They allowed opponents to run wild over them to the tune of 135 yards per game on the ground, surrendering 400 points for the fifth time in franchise history and the third time during Fewell's seven-year tenure.
But, with the NFL Draft just two weeks away, the Giants are still without solid answers at the safety position. Their roster still lists only two players as safeties - Nat Berhe and Cooper Taylor - neither of whom has started an NFL game.
Both players were taken in the fifth round in the NFL Draft. Taylor, a 2013 pick, missed all of 2014 with a foot injury. Berhe, selected last season, served as mainly a special teams player.
Just finished reading a column on the Giants' needs in the upcoming draft (Rotoworld, Mar 25). Our colleagues John Norris and Evan Silva not only go through the team's needs but who specifically the Giants might target.
The needs are no surprise: safety, offensive line and defensive end. The Giants are light at safety and have mildly addressed the other two positions in free agency.
Spagnuolo is ready to press the reset button on that long odyssey of failures that nearly ruined his reputation, if not his career.
Spags will be afforded a better shot in 2015 that his predecessor, Perry Fewell, was in 2014. He will likely have a better compliment of players to work with when the team assembles this spring.
They surrendered 400 points for only the fifth time in franchise history and finished 29th in the league in points allowed.
They have finished 27th or higher in that category three of the past four years under DC Perry Fewell.
It's hard to bash a defense after a game in which they only allowed 13 points, and only three in the second half. So, we'll go easy on them, even though the Redskins met them halfway with poor execution and lack of composure.
The Redskins actually led this game, 10-7, at the half and it could have been 17-7 had the RGIII TD run not been reversed. The reversal of the call was the correct one, negating the TD as Griffin did not possess the ball all the way to the ground in the end zone after lacking possession over the goal line, and the Giants dodged a huge bullet. Unsportsmanlike conduct penalties after the play by Washington moved the second half kickoff to the Washington 35. The Giants cashed in on an onside kick to open the half and never looked back.
Playing against an offense that was missing it's starting offensive tackles and wide receivers has it's benefits. Throw in a rookie QB with a sprained shoulder and a struggling rushing game, and your defense better throw a shutout, or damn near one. The Giants took full advantage of the Titans, allowing no points. The closest Tennessee offense came to scoring was in the second quarter when they drove to the Giants' 24 on a 13-play drive that ended with PK Ryan Succop missing a 42-yard FG attempt.
After taking the lead 24-22 with 3:26 remaining in the fourth quarter, they allowed one of the league's worst offenses to drive 55 yards on eleven plays to kick the game-winnng, 43-yard FG with 0:28 left on the clock. Not only did the Giants defense fail in the clutch again, the Jaguars committed two possibly drive-killing penalties that they were able to overcome to keep the drive alive. In addition, the Giants allowed Bortles, who runs about as well as my postman (who is 55 and a heavy smoker) to scramble for 68 yards on five attempts.
Disgraceful is what comes to mind. No way were they tired, having only played 25 minutes and 68 snaps. Just inept and disorganized. DC Perry Fewell is long past his shelf life here. The Giants played a laid-back style that bit them hard in this game. All of the Jaguars' top gains came on either 1st and 10 or 2nd and long. And, again, they gave and the Jags took.
I understand they play with heart and effort and are probably overachieving even if they are one of the worst defenses statistically in the league. The way the Cowboys whisked through them to score the winning TD in the final minutes was perhaps one of the worst attempts to hold a lead I've seen in quite some time.
Overall Grade: D
Overview: The Giants defense entered the game having surrendered?at least 423 yards in each of their previous four games. They held the 49ers to just 333 yards on Sunday and the 16 points they allowed were the fewest in a loss since?Oct. 16, 2005, when they lost in overtime to Dallas, 16-13.
San Francisco was able to run the ball on the Giants, but to the success that many had thought. They rushed on 37 of their 66 offensive plays for a total of 148 yards. ?RB Frank Gore had a 17-yarder and QB Colin Kaepernick ripped off a 16-yarder but the Giants held them to 4.0 YPC, a solid performance overall.
"Seattle RB Marshawn Lynch rushed for 140 yards and a career-high four touchdowns in the Seahawks? 38-17 victory over the Giants at CenturyLink Field on Sunday and QB Russell Wilson passed for 172 yards and added another 107 rushing yards and another TD. The Seahawks are the first team in NFL history to have a running back rush for at least four touchdowns and a quarterback with more than 100 rushing yards in the same game," NFL Media noted.
