Landing a blow last week, the Giants’ defense is ready for round two.
As the schedule would have it, the NFL’s top two rushing offenses have come up on the Giants schedule in consecutive weeks. Last Sunday, the defense more than halved the 49ers’ season average, holding them to 80 yards on the ground. Now the Redskins enter the Giants’ home ring averaging 166.0 rushing yards per game, good for second in the NFL.
But the first bout was about power. This week is more about finesse. From zone-read to the triple option and wishbone, there are many facets to the run game coming out of Washington.
For those, Stevie Brown and the Giants went back to school.
“It definitely takes you back to college days,” the safety said Thursday. “You need to make sure you’re good with your eyes and good with your reads. You can’t just bite on the first thing you see because it could be wrong and then the next thing you know they could actually throw it for a touchdown or they’re going the other way. You have to study film and you have to look and see everything on the field before you just react.”
And it’s not all about the headliner, Robert Griffin III. While the quarterback has gained 379 yards and scored six touchdowns on the ground, running back Alfred Morris is still the leading rusher. Another rookie, Morris is fourth in the league, generating 538 yards and five scores.
So it will take another team effort this week as Brown continues to settle into the defense playing opposite Antrel Rolle in place of the injured Kenny Phillips. The two have started together two weeks in a row and are creating the chemistry necessary for any safety tandem.
“Between the safeties and middle linebacker you have to get everybody lined up and make a lot of the checks and everything like that,” Brown said. “So the safety relationship has to be pretty tight. Me and Antrel talk to each other before every single play, we talk to each other after every single play, we talk to each other on the sidelines, and we talk to each other in the meeting rooms. So we know what each other is thinking when we’re out there.”
That led to one of the defense’s best performances of the year in San Francisco, where Rolle also had a career day with two interceptions.
“Antrel played crazy,” Brown said. “He played so well and so did all of the secondary. Prince [Amukamara] played real well the way he came out and did his thing. Collectively we did well. It definitely gives you confidence going into the next week, but it’s a different type of attack this week.”
Tags: Stevie Brown
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