The New York Giants defense has been getting trampled by the run for over a month now. In the three previous games leading up to last week’s debacle against the Philadelphia Eagles, they were allowing an average of 164 yards per game on the ground.
On Sunday, the Eagles ran them right out of East Rutherford with a 235-yard onslaught. Defensive tackle Dexter Lawrence knows this is just not embarrassing, it’s entirely unacceptable and can’t happen again if the Giants plan on making a run for the postseason.
“It can’t happen because you’ll lose,” Lawrence told reporters on Tuesday. “We all have to execute our job. We all have to be aware of — play good technique, what plays are coming and how to defend those plays.”
Part of the reason the Giants are struggling is due to the absence of Leonard Williams (neck) in the middle of the line next to Lawrence but they weren’t exactly stonewalling the run with him in the lineup.
Lawrence was asked what could be done to stop the bleeding and turn the tide on the poor showing against the run.
“Just continue to challenge the guys around us and ourselves. Challenge each other. Challenge guys to watch a little bit more, study their matchups a little bit more. It’s just doing what we already do, just a little bit more type of thing. That’s how you see it change in your play, your confidence and your belief,” he said.
The spirit is certainly willing but the flesh may be weak, especially if Williams is out against this week. The Giants face the Washington Commanders in a key divisional/playoff battle and will have to contend with the combination of Antonio Gibson, rookie Brian Robinson and wideout Curtis Samuel, who rushed for a total of 165 yards against them two weeks ago.
Lawrence understands the importance of this matchup as well as anyone.
“Around this time in December, all games get critical. It’s another division game that’s a must-win because it’s the next one, and you want to go 1-0. This game is a playoff game, and the next game will be one. It’s just all talking it step by step,” he said.