That's right, in NFL history. That's how bad the Giants' defense was yesterday. Here's more...
Overall: The Giants were overmatched in this game from the outset. If not for the uncharacteristic and drastic change in the defensive game plan by DC Perry Fewell, they would have been blown out by halftime. Instead, the initiative to get pressure on Indy QB Andrew Luck worked, holding the Colts to 16 first half points. But after halftime, the wheels came flying off. ?Indianapolis scored 21 points to the Giants seven and by 4:31 of the third quarter, held a 37-10 insurmountable lead over the home team.
Fewell tried everything to stop Luck and his defensive front could not be blamed for a lack of effort. Giant defenders hit Luck a total of 11 times, sacking him once, and disrupted his rhythm all game. But against this great young player and his talented weapons, if just wasn't enough. They surrendered 40 points and the Colts could have scored a lot more. They took the fourth quarter off. ?On the injury front, they lost CB Prince Amukamara for the season with a torn bicep in the first half. It just doesn't end for this team.
"We are working him. It depends on how he feels," DC Perry Fewell told reporters Friday. "Sometimes he is really good, when I say good he has been good back to back practices so we will see tomorrow if he tightens up, stiffens up, what have you. That is how we kind of approach it ? it is a day-to-day kind of assessment with him."
Should Cromartie not be able to play, or is severely limited, the Giants will have to hope that Prince Amukamara, Zach Bowman and Jayron Hosley can keep up with the speedy and productive Colts wideouts. Their backup corners right now are Chandler Fenner and the newly-signed Mike Harris.
It works most of the time. Last year, the Giants lined up against almost all of the NFL's top rushing offense and played stout to the point where they were able to win seven of their last ten games. This season, they have not been as effective vs the run and it has been costly.
In 2013, the Giants allowed 3.8 YPC and 108.9 YPG on the ground as opposed to 4.4 YPC and 122 YPG this season. They allowed just 12 rushing TDs in 2013. They have already given up eight this season.
In a nutshell: MLB Jon Beason will likely opt to have surgery on his ailing foot and miss the rest of the season. The front seven has to step up and do a better job now that the secondary has taken on some losses due to injuries.
Dallas Cowboys tackle Tyron Smith (77) blocks New York Giants defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul (90) in the game at AT&T Stadium. Dallas beat New York 31-21. Mandatory Credit: Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports
The Cowboys big three of QB Tony Romo, RB DeMarco Murray and WR Dez Bryant are difficult to stop and practically impossible to completely contain. The Giants hung in for as long as they could, but they simply don't have the speed or depth on defense to go to-to-toe with Dallas. Right now, few teams do.
Quintin Demps was brought in to add to the already strong safety group of Will Hill, Stevie Brown and Antrel Rolle on the roster. They were set.
But things don't always work out they way they're planned. Hill got busted and suspended again, leading to his release. Hosley was suspended for violating the league's PED policy and suspended the first four games. Thurmond tore a pec muscle in Week 2 and was lost for the season. This week, McBride sustained a thumb injury, ending his season and DRC is dealing with multiple leg ailments that threaten to keep him out of this week's game in Dallas.
The objective going into this game was to keep the Eagles under their average of 31.2 points per game. Considering they did that, won the turnover battle (2-1), held the Eagles to just 4-13 in the red zone and kept Nick Foles to a 79.0 QBR, they should have been in this game, or even won it, had the offense not completely imploded.
With the offense on the verge of coming together, the defense and special teams are coming under more scrutiny.
After getting torched in Week 1 by the Lions, the Giants' defense has stiffened up, allowing just 10 first half points the past two games. In the second half of those games, however, the defense looked tired, yielding big plays, keeping the opponent alive.
Those days are history. The Giants' pass rush is just a shell of what it was just a few years ago. Michael Strahan, Osi Umenyiora and Justin Tuck are all gone. The heir apparents, Jason Pierre-Paul and Mathias Kiwanuka are both struggling to keep their NFL careers afloat and the Giants have wised-up by fortifying the back end of their defense to compensate.
The Giants will be testing out their new offense this summer vs five opponents in preseason, but the one defense that will see it the most is their own.?DC Perry Fewell was asked his impression of new OC Ben McAdoo's strategy a few weeks ago at minicamp.
