When most NFL fans think New York Giants, they think pass rush. However, this season the Giants have had a more difficult time getting after the quarterback than in the past. Last season, the Giants were ranked third in the NFL in sacks with 48. Now with only three games left, the Giants are ranked 12th with 31 sacks, and that, to Osi Umenyiora, is unacceptable.
“At the end of the day, sacks is what everybody looks at, so we have to find a way to get more,” Umenyiora said Thursday.
Last week against the Saints, the defense was only able to sack New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees once. The week before against the Washington Redskins, the pass rush was shut out, unable to sack Robert Griffin III at all.
“It could have been better,” said Umenyiora, of the D-line’s performance against the Saints. “They do an outstanding job in the way they protect and the things that they’re able to do. I think we did OK. We won the game, which is the most important thing, but I think this week we’ll be better.”
Defensive Coordinator Perry Fewell, however, was satisfied with the performance of the defense. The lack of sacks, he insists, was a product of the game plan, rather than poor play from his defense.
“Our guys are very cooperative,” Fewell said. “It took a lot for them to do what I asked them to do last week. It wasn’t the most sack-friendly game [plan] for them, but it was the way we felt like we had to win that football game.”
Umenyiora has noticed that opposing offenses are focusing more on the Giants' pass rush, which has made it more difficult to find sacks. To make it easier to understand, Osi used a baseball analogy.
“It’s just like a guy who’s a slugger, and every single time, they’re throwing him balls,” Umenyiora said. “They’re trying to walk him. Then you ask him why he’s not hitting home runs? They’re trying to walk him. If they pitch him the ball, he’s gonna hit a home run.”
“We’re not getting pitches. It’s really that simple,” Umenyiora continued. “When we get the pitches, whenever we get ahead, whenever we get one-on-one blocks, we’re gonna take advantage of them. But we’re just not really seeing them right now.”
Jason Pierre-Paul leads the Giants' defense in sacks with 6.5, Osi is next with six, and Justin Tuck has three. The pass rushers believe they will have more opportunities for sacks this Sunday against the Atlanta Falcons.
“We’ll have opportunities to get there,” Umenyiora said. “We just have to take advantage of them.”
The Giants will look for the same success they found against the Falcons in the first round of last year's playoffs, dominating the Falcons 24-2.
Also…Drew, Football, Jason Pierre-Paul, Justin Tuck, New York, New York Giants, NFL, Osi Umenyiora, Perry Fewell, Robert Griffin III