Mid Season Report Card
The defensive line has played vastly different when comparing the defensive vs. the run and the pass. The run defense has been tremendous over the last several weeks, as the team has shut down some of the best running backs in the league such as Matt Forte, Adrian Peterson and Lesean McCoy, of whom both times this year has been held under 50 yards. The defensive tackles have been stout with veteran Shaun Rodgers, pitching in with starters Linval Joseph and Cullen Jenkins. Rookie Jonathan Hankins made a brief appearance as well.
Defensive ends Justin Tuck and Jason Pierre-Paul seem to be regaining form inside a two game winning streak, however the rush has been nowhere close to what was expected going into this season. The impact of Mathias Kiwanuka’s switching back to DE has not been felt. If brought off PUP, young DT Markus Kuhn could bring some depth to a group that is getting more confident as the weeks go by.
Although the two game winning streak shows glimpses of an improved group, the stain of 0-6 has its imprint at midseason mark.
The biggest question mark going into the season, and what seems to be the most scrutinized position on this Giants roster, has been the Linebackers. The linebackers struggled early and looked like a group in desperate need of direction, a voice and steady leadership. Well that role may have been filled by a rare in season trade when the Giants acquired former All Pro MLB, Jon Beason.
Since Beason has arrived, a visible improvement has been brought to the New York Giants defense. Although they’ve struggled, fast and improving linebackers like Spencer Paysinger and Jacquian Williams have been in the right position and been able to utilize their speed. Although Mark Herzlich has been a tremendous story, the Giants coaches have given him every chance to start and insert himself on this defense. Looking ahead, his work ethic and contributions may be best served on special teams and fans know that the Giants need help on that struggling unit.
Beason alone gives this group a solid grade. He has all the looks of the middle linebacker this team has been searching for.
Marco Imperati | Featured Columnist