A New Leaf in New York: Is the Giants Defense for Real?
You wouldn't know it by looking at the final score, but the Giants' defense was at it again this weekend.
And the amazing thing was they didn't need 12 sacks to frustrate Jets' QB Chad Pennington.
The Jets did manage 24 points on the day...but if you take away a fumble return for a touchdown, Leon Washington's incredible kick return, and a gift-wrapped field goal at the end of the first half, you're left with only seven points scored against the Giants' D.
The box score doesn't lie: Pennington averaged just 6.4 yards per attempt—with three interceptions to boot.
Although the Giants struggled to collect sacks, the pressure was there. Pennington's last two INTs were indirectly caused by Giants blitzes—with Aaron Ross picking off rushed throws on both occasions.
All told, the game was very similar to the one the Giants played in Washington. In both instances, the Giants fell behind in the first half before dominating the second—thanks to defensive pressure and offensive clock-control.
The offensive line's ability to create holes -- no matter who is running the ball -- and protect Eli Manning has been admirable. And Plaxico Burress, for his part, is finally taking over games and making big third-down catches.
Just the way former GM Ernie Accorsi envisioned it when he inked Burress before the 2005 season.
It's obvious that the offense is the more consistent part of the Giants' team. The big question is whether the defense will hold up.
There are some promising signs.
First of all, minus the crazy Monday Night game that kept me from studying for my BA 411 quiz, Tony Romo has been lighting up everyone, not just the Giants.
And this guy Brett Favre?
Not too shabby.
Also, Donovan McNabb and Jason Campbell have shown themselves to be very good QBs when they aren't playing the Giants. Just look at what both of them did to the Lions.
That could be saying more about Detroit than about New York, but it's something.
In any event, the G-men continue their season in Atlanta on Monday night. Only time will tell if this team is poised for another exciting playoff run—or if this winning streak is just a big tease.
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