It may be too early in the season, but it looks like the signing of OLB Markus Golden is panning out just the way the Giants had hoped.
One of the biggest concerns with this Giants defense entering the season was whether or not they had the personnel to create a consistent pass rush. In Week 1, that concern was even bigger with Cowboys QB Dak Prescott having all the time in the world to find his receivers downfield.
And then after Week 2 when the Giants couldn't get pressure on Bills QB Josh Allen, it had some frustrated with CB Janoris Jenkins saying he couldn't cover a receiver for 10 seconds -- calling out the pass rush.
But over the past two weeks -- weeks in which the Giants came away with back-to-back victories -- that pass rush has been apparent. And Golden is right in the middle of it.
While collecting his first Giants sack in Week 2, Golden added two more against the Bucs and Jameis Winston while collecting four quarterback hits throughout that game. Then, on Sunday against the Redskins, Golden was once again disrupting the pocket with crediting for a half-sack to go along with three quarterback hits.
"We've been hard on ourselves at practice, running around there being hard on each other by making sure we're doing our assignment and it's starting to pay off," Golden said after Sunday's 24-3 win over Washington.
The Giants had to love what they saw on Sunday, with players like Dexter Lawrence, Oshane Ximines, Tuzar Skipper, and Dalvin Tomlinson getting pressure throughout the day. Of course, the four interceptions were something to get ecstatic over, but those don't happen without pressure on the quarterback to make a throw.
"We aren't going to get any sacks if we don't have any coverage and we're aren't going to get any interceptions if we don't have any of the rest," Golden said. "It's a team sport, that's what everybody has to remember. It's a team sport and you need everybody to be able to get after that quarterback."
Through four games, 3.5 sacks is definitely what you want to see from Golden. It's even better to see this hot start from a player the Giants were hoping could resurrect his career under his former defensive coordinator in James Bettcher.
Back in 2016, Golden collected 12.5 sacks in his sophomore season after coming out of the NFL Draft in the second round to the Cardinals. He also had 51 tackles with 22 quarterback hits in that great season. However, a torn ACL has hindered his performance over the past two seasons.
Coming into Giants camp entirely healthy, though, Golden proved he was ready to lead the rush and he's doing that at the moment. His sack total has contributed to the 10 sacks the Giants have on the season, which ranks 13th in the league. Not too shabby, but definitely a step in the right direction after Big Blue couldn't buy pressure in 2018.
Again, it's too soon to predict Golden's final sack totals. There are more challenging teams ahead for the Giants, including the next two weeks against a good Vikings squad followed by the Patriots in Foxborough.
But if the Giants defense continues on this upward trend, Golden's chances at getting to the quarterback should keep on coming.