"We love it," said Fewell. "It?s definitely up-tempo. It?s multiple personnel groups and he tries to get the ball to all of the different weapons that he has an opportunity to get them to. It was always difficult to defend when we played against him and it?s still going to be difficult to defend, I think, once the players react and still think. So we?re very excited about it. We love it as a defensive staff."
This year, Big?Blue is on the following end. After watching how the Seattle Seahawks wagged the dog by featuring their defensive backs as a strength, the Giants went into overdrive in the draft and the free agent market to bolster their sagging cornerback unit.
They cut ties with Terrell Thomas and Corey Webster and brought in several veteran CBs via free agency (Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, Walter Thurmond III and Zack Bowman), drafted Bennett Jackson out of Notre Dame and recommitted to Prince Amukamara and Trumaine McBride.
Throughout their history, the Giants' championship formula consisted of a strong pass rush. Since they last appeared in the postseason in 2011 , winning Super Bowl XLVI, the Big Blue has had anything but a wrecking crew up front on defense. They have not gotten consistent pressure on the QB off the edge as they would have liked.
Jason Pierre-Paul, once a dominating force, has been felled by a bad back and shoulder. He's had a difficult time as has another former first-round pick, Mathias Kiwanuka. Both have posted lukewarm numbers the past two seasons.
Giants GM Jerry Reese had an extensive to-do list this offseason and one of the areas he focused on was the defensive backfield. In free agency, he signed veteran CBs Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, Zack Bowman and up-and-coming slot corner Walter Thurmond III fresh off the Super Bowl-winning roster of the Seattle Seahawks.
Resse also re-signed CB Trumaine McBride and exercised Prince Amukamara's fifth-year option. In the draft, he added S Nat Berhe, CB Bennett Jackson and several others, most notably Michigan's Thomas Gordon, after the draft.
Cullen Jenkins (starter), Markus Kuhn, Jonathan Hankins, Mike Patterson. Only four with the addition of Patterson this week.? Jenkins is still a top tackle, Patterson was a space-eater last year and the Giants are expecting positive things from Hankins and Kuhn. They will not deter them from adding another player or two before camp. One could certainly be Pitt's Aaron Donald, who the Giants would be fortunate to get their hands on in the draft.
From Dan Graziano of ESPN:
"Beason made $3.25 million in 2013 and will justifiably believe he deserves a raise. The inside linebacker contracts at which he and his agent will look for comparisons are those of Detroit's Stephen Tulloch (five years, $25.5 million, $11.25 million guranteed) and Baltimore's Elvis Dumervil (five years, $26 million, $8.25 million guaranteed). Beason just turned 29 on Tuesday, so a long-term deal isn't a crazy idea for him to have. But given his injury history, it's going to be hard for the Giants to commit too much in terms of contract length or guaranteed money."The Giants got a huge bang for their buck out of Beason, who only ended up costing them a seventh-round pick. Beason had 93 tackles and an INT in his 11 games here, sliding right into the middle of the Giants' defense and taking control from Day One. Prorate his stats and they factor out to a 135-tackle season.
But, as Dan wrote, the Giants may be reluctant to fork over a huge chunk of cash to a player with such a spotty injury past. To me, Beason showed no sign of someone who is coming off the dreaded Achilles tendon tear. He has all the attributes of a team leader and with the high level of play he exhibited in 2013, I don't see the Giants simply letting him go. They haven't had a LB with his talents in years.
Tags: Giants Defense, Jon Beason
Martin Brodeur stopped all but one Canadiens' shot. It was like watching paint dry while listening to a presentation about a timeshare.
Mark Fayne, a defenseman, who didn't record a point, was the third star of the game. Taking the SATs is more exciting than that.
Tags: ANDY GREENE, ANTON VOLCHENKOV, boring, BRYCE SALVADOR, Defense, Feature, Hockey, Marek Zidlicky, New Jersey Devils
It's tough to rate defenses. Points scored are influenced by a host of factors including opponent field position. Yards given up is influenced by the performance of the team's offense.
I've devised a measure that looks at average yards per play assuming that that 56.7% of plays run are passes (the league average). By this measure, the Giants have the seventh best defense in the league in 2013 so far.
