The New York Giants defense is built on the pass rush. Jason Pierre-Paul, Osi Umenyiora and Justin Tuck are key cogs in a unit that has relied heavily upon turnovers to keep them in games. Part of forcing those turnovers is putting pressure on the quarterback, which was a notably absent aspect of Big Blue's pathetic effort yesterday in Cincinnati. The Giants had zero sacks on the day. The ineffective pass rush was not the only ailment the Giants had yesterday, but it is perhaps the most worrisome.
In Week nine, the Bengals allowed the Denver Broncos to sack the quarterback five times. Andy Dalton was skittish in the pocket, he did not correctly identify blitz packages and the offensive line was blown off the ball by Von Miller and Co. The Giants were not playing an All-Pro caliber offensive line this weekend, nor were they going up against the second-coming of Joe Montana under center. This was a mediocre to below average offense that scored 31 points on the defending Super Bowl Champion's defense.
Furthermore, the Giants have no handle on why they have been underperforming as of late. Defensive end Justin Tuck says that the team needs to keep plugging away in practice. However, that line is getting old and the results need to show on the field sooner rather than later.
"No. I don’t think it’s effort. We had a good week of practice. I don’t know. There is an opportunity for us to do some soul searching and look ourselves in the mirror this week. Just get away from football a little bit, refresh our bodies and minds and get back to playing Giants football," Tuck said. "We’ve got to do a good job of looking at ourselves and getting back on track. If not, none of the next six are going to be easy. We’re capable of turning this around. That’s where our mindset has to go."
Unfortunately, the problem with the Giants defense is not the pass rush. Yes, we have seen Big Blue's defensive end trio go dormant at times this season, However, that's going to happen from time to time. If teams decide to leave tight ends and backs to help neutralize the pass rush, it's up to the secondary to play defense. The Giants gave up four touchdowns through the air yesterday, which is flat out unacceptable.
The Giants are 6-4 and sitting atop the NFC East. Most fans would have taken that in the beginning of the season as the team heads into their bye week. However, this team could just as easily be 4-6 and be fighting for their playoff lives right now. Big Blue is fortunate to be where they are at this point, but it's imperative that the pass rush gets back on track and he secondary toughens up for this team to have a fighters chance at making some noise in the postseason.
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