The New York Giants’ defense has been one of the worst in the league at getting to the quarterback with only 10 sacks in nine games, second lowest in the NFL. Aaron Donald, Danielle Hunter and Frank Clark have recorded at least 10 sacks by themselves as the Giants have struggled generating pressure on the quarterback all season.
Rookies B.J. Hill and Lorenzo Carter lead the team in sacks,but the duo has combined for four sacks this season. Olivier Vernon missed the first five games of the season,but he has not recorded a sack since his first game back against the Eagles. The Giants traded their top pass rusher Jason Pierre-Paul to the Buccaneers in the offseason for a third-round pick and a fourth round pick, so a drop-off in the pass rush was to be expected.
Pierre-Paul has already equaled his sack total from last season with eight sacks and is determined to sack his former quarterback Eli Manning,who has been sacked a league-high 32 times so far this season. Left tackle Nate Solder was brought in to shore up the Giants’ problems on the blindside, but he has struggled mightily in pass protection and needs to prove that he was worth the hefty price tag against Pierre-Paul.
Carter was taken with the third-round pick the Giants acquired from the Buccaneers, but he has made little impact in his rookie season. His seven tackles against the 49ers on Monday Night Football was a career-high, but he had a costly roughing the passer penalty with 53 seconds left in the game to start the 49ers’ final drive of the game.
His roughing the pressure call was one of the few times the Giants got any pressure on quarterback Nick Mullens as he was only hit three times. Connor Barwin was brought in to put pressure on the quarterback, but he has only recorded one sack. James Bettcher came over from Arizona with a reputation as a coordinator that brought a lot of pressure, but his defense has struggled to get after the quarterback this season.
Hill had a strong start to the season with sacks in consecutive games, but has not recorded a sack in five straight games. He needs to create havoc up front as Ryan Fitzpatrick is capable of torching defenses when given time. The Giants’ secondary has been vulnerable to giving up big plays down the field, something that the Buccaneers have taken advantage of this season.
The pass rush for the Giants has been stagnant this season and they need to step up against the Buccaneers if they want to win their second game in row.