Possessions: B-This is where the Nets have shown the most improvement. ?Prior to their loss to the Wizards, the Nets were holding teams to 96.2 defensive rating since December 7. That was good for third best in the NBA over that stretch. Some of that is credit to a much more productive offense, which has bucked the one-and-done trend as of late, and some can probably be contributed to some of the softer opponents the Nets have been facing (like Milwaukee, who couldn't hit the ocean from the dock).
Tags: Brooklyn Nets, defense, defensive rating, LIU, Nets, nets, Report Card, Brian Erni
The Giants did not accomplish that feat until the nine-minute mark of the fourth quarter in Sunday?s loss to the Seahawks, so it?s up to offensive coordinator Kevin Gilbride to figure out how to move the ball.
Of course, five more interceptions from Eli Manning didn?t help, but it wasn?t all his fault.
Tags: coordinator corner, Detroit Lions, Eli Manning, fairley, giants, Giants Offense, Kevin Gilbride, lions defense, New York Giants, suh, Tom Coughlin, Victor Cruz
The Giants defense knew it would be a tough test today against the Seattle Seahawks, the NFC's top team that bolsters not only a strong running game, but also an offense that effectively utilizes the passing game. ?However, they had no idea that stepping onto the field at MetLife Stadium, they would have to battle not only a team predicted to make it to the Super Bowl, but also their own offense.
With five turnovers on the day, all interceptions by Eli Manning, the Giants defense was put in difficult situations on the field, countless times and although the final score was a blowout, 23-0, the blame cannot be on the defense. a unit that showed the only sign of life in a game that was just painful to watch.
Tags: Antrel Rolle, blowout, defense, New York Giants, seahawks, Super Bowl
It has been a rollercoaster season for the New York Giants defense. From a time when they were the laughing stock of the league as they rattled off six straight losses to start the season, to the turnaround that kept them in contention in the NFC East.
With a struggling offense that has had a hard time putting points on the board, the Giants defense has been the deciding factor in a majority of games and as of late, they have been the only bright spot of the this New York Giants team, but?that brightness was dimmed and shut off completely yesterday.
Gilbride said the Chargers? defense does a terrific job of disguising its formations.
?More than anything, they?re a pressure-oriented team that would like to do anything they can to keep you off balance,? he said.??They probably have as wide an array of blitz packages of anybody that we?ve faced.?I think they?re getting some players back that were injured that will help them.?
Tags: camouflage, chargers, chargers defense, coordinator corner, Eli Manning, Hakeem Nicks, Kevin Gilbride, military base, New York Giants, San Diego, San Diego Chargers
Tom Coughlin told reporters yesterday not to expect JPP "to do anything tomorrow."
JPP's absence will open the door for rookie Damontre Moore to get more playing time. Last week in Washington, Moore got in 17 defensive snaps while Justin Tuck and Mathias Kiwanuka were on the field the entire game.
Over the past nine games, the Giants have been stingy against the run: 53.4 yards per game, 3.3 yards per carry and only three TDs. And they've done it against some of the top RBs in the league...
Week 4 - Jamaal Charles, Kansas City: 65 yards (3.6 avg) 0 TD
Who knows what was said in visitor's locker room, but whatever it was, it worked. The Giants defense, led by veteran Justin Tuck who bowed inside FedEx Field?four times last night, took over in the second half and held Washington to just 96 yards in the remaining two quarters.
A clutch play by Will Hill to strip Pierre Garcon in the late minutes of the fourth quarter would seal a victory for the Giants, pushing?their record to 5-7, two games behind the division leaders Dallas Cowboys and Philadelphia Eagles, while eliminating the Redskins from any chance of playoff contention.
Tags: 2012 NFL Schedule, cullen jenkins, Giants Defense, JPP, Justin Tuck, New York Giants, Washington Redskins
So it?s up to defensive coordinator Perry Fewell to optimize the pieces he does have healthy in order to contain Robert Griffin III and the Redskins? offense.
RG III has been hampered himself by injuries all season, but Fewell still considers him the same dynamic player that he showed he can be last season.
Tags: Antrel Rolle, coordinator corner, Giants Defense, griffin 3, Jason Pierre-Paul, New York Giants, Perry Fewell, redskins, rg3, RGIII, Robert Griffin III
One thing that Fewell emphasized strongly to the media on Thursday was the need for the Giants defense to not get too excited against their NFC East rival. While many are calling this the Giants Super Bowl, as they sit just two games back in the division and will tie Dallas in the standings with a win on Sunday, Fewell needs his unit to keep their cool.
