The New York Giants hit their bye week ranked 16th in the NFL in total defense, allowing opponents to gain 358.6 yards per game. Their 23.6 point per game allowed is 11th in the league. They are seventh against the run (100.9 YPG) and 23rd against the pass (257.7 YPG).
As one can see, they have been stout against the run and bit lenient against the pass. That can be attributed to their performance on third downs.
The Giants are 21st in the NFL in allowing third down conversions (44.26 percent) but have been better over the past three games, permitting first downs on just 24.14 percent of attempts. That number was buoyed by holding the Eagles on all nine of their of their third down tries last Sunday.
Fourth downs could be better, however. The Giants are 29th (72.73 percent) on fourth down this year as teams have converted on eight of 11 attempts.
The passing defense is allowing quarterbacks to complete on 68.2 percent of their passes, which is the sixth highest in the NFL. It’s not the pass rush, who are ninth in sacks per game this year (2.5), or Leonard Williams, who has 16 QB hits, fourth best in the league. It has to be the coverage, and that can be attributed to the rotation at cornerback across from James Bradberry.
It’s been a tough go with several inexperienced players such as Isaac Yiadom, Darnay Holmes and Ryan Lewis taking on the role. More consistency at that position will go a long way in helping the Giants get off the field on third and fourth downs.
The secondary cannot be solely blamed for the breakdowns against the pass. The linebackers have played their role as well. Running backs have been slicing them up with short passes. They are 22nd in the league when it comes to defensing running backs. The injuries to linebackers has hurt them, no doubt. Injures to Lorenzo Carter, David Mayo, Tae Crowder and Oshane Ximines have set them back.