By Ralph Vacchiano
FOX Sports NFC East Writer
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. – Seeing Leonard Williams being helped off the field had to be deflating for the Giants‘ already undermanned defense. Sunday’s game was tied, with 23 minutes still to play. No one would’ve blinked if the defense played cautiously after that.
But that’s just not Wink Martindale’s style.
Instead, the Giants defensive coordinator did what he told his players he would always do from his first day: He turned up the heat.
“Wink’s going to call what he’s going to call,” said Giants safety Xavier McKinney. “He’s going to stay aggressive. That’s who he is. And we know that.”
The results have been impressive so far. One week after they put a beating on Derrick Henry and the Tennessee Titans, they basically shut down the Carolina Panthers over the final 23 minutes of a 19-16 win on Sunday afternoon. The Panthers were just starting to find their groove when Williams went down. They had scored on three of their previous four possessions.
But with Williams out, they gained just 72 yards on 17 plays the rest of the way — and 49 of those came on one Christian McCaffrey run.
The Giants are now 2-0 and it really is because of their defense. They’ve done it by not backing down from anyone or anything — because Martindale won’t let them.
“His personality, whether you’re golfing with him, whether you’re playing pickup hoops or whether you’re out there on the football field, this guy’s personality is he wants to win,” linebackers coach Drew Wilkins said last week. “And he wants to win by attacking you and by imposing on you.”
“Wink always said from Day 1,” defensive backs coach Jerome Henderson added, “he’s building a bully here.”
That’s exactly what they were at the end of this game. Granted, Baker Mayfield and the Panthers aren’t exactly Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs, but the Giants were playing not just without Williams, but without edge rushers Kayvon Thibodeaux (their first-round pick)…
Source link : https://www.foxsports.com/stories/nfl/giants-defense-shines-in-another-win-and-new-dc-is-a-huge-reason-why
Publish date : 2022-09-18 22:34:14
Copyright for syndicated content belongs to the linked Source.