By Spiro Kasabian @nyspawtsguy_spi
Coming into the 2019 season, most Giant fans expected to see some struggles in the backend of the New York Giant defense. The team employed many new faces in the secondary, with many of them being very young and unproven commodities. Playing defensive back in the NFL is hard for veterans, let alone rookies.
The Giant secondary, coupled with a non-existent pass rush, looked totally overmatched against a good Dallas Cowboy offense. DeAndre Baker, Antonio Hamilton, Grant Haley, Antoine Bethea, and Jabrill Peppers combined to allow 16 receptions on 16 targets against Dak Prescott. Those numbers are simply unacceptable, as are the ones below.
- Amari Cooper: 9 tgts, 6 rec, 106 yards, 1 TD
- Michael Gallup: 7 tgts, 7 rec, 158 yards
- Randall Cobb: 5 tgts, 4 rec, 69 yards, 1 TD
- Blake Jarwin: 3 tgts, 3 rec, 39 yards, 1 TD
- Jason Witten: 4 tgts, 3 rec, 15 yards, 1 TD
Antonio Hamilton, a special teamer who was somehow thrust into the starting lineup and splitting snaps with Deandre Baker, was picked on mercilessly. Hamilton failed to stop Randall Cobb short of a first down on third-and-10 from the 18 turned into a 14-yard gain. That led to an easy pitch-and-catch between Prescott and Witten to put the Cowboys up for good. Little plays like that, against very good teams such as the Cowboys, need to be made.
Baker looks bad:
Deandre Baker looked like a player that missed significant time in his first NFL preseason. Thrust into a starting role, the rookie struggled against a good receiver in Amari Cooper. Baker was beat a couple of times and looked a tad bit rusty and a step or two slow. The entire secondary displayed bad technique and missed tackles.
“It’s just an opportunity to bounce back and show what I can do,” Baker said. “Just fight through adversity. I didn’t have the best game that I wanted to have, so just bounce back and show what I can do next week.”
That is the type of attitude you want your young corner to have. You need to flush the bad plays and games and move on to the next one.
Week Two: Buffalo
Look for the Giants to make personnel changes heading into the Buffalo game. The Bills do not have nearly as potent of an offense as the Cowboys do, so I expect the communication issues and bad play to be cleaned up. I expect to see way less of Antonio Hamilton, and more of Baker, Ballentine, and Love in week 2.