The New York Giants defense has been deplorable as of late. The pass rush has been non-existent, the secondary has given up big play after big play and running backs have run wild. It's been a meltdown of epic proportions. The Giants are sitting at 8-7, and miraculously still have a smidgeon of hope to extend their season into the playoffs with a win on Sunday. To have a chance to defeat Michael Vick and the Philadelphia Eagles, the defense is going to have to step up in a big way.
However, defensive coordinator Perry Fewell insists that the preparation and scheme are not the issue. Fewell believes that players have been in a position to make plays and just have not gotten the job done.
"We’ve prepared better than what we’ve played," Fewell said. "We haven't made plays. I think if you look at the tape, we’re in position to make plays, and we haven’t made plays."
The Giants obviously were not ready to play defense the last two weeks. Players who have been solid almost all year were arm tackling and failing to perform up to their talent level. However, Fewell is hardly blameless for Big Blue's recent shortcomings.
After running a conventional 4-3 defense for the entire season, last week he decided to play a 4-4 scheme by giving Spencer Paysinger and Mark Herzlich significant playing time. Instead of stopping the run and intermediate passing game, the Ravens ran for 224 yards and threw for another 309 yards. All Fewell's scheme did was remove a safety and put an extra linebacker in coverage, which put the cornerbacks in one-on-one situations all game. Joe Flacco picked apart the defense and the Giants were playing from behind the entire game.
Fewell even went as far as to call out defensive captain Justin Tuck for his lackluster performances in 2012.
"Is he effective as he was at the end of last year right now? No," Fewell said. "I watch him every day, and some days he surprises me with what he does, and some days, it’s Justin. Justin is trying to play hard, but he’s not making any plays. Just like our guys haven’t made any plays in the last couple weeks. That’s just the function of, we’re not making plays. You’ve got to make plays in the football game to win football games."
Statements like the one above go to show that Perry Fewell is not head coach material. Any good, reputable football coach would place take all the heat for his unit's dreadful play. There is no reason for Fewell to publicly state that he has done his job preparing his team, but that they aren't good enough to make the plays necessary to win. Even if it's true, it sounds like he's lobbying to keep his job next season rather than focusing on winning a football game on Sunday.
It's pathetic that the Giants season has come to this. After winning the Super Bowl last year, this team has shown poor effort and no heart when it has counted most in 2012. Coaches are calling out players in the media and the team has completely lost sight of what this organization is all about.
The Giants still have a chance a small chance to accomplish their goals in 2012, but this team has to come together right now for that to be even remotely possible. Hopefully the focus over the coming days can shift from what has gone wrong over the last two weeks into what the team can do to win on Sunday.
Also…Football, Justin Tuck, Mark Herzlich, Michael Vick, New York, New York Giants, NFL, Perry Fewell, Philadelphia, Philadelphia Eagles, Spencer Paysinger, Super Bowl