Defense a No-Show

The New York Giants front seven has had a tough season.  The unit has had so many issues that it is truly hard to know where to start.  The Giants rank 28th in the NFL in run defense and rank 30th in the league in sacks.

The season started off on a bad foot when Leonard Fournette and Blake Bortles were running all over the Giants defense.   They proceeded to let up over 100 yards rushing against the Cowboys, Saints, Panthers, Eagles, etc..  These were all games BEFORE trading their best run-defender in Damon “Snacks” Harrison.

Since trading Harrison, things have only gotten worse.  The “fearsome” Giants front seven has allowed their opponents to run for 143 yards per game in the last seven games.  Youngsters Dalvin Tomlinson and B.J. Hill have had issues adjusting to their new roles.  Mario Edwards and R.J. McIntosh are better suited as pass rushing defensive tackles/ends in James Bettcher’s defense.

Olivier Vernon has been out of position and failing to set the edge all season. Kareem Martin has been the “best” of the bunch, but that’s not saying much.  B.J. Goodson, the player whose strong suit was supposed to be in the run game, has been a non-factor all year long.  Not to leave anyone out, Alec Ogletree has had trouble shedding blocks and has often over-pursued running plays.

Long story short, the Giants run defense has been a disaster in the 2018 season.  The run defense against the Titans was once again a “no show”.

Sunday vs Tennessee Titans 

Any Giant fan that has watched this defense all season long knew that this matchup could present a problem.  The Titans are run-first, run-second offense that consists of a big offensive line and an even bigger running back in Derrick Henry.  The defensive unit knew what they had to do in order to keep the Titans offense in check.  They had to stop the run.

The Giants talked all week about not allowing Henry to run all over them the same way he did in his previous matchup against the Jaguars.  They were unable to back up their talk as Henry revoked memories of Brandon Jacobs in the mid-2000s.  The big back had his way with the Giants defense to the tune of 170 yards on 33 carries (5.2 yards per carry).  The Titans fed Henry early and often.  Every series Henry was breaking off a long gain.

The Giants defensive line was blown off the ball as if they were on skates all game, highlighted by terrible play upfront from BJ Hill and Tomlinson.  Play after play the core of this defense was missing tackles.   Ogletree and Goodson couldn’t shed a block if their life depended on it.  Mind you, this was a Titans offensive line that was missing their solid Right Tackle Jack Conklin.

Marcus Mariota only had to throw for 88 yards to lead the Titans to victory.  The Titans dominated the time of possession which did not allow the Giant offense to get into any kind of rhythm.  The Giant defense knew what they had to do and simply did not have the talent to do it.

The New York Giant front seven gets the “Dud of the Week” award.