Early On Big Blue’s Rush Defense Looks Strong

How does 19 rushing yards allowed in two games sound?

Pretty good and even better for the Giants in their 30-10 win over Detroit Friday.

With all of the hype surrounding the Giants’ offense this summer, their defense quietly has begun assembling into the unit they sought last season.

Granted, Big Blue has played Cleveland and Detroit in its first two preseason games, but their rushing defense has been a smothering effort. They made the most of their time, as the Giants’ offense did a good job at ball control most of the game.

Overall, the first-team defense had a stellar effort through two series against Detroit. It wasn’t a perfect night, but the pluses surely outweighed the minuses. One obvious blunder was when linebacker Alec Ogletree got burned in pass coverage for a big play, marking the second time in recent weeks.

In their new 3-4 alignment, Damon “Snacks” Harrison has regained his form from two years ago, second-year tackle Dalvin Tomlinson is living up to his top pick status and rookie B.J. Hill has been a major surprise in camp.

Along with a major clog up front, the Giants also received an outstanding game from Olivier Vernon, who had one of the team’s four sacks and seemingly spent most of his time in the Detroit backfield.

Ray Armstrong, who had an interception, also had a strong showing as well as Lorenzo Carter, Kareem Martin, and Kerry Wynn, who all had sacks. Mark Herzlich continues to impress with his seven stops against the Lions.

Wynn has been standout in camp with nine tackles, a forced fumble, and a sack in two games. The fifth-year defensive end had been a wrecking crew on special teams with five tackles. Herzlich, who missed last season with a stinger, has been the star of the second unit.

Finding a spot for Wynn to play – he can rush off the end or simply be a defensive end – will be the challenge, but head coach Pat Shurmur will get him time.

“He can play multiple positions,” said Shurmur about Wynn. “I have been very pleased with his effort. He’s a frontliner. I think he is going to have a good year.”

Their play provided an easier night for the Giants’ secondary, which has been under the microscope since the start of camp. Three Lions quarterbacks accumulated 241 passing yards.

“We did well collectively,” said cornerback Eli Apple, who had three tackles. “We have been very aggressive and we have to keep it going. It is always great to have a pass rush and pressure.”

About the Author

Jeff Moeller

Jeff Moeller has been covering the NFL, NBA, MLB, NHL and college football and basketball as well as high school sports on a national and local scene for the past 39 years. He has been a Jets and Giants beat reporter for the past 13 years.

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