The Giants won a hard-fought defensive struggle against the Carolina Panthers on Sunday. Defensive Coordinator Wink Martindale employs a defense of 3-4 linemen/edge rushers, 6 defensive backs, and just one inside linebacker most of the game to confuse the Panthers. Giants’ special teams get things started with a fumble recovery on the opening kickoff. Graham Gano caps a four-field goal game with a 56-yard winner.

Lock-Down Defense

Last week, we gave props to Head Coach Brian Daboll and Offensive Coordinator Mike Kafka for the creativity of the Giants’ offensive play selection. This week, it was Wink and TMac that showed creativity in deploying defenses that slowed the Panthers’ offense. Wink went with the smaller, faster lineup most of the game.  When six of the Giants’ defensive backs are on the field for over 70% of the defensive snaps, there are a lot of nickel and dime packages being deployed by Wink. And it worked. In fact, the Giants held the Panthers to just 3 third-down conversions the entire game and won the turnover battle causing and recovering two fumbles.

Safeties Active All Game

Strong Safety Julian Love led the way with 8 tackles including 2 tackles for loss and 1 sack. Xavier McKinney and Dane Belton followed with 5 tackles each. That’s three safeties by the way. Yes, the Giants deployed three safeties most of the time. They also used three cornerbacks on over 75% of the plays with Adoree Jackson, Darnay Holmes, and Cor’Dale Flott getting most of the action. Setting the edge for the Giants were Jihad Ward (2 tackles for loss) and the tag team tandem of Oshane Ximines (1 sack) and Tomon Fox. Ward was a monster on the field as well as a vocal leader on the sideline.

Earning Playing Time

Coach Daboll is now 2-0 as the leader of this 2022 Giants team. He has these Giants playing the full four quarters and finding ways to win. He also has every player working each practice to earn playing time on game days. Of note on offense, WR David Sills V and WR Sterling Shepard played 90% of all offensive snaps while WR Kenny Golladay played just 2 snaps. But, that’ll be another story for another day.

Next up is Dallas at MetLife Stadium on Monday Night Football.

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