Perry Fewell’s Giants Pass Rush and Defense Has Gone Missing
The once ferocious pass rush which led the NFL in sacks for most of the season has been tamed, silenced and dominated by opponents. This disappearing act can be traced back to week 9 against the New England Patriots where New York played solid defense for 3 quarters and then in the 4th QT stopped pressuring Tom Brady. Since that game they are no where to be found!
New York currently ranks 6th overall in the NFL with 31 sacks but in the last 3 weeks they have only been able to record 3 sacks. Against the 49ers 2 , versus the Eagles only 1 and this past week against Drew Brees and the New Orleans Saints the Giants failed to get any sacks and rarely pressured the QB. The only consistent player on the defensive line for the GMEN has been Jason Pierre-Paul who currently has 10.5 sacks for the season and is tied for 3rd overall in the NFL.
Perry Fewell's Defense Looks Dazed and Confused
As stated on my recap of the week 13 game, ESPN commentator and former head coach Jon Gruden kept pointing out how confused the Giants looked on defense. They were not getting set fast enough and looked completely unprepared on many plays. This can only be attributed to a lack of preparation by the coaching staff which of course would include Defensive Coordinator Perry Fewell. On offense the Saints were substituting 2-4 players almost every play with efficiency and the Giants seemed confused by this yet this is exactly what New Orleans does every week.
It has to be noted that New York has suffered a slew of injuries but every player out on that field is a professional and it isn't like the Giants are playing with 11 rookies on defense. There was one moment where they only had 10 defensive players on the field and were bailed out by an offensive penalty.
New York Giants Defense Has Serious Issues
New York currently ranks 24th defending the run giving up a whopping 4.8 yards per carry. They are even worst defending the pass ranking 26th overall. In week 12 the Giants allowed 205 yards rushing and QB Drew Brees threw for 363 yards and 4 TD's. It was a beat down the likes I have not seen in a long time.
Once again injuries have contributed to the issues and Perry Fewell is not the only person who should be criticized. Several factors have hurt the GMEN. Justin Tuck has had an injury plagued season and does not look like himself anymore. It may be time for the Giants to consider sitting Tuck down who is playing hurt but is unable to give 100%. It's a valiant effort by Justin to try and play through his injuries but is he hurting the team more than helping at this time? The loss of Terrell Thomas for the season was huge and a recent injury to LB Michael Boley did not help matters.
Osi Umenyiora may have one foot out the door at this time, he has contract issues which have been publicized and even though he played well after coming back from injury he really has dropped off the last few weeks.
One of the biggest issues as mentioned at the beginning of this article is the lack of a pass rush. Opposing quarterbacks seem to have all day to throw the ball, going from option to option until they find an open receiver. The Giants secondary isn't that strong to begin with and allowing QB's to comfortably sit in the pocket isn't helping.
Perry Fewell does not adjust very well and frankly the defense seems uninspired under him. New York's defense has not been the same since former defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo left, he brought a tenacity and attitude which Fewell has not been able to match. Spags had defensive schemes which drove opposing teams crazy. He wasn't scared to blitz and was an aggressive coordinator unlike Fewell who is more conservative and loves to attack with only his front 4 even if they aren't being effective.
The NY Giants have a tough road ahead if they want to make the playoffs. Next week they face the best team in the NFL the Green Bay Packers. If Perry Fewell's defense does not bring a pass rush to pressure Aaron Rodgers the game could be over in the first quarter along with the 2011 season.