Editorial: The defense held it’s own this season

From Matthew Cohen / SNYGiants contributor:

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.

The Giants’ defense ranked 6th in yards per attempt versus the pass and 5th versus the run. The funny thing is that they did this with only the 25th best pass rush in the league. They were the only team in the top 7 in defense to do this other than San Francisco.

Whatever went wrong in 2013, it’s hard to blame it on Perry Fewell and the defense.

John Fennelly, Lead Writer

The defense is going to feel some heat. Sure, they played well for a duration, stopping many of the league’s top rushers. But they didn’t beat one winning team all year nor a top QB.

Jon Beason, Antrel Rolle, Prince Amukamara, Will Hill and the interior line all played well. Justin Tuck had a bit of a renaissance.

They didn’t embarrass themselves but good offenses ate them up early on in the season. They were just as responsible for the 0-6 start as the other two units. They gave up long drives and big plays in those games.

I like the way they finished the season. The last ten games they were fairly solid.  More is needed, however. Depth at corner and LB plus the pass rush needs to be relit.




6 comments
Matthew Cohen
Matthew Cohen

Linkster - teams run the ball more when they are down.  That is why I readjusted the plays to reflect a league average mix for each team to account for that.

linkster
linkster

yards per play would go down when a team is behind by  2 scores and the opposition runs more conservative plays. Fewell inherited the best pass rush in the league and turned it into a mess.  In addition, since his arrival, the Giants have lost the line of scrimmage battle week after week. Tackles behind the line of scrimmage have disappeared and runners ALWAYS fall forward for an extra 2 yards. "Read and react" should be renamed to "hesitate and lose" Perhaps the GM and the HC share the blame but there's enough to share. Pathetic excuse for a football team. Reminds of the stupid decisions made when Wellington was calling the shots.

Matthew Cohen
Matthew Cohen

Why would you replace Fewell?  Who did he have on that squad?  Amukamara and Rolle were very good.  JPP was useless.  They had virtually no pass rush.  The interior of the D-Line was very good but I have no clue how they stopped the pass given the personnel that they had.  Give Fewell credit for doing pretty well with the players that he had.

Matthew Cohen
Matthew Cohen

The Giants are tied for the second worst turnover differential in the NFL.  This is despite the fact that the defense is about average in creating turnovers.

This pretty much killed the season all by itself.  Blame Eli, blame the offensive line, but it wasn't the defense.  A defense can't do it all by itself, especially if the offense is turning the ball over all the time.

hubie_wc
hubie_wc

John:


As someone who I'm sure has watched a lot of the Giants this season, I'm surprised at the simple minded analysis of the defense.  While they didn't play great the first six weeks, it is tough for a defense to stand tall when the offense during those first six games was going 3 and out nearly every possession and turning the ball over 5x a game.  Just look at the Cowboy and Chief games for example, the defense was pretty darn stout those two games.  The D also held its own in the first half agst Carolina and Denver, but wore down mainly due to the inept offense.


The secondary play was much better than anticipated.  McBride filled in nicely, Prince has been very good and TT made a great recovery.  Rolle has played like an All-Pro and Will Hill is beginning to look like one.

Jeff Comerford
Jeff Comerford

To be fair, the defense didn't show up until Beason was acquired.  After that, there was a lot more stability.  That being said, I am still not a fan of Fewell's defense (especially lack of pass rush).  When you can't get pressure on opposing qb's - eventually coverage is going to breakdown.


I would not be too upset if he was replaced next season.