By The Professor
Staff Writer NFL PRO ZACH
As the Giants head out for a much needed break, what are we to think?
The Defense/ segment 2:
- The Giant Defense has struggled at the point of attack. In the trenches, Linval Joseph has been a solid contributor. Chris Canty has had mixed results since returning from knee surgery. Rocky Bernard snaps have limited by injury. 7th round rookie, Markus Kuhn, has been pressed into service. A major disappointment, Marvin Austin, has been relegated to inactive. With Kuhn’s most recent ACL he moves to IR. Austin will be pressed to step up. A DT will be added to the 53.
- On the edges, play has been spotty. Jason Pierre-Paul has been moved around to compensate for the deficiencies of Tuck and Umenyiora. In Tuck’s case, big days appear to be done. In Umenyiora’s case, he is allergic to playing the run. So far, the cumulative effects have been to stunt JPP’s growth for marginal gains. Adrian Tracy and Adewale Ojomo have offered very little.
- Support from the LB core has been mixed. At MLB, Chase Blackburn can be counted on to be average. Herzlich can’t be counted on. At WLB, Michael Boley, is having a Pro Bowl caliber year. Keith Rivers has demonstrated why he was a 1st round draft choice, and has confirmed why the Bengals traded him for a 5th rounder. At SLB, Mathias Kiwanuka has become a question mark, and Jacquian Williams is nursing a bum knee. Spencer Paysinger is getting increased playing time. Perry is frustrated and searching.
- With the exception of Corey Webster, the back end has been a pleasant surprise. Prince Amukamara is demonstrating the ability to become the shutdown corner, they had hoped for, when the Giants drafted him in the 1st round. Stevie Brown and Will Hill may be added to the list of Reese’s notable finds. Jayron Hosley has ability and is being groomed to replace Webster. Andrel Rolle is solid in run support, and is the leader of the group. Kenny Phillips could return from injury after the bye. I doubt he will have much to offer.
So there you have it. At the point of attack, the Giants are soft. Play action becomes more effective as the D compensates and overreacts. Additionally, the Giant front 4 is not generating a dependable pass rush. The Giants have blitzed more than I can remember. A ballooning amount of blanketing is being demanded from the DB’s. Through the first 10 games we have witnessed some of those balloons popping. The bottom-line is that this is a talented group. It is not impossible for this Defense to play at a playoff caliber level.