From the beginning of the season it was clear that this unit was going to be the one to carry the team. The performance in the first two weeks changed a lot, although the only constant was the level of defense. Until now they have not been able to demonstrate the ability to generate deliveries that they had last year. However, on Monday night they will have an ideal opportunity.
Pass rushers vs. offensive line
The production the defense put up against a dangerous offense like the Cincinnati Bengals was essentially on the line. While the backs performed reliably, it was all made possible by how little time Joe Burrow had to throw the ball. With the disruption achieved in that sector, the task of the unit was facilitated.
Logically the star of the team reappeared. There is no doubt that Micah Parsons is already among the best in the league globally, not just in his position. To the two sacks on Tom Brady he added another two on Burrow to lead the NFL with four. The interesting thing about his level is that he opens up a lot of possibilities for his teammates.
The Cowboys finished with six sacks against the Bengals last Sunday. Both Dorance Armstrong completing two as well as Leighton Vander Esch and Dante Fowler scored in the statistics. Daniel Jones appears as the third most knocked down quarterback in this start with eight, so the Giants arrive with many unknowns in that area.
Most sacks taken this season
Joe Burrow 12
Jameis Winston 10
Daniel Jones 8
Matt Stafford 8 pic.twitter.com/iASRcKUsKG
Jones will also be a fantastic matchup to create trades. The defense still ranks among the worst in that variable with just one. That only steal was Donovan Wilson’s interception of Brady in the loss to the Buccaneers. Although it was expected that when facing two such outstanding quarterbacks, mistakes were not frequent.
The opposite will happen on Monday. The New York quarterback was shown to be the QB who cares the least about the ball after being drafted in 2019. Pro Football Reference indicates that in 39 games he has started, he has accumulated 30 picks and 37 fumbles. These figures show that it is an issue that he has not yet managed to correct. Add to that the fact that 42.3% of their dropbacks were pressured this year, and it could be another dominant night for the Cowboys visiting the Giants.
Ground defense vs. Saquon Barkley
Dallas wasn’t an isolated case of a franchise drafting a running back too early. New York actually used the second overall pick in 2018 to get Barkley. As a rookie he took defenses by surprise by getting extraordinary productions. However, his level dropped considerably because the injuries appeared.
Although the running back is back after a long period of absence. Being in the final year of his contract inevitably represented additional motivation because he seems to have regained some explosiveness. Especially in his opening game against the Titans, the best version of the Penn State graduate was seen with 164 yards. He in turn managed 9.11 per attempt thanks to a 68-yard run.
OHHHHH MY SAQUON!
— New York Giants (@Giants) September 11, 2022
This is important considering that the entire offense passes through him. Containing Barkley will limit the Giants’ offense too much. Due to the inconvenience they show when going through the air, this is their main way to get yards. However, his efficiency dropped a lot against the Panthers days ago. The 73 yards he had on 21 carries involved just 3.4 per touch.
But the defense still has to respect his potential. Parsons omnipresence emerges as an obvious solution to the dynamics of the RB. Although we must not ignore the good present of Vander Esch. The linebacker in silence was recovering the solidity that he used to have. Perhaps giving particular attention to the runner will be valuable as he is the essential weapon of that unit.
defensive backs vs. wide receivers
The cornerbacks had a great challenge in the trio of receivers that was facing them. However, they were able to remain reliable in part because of the good pressure generated at the line of scrimmage. Holding Ja’Marr Chase to just five catches for 54 yards indicates strength in that area. That has added value considering that on many snaps it was Anthony Brown who covered him.
Their obligation on Monday night will be drastically modified. Injuries could be a determining factor because New York is not being able to count 100% on Kadarious Toney or Wan’Dale Robinson. A first-round pick in 2021 in Toney along with a rookie second-round pick in Robinson would add another dimension to the opposing passing game.
Trevon Diggs in coverage vs Ja’Marr Chase:
🔒 2 catches allowed
🔒 14 yards allowed pic.twitter.com/4nKuWpOaLI
— PFF (@PFF) September 19, 2022
Should they fall short, the offense will have even fewer fearsome tools. Although assuming they recover, the Giants will not represent the threat that the Bengals imposed through the air. His leader in yards and receptions is Richie James with 110 in ten catches. James is a kick-returning specialist who came in to fill that role, so his ceiling is likely to be somewhat limited.
Dallas will then have the perfect situation to carry out the type of coverage you prefer. The primary wide receiver would be Sterling Shepard, but his presence won’t alter the game plan. Kenny Golladay’s veteran doesn’t give him any benefit under coach Brian Daboll because he was hardly used. In this context Dan Quinn will be able to apply the aggressiveness that he so much prefers in his cornerbacks. It will be a good setting for Trevon Diggs to start an interception streak.