Last year's Giants defenders were uncharacteristically shaky. The linebacking corps was unreliable and the secondary was soft. This season, the Giants hope, will be a new beginning for their heart and soul.
New addition at linebacker Keith Rivers played a large role in the defense in just his first game in blue, as he totaled for seven tackles against Dallas. Michael Boley picked off a Tony Romo pass early in the game against Dallas and returned it 51 yards.
The team's front four will clearly be a strength as it was in 2011. Jason Pierre-Paul appeared just as lethal as he did last year, and Justin Tuck looks to bounce back from an off-year. Rocky Bernard and Linval Joseph contributed the first two sacks of the Giants season on Wednesday.
The cornerback position will likely be a project for New York this season. Prince Amukamara has fought injuries for a second straight season, and while backup Michael Coe looked solid in his place Wednesday, he too was unable to finish the game due to injury.
As a whole, however, the New York defense will be more dominant than it was a year ago. They should allow less points on the board, translating to more wins. And, we all know more wins translates to more confidence. That's where this traces back to Eli Manning.
A better defense puts teams in better positions to win. The more games Eli Manning wins, the better the performances will get.