New York Giants: Robert Ayers Should Start


Oct 12, 2014; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Nick Foles (9) throws under pressure from New York Giants defensive end Robert Ayers (91) during the first quarter at Lincoln Financial Field. Mandatory Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Giants defensive line seems to have been exposed in last Sunday’s contest against the Philadelphia Eagles. LeSean McCoy and Darren Sproles gashed the Giants on the ground at Lincoln Financial Field, and Nick Foles seemingly had all the time in the world to find receivers downfield. It was a dreadful performance for the team.

Jason Pierre-Paul spent the majority of the game stymied by Jason Peters and the interior of the line couldn’t get much going against back up linemen center David Molk and guard Matt Tobin. Even with the chaos and bad play — all over the field — in every phase of the game, one question stood-out above all the others:

Why does Kiwanuka start over Damontre Moore or Robert Ayers?

Some hypothesize that he’s more trusted against the run, some loud fans shrug off talk about teams placing value in draft picks or money over talent, which is usually garbage. To get closer to the real answers, let’s take a look at numbers from Pro Football Focus:

Now let’s see the superior numbers of Robert Ayers:

"Ayers Run D PFF – GradesOVR: +2.9Best: +1.4 vs. HOUWorst: -0.7 vs. PHI"

The truth is: Ayers should be starting over Kiwanuka and it makes absolutely zero sense why he isn’t.

Not to mention that Ayers has the 3rd best overall PFF grade in the league, AND the 3rd best overall pass rushing grade in the league. Why wouldn’t the Giants start him knowing that information?

This weekend for the Giants is vital, they’re 3-3 and behind two teams in the NFC East. Losing shouldn’t be an option, but it possible against Tony Romo and all the Cowboys offensive weapons. Perry Fewell and the defensive coaching staff should evaluate the possibility of adjusting the role of Kiwanuka with Coach Coughlin, while giving the D a boost against the run by starting Ayers.