Film Room: Giants Defense Falling Off The Edge

By Spiro [email protected]_ spi

Film Room: Giants Defense Falling Off the Edge
The New York Giant defense has surpassed everyone’s expectations all year long. Patrick Graham and this defensive unit deserve a ton of credit for what they have done in 2020, a year where they were expected to finish at the bottom of the league on the defensive side of the ball. Over the last three games though, they have started to leak gas. There are several driving forces that have led to this lag in play.

Possession Differential

The defense has gone up against three good offenses in a row in Arizona, Cleveland, and Baltimore. This is especially problematic when your offense is playing well-below average at the moment. This has led to a MASSIVE gap in possession time.

Giants T.O.P. Over Last 3 Games: 71 minutes

Opponents T.O.P. Over Last 3 Games: 106 minutes

That is not a winning formula for an undermanned defense.

Depth at Edge

Speaking of undermanned, the New York Giants might have one of the worst EDGE groups in the NFL right now. Now, before you go crying about Dave Gettleman, realize that the Giants lost both Lorenzo Carter and Oshane Ximines for most of the season, Kyler Fackrell has been
out the last month, and Markus Golden was traded earlier in the season.

I don’t care how much depth you have, losing that many guys at an important position is going to cripple your defense. The likes of Carter Coughlin, Jabaal Sheard, Niko Lalos, and Cam Brown can only hold down the fort for so long. Over the last three games, this unit has been exposed
(predictably). Their struggles continued Sunday against the Run (not even going to get into their lack of pass rush, which is evident for the world to see).

Sunday vs The Baltimore Ravens

The Giant defense ran into an absolute buzzsaw on Sunday. The Ravens have been playing their best ball lately, and their Super Bowl-caliber roster took it to the undermanned Giants. Most of the damage was done running at the edges of the Giants front seven. The Giants simply could not set the Edge in the run game, and that is a PROBLEM against an RPO team like Ravens, with star talent like Lamar Jackson running the show at QB. I mean, look at the size of this hole J.K. Dobbins had to run through on the Ravens’ second possession!

There are two guys on that side of the field with the Edge being non-existent. This was Carter Coughlin’s attempt to set the Edge later in the 2nd quarter. Lamar Jackson rumbled for twenty yards on this rush. He was untouched for most of it, without having to make so much as a move on a defender to gain huge chunks of yards.

Time on the field and injuries are one thing, but the execution has been lacking as well. Gus Edwards ripped off a 32-yard run early in the 3rd quarter because again, the Edge was simply not there.

If the New York Giants want to make the playoffs, they will need to ride their defense’s coattails like they have all year long. If the defense is going to perform at a high level, it will need better play on the Edges. You better believe the Cowboys, with Ezekiel Elliot and Tony Pollard, will be
testing this unit all game long this Sunda

Spi’s Take:

I mentioned it on #TheGiantGuys podcast, and I will mention it again here, Kyler Fackrell coming back is a huge boost. It will push guys like Carter Coughlin and Cam Brown to be used in more advantageous situations where they can do what they are good at. Fackrell can set the Edge
and create a much-needed pass rush. Patrick Graham will need to get the best out of this unit as well, as it will be paramount to the overall defense’s success. I think we will see an improved play on Sunday.