Mid-season acquisitions aren’t supposed to matter in the NFL, but this year’s Giants are proving to be the exception to that rule. In the four games that Jon Beason has played in since being traded to the Giants, the team is 3-1 after having not won a game until that point. Of course, it’s been more than just Beason that’s fueled the Giants turnaround, as an improved defense around him has been a huge factor.
Early in the year, the rush defense was one of the few bright spots for the Giants. They have only allowed one 100-yard rusher (DeAngelo Williams in Week 3) in all of 2013 – including the six-game losing streak to start the year. When the team was losing, however, it was hard to tell whether that was due to good defense or to an awful secondary, which allowed over 250 yards passing to four of its first five opponents. But now, with Beason added and youngster Trumaine McBride playing well in the absence of Corey Webster and Aaron Ross, the Giants have held opponents to under 200 yards passing three weeks in a row. The end result is that a defense that gave up over 30 points in their first five games of the season has now allowed only 34 in their past three games combined.
In Week 10, the Giants saw another new player take over a big role, and that was running back Andre Brown. Returning from a broken leg he suffered in the preseason, Brown paced a Giants offense to the tune of 115 yards and a touchdown against the Raiders. For players and fans who had watched a revolving door of running backs struggle in the Giants’ backfield so far this year, Brown was a welcome addition. And if he can provide the jolt to the offense that Beason has for the defense, he may be exactly what they need.