Top 5 Reasons Why The Giants Defense Will Dominate This Season
Things have looked a little different for the New York Giants this offseason and one of the most notable differences is the arrival of Wink Martindale and his coaching staff. It’s no secret that the Giants defense struggled in the 2021 season which can be attributed to factors such as the Blake Martinez injury, issues with their first-down run defense, surrendering 4.7 yards per rush and the Giants overall not winning time of possession. Along with the struggles also came some dismal stats for the defensive unit in where the pass defense ranked 19th overall in the league with an average of 249 yards allowed per game and the run defense did not fare any better ranking 23 in the league last season which was a stark drop off from the top ten run defense the Giants had in 2020. The defensive struggles were not lost on the Giants organization or the fans who are used to a hard-nosed-hard-hitting defense that gets to the Quarterback and wins in coverage.
Change is coming though and not just offensively. The Giant’s defense is poised to have a comeback year and get back to that old school defense we know and love. Although, many people have said that without major roster changes we should expect to see more of the same from the Giants defense but I whole heartly disagree with that sentiment and I’ve got 5 reasons why the Giants defense will dominate this season.
1. Wink Martindale
It’s Wink’s world and we all just live in it. A Wink Martindale defense is aggressive and if you need an example look no further than the Baltimore Ravens defense where he served as linebackers coach from 2012-2017 and Defensive Coordinator from 2018-2021. Wink Martindale does not let the opposing offenses dictate to him; he lets his defense do the dictating which he made perfectly clear back in the Spring during his press conference. He runs a blitz happy defense, and he moves players around so much that it creates constant confusion for the opposing offense. If his 4 seasons as Defensive Coordinator with the Ravens are any indication of what he will bring to New York I expect the Giants will be in the top tier of blitz percentages and the sacks will come-a-plenty for everyone.
2. Blake Martinez
It was heartbreaking to see Blake Martinez barely get going last season before he suffered a season-ending ACL injury in week 3 against the Falcons. His presence was certainly missed on the field and maybe even more so in the locker room leadership wise. Thanks to a re-work of his contract, Martinez is back in Big Blue for the 2022 season. Martinez is 4th in tackles since coming into the league in 2016 and his ability to read and diagnose plays around the line of scrimmage is where he really shines. Martinez attacks the gaps in the run game, something the Giants sorely missed last season along with his veteran presence. With a healthy Martinez back I expect the Giants run-defense to return to form.
3. Azeez Ojulari
I know, all eyes are Kayvon Thibodeaux and they should be. You could argue that Thibodeaux was the best player in the draft and I would absolutely agree with you but let’s not forget about Azeez Ojulari either. Drafted 50th overall by the Giants in the 2021 NFL Draft Ojulari had an awesome rookie season. His rookie stats included 8 sacks, 49 combined tackles, 8 tackles for a loss, 1 forced fumble and 2 defended passes. When I think about all the potential Ojulari has, I think back to that week 7 game against the Panthers where he really had a breakout game. I think Azeez Ojulari is poised for a breakout season and with Kayvon Thibodeaux playing his opposite you already know he will be double teamed and that will leave more one-on-one opportunities for Ojulari to shine.
4. Adoree’ Jackson
Yes, he needs to work on his play making skills but I think he will take a huge step forward this year under Wink Martindale who looks to have Jackson play more man coverage. Jackson’s coverage ability was top notch last season ranking 4th in the league with a zone coverage grade of 84.5 and the Giants are relying on Jackson to step up into that No.1 corner spot this season. While there are concerns of his durability when he’s on the field he is a solid player who is productive and consistent in his game.
5. Julian Love
The value in Julian Love lies in his versatility and over the past 3 seasons he has literally been all over the field stepping in at any position in the secondary and contributing on special teams. Love has yet to become a full time starter but all of that is about to change as he looks to step into the starting safety position next to McKinney. It’s not like the Giants went and spent money on the safety position so that tells us the coaching staff is comfortable giving Julian Love a shot a safety and Love seems to be excited about the opportunity.
Well, I am not sure how bold it really is but if the Giants defensive unit can stay healthy, buy into Wink Martindale’s game plan and execute on the field, I see no reason why the Giants defense can’t be a top-ten defense this season. In fact, I predict they will be.
Tell me what you guys think. Can the Giants defense finish the season as a top-ten defense? Let me know in the comments or find me on all social media platforms @NikkiNic9384.