New York Giants: Is Their Red Zone Defense A Strength?


We have all heard the saying that red zone defense wins championships. It is a saying that has always been true. But the day of the dominant defense in the NFL is over. When you get to the playoffs, and you have great quarterbacks to play against they’re going to move the ball a bit. In this new age of football the most important statistics revolve around red zone defense.

My point is clearly made by Malcolm Butler’s infamous interception on the one yard line to give the New England Patriots their fourth Super Bowl championship. Russell Wilson and the Seattle Seahawks moved down the field, but they couldn’t punch their ticket to the end zone.

Going into the 2015 season the Giants defense doesn’t look as if it will be dominant. The one category that the Giants need to excel in is getting stops in the red zone. If the opponent doesn’t score, they cannot win and if they score field goals the Giants should score touchdowns.

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How did the Giants do in red zone defense last season? There is a table from USA Today Sports that shows how each team faired in the 2014 season in the red zone. The Giants numbers are a little surprising.

When you consider all the high scoring losses, on several losses being blown out, you would think that the Giants struggled mightily in the red zone. That wasn’t the case.

According to the chart the Giants only had 35 defensive stands in the red zone, the fewest in the NFL. Of those 35 possessions in the red zone, Giants opponents gave up 17 touchdowns and 11 field goals.

The Giants scored a touchdown on 51% of their trips into the red zone offensively. The defense gave up a touchdown only 48% of the time that an opponent made it to the 20 yard line. Only the Baltimore Ravens and the Pittsburgh Steelers allowed less red zone touchdowns, both giving up 14.

So the good news is that the Giants were stingy in the red zone. The bad news is that this means they give up big plays that get them beat. The New York Giants gave up the 10th most points per game (25) despite often keeping teams out of the red zone and keeping them out of the end zone when they get there.

The Giants have to limit big plays. If your opponents are scoring from outside the red zone, its the big plays that are killing you. The red zone defense is crucially important and it looks like the Giants already do a great job with it. Now if they can get a bit stingier in between the 20 yard lines, the defense has a chance to really be something.

Next: Giants Offense: 3 Things We Know Going Into 2015

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