After their surprising Superbowl run and subsequent victory, expectations were high coming into this season. Now, those expectations may be put on hold after losing star defensive end Osi Umenyiora to a potentially season-ending knee injury.
Last season the Giants were able to compensate for their suspect secondary by applying an excellent pass rush. This is the unit that sacked a previously untouched Tom Brady five times during the Superbowl, overwhelming a pro-bowl offensive line. The lack of time allowed by the defensive front prevented the Patriots from exploiting the Giants' weak secondary.
After Michael Strahan retired following the Superbowl, many expected a decline from the Giants defense. When in the off-season they did little to improve the picture for their secondary, speculation abounded that they might not even be the best team in their division next year.
All this speculation seemed to serve as a motivator for Giants players and their fans; good buletin board material. Now all that may be in vain, for without their one remaining anchor at defensive end their entire defense becomes pourous. With that defense as currently constructed they have no chance of winning their tough division, never mind defending their Superbowl title.