One of Tom Coughlin’s goals during the extended break between games was to correct the pass rush. Defensive coordinator Perry Fewell insisted it was still the strength of the team. The unit depends on pressure and flows through Jason Pierre-Paul Justin Tuck Mathias Kiwanuka and Cullen Jenkins among others. But heading into Monday night’s game vs. Carolina the Giants have a league-worst five sacks (Kansas City leads the league with 30). Their pressure numbers are down. Opponent completion percentage (64.3) is just a few passes away from cracking the league’s top 10 worst. So what did Coughlin see? “I see obviously we don’t have many numbers. We’re not getting to the quarterback” he said yesterday. “…I think what has to happen for us is we’ve got to do a better job in these one-on-one situations. He added: “Some of our pressure packages we’re not getting home with the kind of speed and timing that we need so it’s a combination of things.” It may be worse than he thought. It could be beyond repair. According to a Giants team study relayed to The Star-Ledger by players 78 percent of the passes faced by the Giants this season are released in 2.8 seconds or less. Coupled with the fact that the average time to sack per quarterback this year is between 3.33 and 4.64 seconds it’s no mystery why the scheme is not working as presently constructed. On an average play there is no time to sack the quarterback. When trying to compensate by rushing an extra man it only gets worse. Stats by the analytical site Pro Football Focus show the Giants pass blitzing opposing quarterbacks a total of 91 times this year with only two of them yielding sacks. One of those were from a linebacker safety or cornerback. Spencer Paysinger is the only non-defensive lineman to register a sack this season for the Giants. If the pass rush is not dead as presently constructed it may be on its last legs. Even those involved know that things need to change. “Times have changed” Tuck said. “I still remember the good old days when you lined up and felt like any time you lined up against a guy you were going to beat him. You still feel that way but you have to find some ways to create a pass rush and creativity is one of those ways.” Creativity could mean anything from simulated pressures – creating the illusion of a bigger rush based on the spacing and variance of players involved – to a heavier concentration of blitzes with quicker players.
Giants looking for answers as blitz successes, sack numbers hit rock bottom
Newark Star-Ledger | Oct 18