The Giants are entering the 2022 season with a number of question marks. A number of those question marks come from the defensive side of the ball. Some of these questions include who is going to play cornerback 2, who is going to play inside linebacker next to Blake Martinez, do we have enough depth at defensive back, and the depth along the defensive line also raises some concerns. The last question I mentioned ties into a big aspect of the Giants defense that needs to improve.
If the Giants want to have a successful defense in 2022, their play against the run needs to improve.
In 2020, the Giants fielded the 10th best rushing defense in terms of yards against them. Heading into 2021, much of the same was expected, but that unfortunately was not the case. The Giants ranked 25th in rushing defense in terms of yards. Now, there were factors that contributed to this. They lost their starting nose tackle, Dalvin Tomlinson, to free agency and they lost Blake Martinez to a torn ACL in week 3 of the season. Heading into 2022, they are getting Martinez back, but they still have not quite brought in a replacement for Dalvin Tomlinson. The Giants lost Austin Johnson to free agency, who was no Dalvin Tomlinson, but at least was a solid contributor. The Giants addressed the position by bringing in Justin Ellis and drafting DJ Davidson. Neither of these guys are sure things, especially Davidson who isn’t even guaranteed to make the team. Getting Martinez back at middle linebacker will certainly help, and maybe one of the new rookie linebackers such as Darian Beavers or Micah McFadden can have a good camp and help in the rush defense department, but that is also no guarantee. If anyone watched the new Giants Life on YouTube, Wink Martindale made it a point to emphasize that they need to stop the run, so let’s hope he figures out a way to get the most out of these players and create’s a solid run defense.
It’s a passing league in the NFL, but make no mistake about it, stopping the run is as important as it ever has been. The Giants struggled in this department last year, and while there were a million other problems with the team, it needs to be improved. The Giants brought in one of the most successful defensive coordinators in the NFL, and they have 2 very good players along the defensive line in Dexter Lawrence and Leonard Williams, along with a tackling machine of a middle linebacker in Blake Martinez. But behind these guys, there are a lot of uncertainties.
It’s on Wink Martindale to figure out a way to generate a successful rush defense, otherwise it could be a long 2022 for this defense.
(Photo: Bill Kostroun/AP)