"I thought the preparation yesterday was very focused.? There was some learning going on today and I could tell our guys are pumped about playing this football game, we just can?t get overexcited," said Fewell. "We just have to stay within ourselves. ?I think we?re focusing much better. I think the purpose of us going out and because we?re behind in this race, we?re going out with that purpose of winning a football game, no matter what."
In Week 12, the Giants (4-6) host the Dallas Cowboys (5-5) in a game that has huge implications for both squads.
The Cowboys won the Week 1 matchup 36-31 in Dallas, so the Giants would need this win to even the head-to-head matchups in case that factors into a playoff tiebreaker.
Tags: cowboys, giants, Giants-Cowboys, Giants Defense, media notes, New York Giants, NFC East, NY Giants, Victor Cruz
There?s nothing quite like watching your team get its ass kicked in person.
Tags: Ed Reed, Geno Smith, jets, Jets Defense, Muhammad Wilkerson, nfl, NYJets, Opinion, Rex Ryan, Brian Bassett
Football is football. On of the primary goals is to get the guy with the ball. Jon Beason, the MLB the Giants acquired from the Carolina Panthers on Oct 4, is very good at getting the guy with the ball.
He is also a leader, vocal and otherwise. He gets the defense lined up and in position to make plays. He is physical as well as cerebral. The Giants got a real gift from old friend Dave Gettlemen, the former Giants' executive who is now the GM in Carolina.
For the first time in a while, defensive coordinator Perry Fewell was not shy when talking about the play of his defensive unit. Throughout the Giants rough start to the season, where they lost six straight, the defense was mediocre at best. But since Big Blue has won three-in-a-row and found a way to get back into the chase in the NFC East, much of the momentum has been generated by the defense.
While the Giants run defense has been one of the best, ranking 11th in the NFL in terms of yards allowed on the ground, their secondary is finally starting to come around and make big plays down the field. Fewell believes that both the run and pass defense have found a way to work together.
Tags: coordinator corner, defense, JPP, New York Giants, Perry Fewell
It would be unimaginable to think that after starting the season with six straight losses, the Giants would be playing meaningful games in the second half of the season. But?so is the case; riding a two game winning streak and coming off of a bye, Big Blue will have a tough test on Sunday as they host the Oakland Raiders, sitting just two games out of first place in the NFC East.
The Giants received even more help last night as the Washington Redskins couldn't seal up a victory against the Minnesota Vikings.
We have officially reached the halfway point of an NFL season that Giants fans thought was lost after one of the worst starts in the teams history. Sitting at 2-6, Big Blue sits just two games behind the NFC East leading Dallas Cowboys; so all hope is not lost.
Continuing our midseason report cards from yesterday, throughout the day, I will be?giving a position-by-position grade on the Giants defense with some quotes from the coordinators.
A different week, but the same questions.
Defensive Coordinator Perry Fewell was not shy when talking the media about the importance of the Giants defensive line this week against the fast paced offense of the Philadelphia Eagles.
Tags: coordinator corner, defense, Jon Beason, JPP, New York Giants, Perry Fewell, tuck
Yes, they did just beat the lowly Minnesota Vikings, who started QB Josh Freeman for the first time since acquiring him from the Tampa Bay Buccaneers; but defensive coordinator Perry Fewell and the Giants defense, has to be commended for their victory.
Reigning NFL MVP Adrian Peterson was held to just 28 yards on 13 carries and was bottled up on each carry. With the score close for much of the game, the Giants packed the box in an effort to make sure that AP did not break out for a game-changing run, something that he has commonly done over his stellar seven year career in the NFL.
The narrative of the 2013 New York Jets turned on a series of five defensive plays Sunday.
Tags: Bill Belichick, Geno Smith, Jeremy Kerley, jets, Jets Defense, Muhammad Wilkerson, nfl, NYJets, Opinion, Patriots, Rex Ryan, Rob Gronkowski, Sheldon Richardson, Tom Brady, Brian Bassett
The Giants have just five sacks in the first six games. The Giants. I recall Osi Umenyiora sacking Donovan McNabb six times in one game and the Giants taking Jay Cutler down nine times in one half.
What's happened to the pass rush? DE Justin Tuck tried to explain the frustration and the process his group is going through these days...