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It’s no secret that the New York Giants have struggled for some time. There have been many reasons for that but thankfully it seems to be turning around in the hands of Joe Schoen — although the baggage didn’t just disappear.
Recently, CBS Sports indicated that the Giants were “very unlikely” to have a top 10 defense in 2022.
The author, Jared Dubin, groups the Giants with the Atlanta Falcons, Detroit Lions, Houston Texans, Jacksonville Jaguars, New York Jets and Seattle Seahawks as teams “very unlikely to have a top 10 defense.”
None of these teams finished last season in the top half of the league in either EPA per play or Football Outsiders’ DVOA. Only the Seahawks, Giants, Texans, and Falcons finished above-average in any of yards per play (Seattle, Giants), points per drive (Seattle), opponent’s turnover rate (Giants, Houston, Atlanta), and the share of opponent drives that ended in a touchdown or field goal (Seattle). None of them ranked better than 10th in any of those categories.
The article goes on to cite minimal solid additions to each team. For the Giants, they highlight that Kayvon Thibodeaux as a bright spot but suggest that’s not enough.
While the Giants may not have a top 10 defense, no one should be surprised. In the last five years, the closest New York has finished is top 12. That said, the Giants have made other changes to its roster on the defensive side of the ball. Undrafted free agent signings, unrestricted free agent signings and the draft have all helped fill gaps on that side of the ball.
Luckily, the game is played on the field and not in online articles in May. The truth is, we won’t know what this defense is capable of under Wink Martindale yet, and it has the potential to do great things.