Can the New York Giants Be Fixed?

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Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Changing the defensive scheme

Now I will credit Giants Defensive Coordinator Perry Fewell for making this defense solid against the run, but when it comes to defending the passing game, changes must be made. The Giants cornerbacks, especially Prince Amukamara and Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, are much better playing man-to-man coverage. They are by nature very physical and aggressive corners and made plays last night when they were put in man coverage scenarios.

Unfortunately, Fewell called many many Tampa 2 zone coverage schemes that basically conceded the middle of the field to Detroit and allowed them to chew up yardage and keep the ball moving. You can’t just give up the middle of the field against a dangerous Lions offense and expect your defense to make every single play. Playing too much zone coverage not only works against your corner’s skill set, but clearly they aren’t comfortable playing zone because every miscue this defense had was while they were playing zone (Megatron was left wide open in the middle of the field, which is inexcusable).

Listen I know the players need to have better communication, but you’re not exactly doing them any favors when you ask them to play a scheme that doesn’t play to their strengths. Another thing: in order to play these zone schemes consistently, you need quick linebackers to roam the middle of the field which, besides Jacquian Williams, the Giants do not have. Jon Beason and Jameel McClain are great against the run but you can’t expect them to keep up with slot receivers or even tight ends.

The worst part of this is that having a solid pass rush makes playing zone a lot easier to execute even if you may not have the ideal skill players on the field. But when you are for the most part not getting to the quarterback, and the few times you do you can’t contain him and allow him to extend plays, as was the case last night, you give the receivers time to find the holes that exist in every zone coverage scheme. This defense needs to be more aggressive and play to their player’s strengths instead of Fewell calling whatever scheme he wants even though the players he has don’t fit that scheme and are clearly not comfortable executing it.