While there were some game-changing plays from New York’s defense, they have a lot to improve following this last match.
In terms of the run defense, the Giants were simply outmatched and made the fools as Lamar Jackson and Kenyan Drake were allowed to run all over them. Drake was able to pull off big run after big run as he recorded 119 yards on just 10 carries. And while Jackson is almost impossible to stop, allowing him to gain 77 yards on seven carries is unacceptable.
Stopping Baltimore’s passing attack was just as fruitless for this Big Blue defense. While the cornerbacks played a solid game against a thin Baltimore receiving core, the middle of the defense was torched by the Ravens’ tight ends.
The positional group had 157 of their 210 receiving yards and the Giants seemed to be allowing Mark Andrews (arguably the second-best tight end in the NFL) to roam free down the middle play after play. Andrews recorded seven catches, 106 yards, and a touchdown in a contest where he saw little adversity.
While the Giants’ defense clearly has to improve how it battles the run and tight ends, they did make two game-changing plays late in the game.
Julian Love’s interception and 27-yard return (the team’s first of the season) put the Giants in an instant position to score and win the game. And while the team struggled to really pressure Jackson all game, with only two sacks all game, Kayvon Thibodeaux sucked the life out of a Baltimore last-second comeback and his first career sack ended up being a game-winning strip sack.