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Giants Defense Tries to Close the Holes

A.J. Green correctly points out the Giants defense has "a lot of holes"

By Josh Alper
|  Thursday, Nov 8, 2012  |  Updated 5:44 PM EDT
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Giants Defense Tries to Close the Holes

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If Webster can do more than chase guys with the ball, the Giants will be in good shape.

The Giants have spent a lot of time obsessing about their offense this week.

There's good reason for this obsession, although it has been just a wee bit hysterical given the track records of the players involved on the offense. Getting Eli Manning right is important. But it's more likely that he'll get back on track than stay in the funk for the rest of the year. 

If the Giants could say the same thing about their defense, they'd be a little more justified in spending their time trying to fix an offense that probably isn't broken. It more likely just a little sluggish. The defense, on the other hand, has been mediocre or worse since the first week of the season. 

So send a note of thanks to Bengals wide receiver A.J. Green for pointing it out on Thursday. During an appearance on WFAN, Green said that the Giants defense has "a lot of holes" that the Bengals will be trying to exploit on Sunday. 

As the Giants are a team filled with players who take it personally when a restaurant runs out of a dish before they order, it's not surprising to learn that they take great affront to a player pointing out that the team ranked 25th in the league on defense might actually be lacking in some areas. Giants safety Antrel Rolle told Green that he'd better duck if he sees Rolle coming, a charming threat to make in light of what we've learned about concussions in recent years and Rolle's own admission that he suffered a concussion because he landed awkwardly due to concerns about driving his helmet directly into Dez Bryant's head.  

Some might argue that he shouldn't have launched himself at Bryant's head in the first place, but we're getting off on a tangent here. The real point is that the Bengals have every reason to believe that they can make plays against the Giants. 

The Giants have struggled against big, rangy receivers like Vincent Jackson and Dez Bryant, which bodes well for Green as he is better than both of those guys. They've also struggled to stop slot options and the Bengals have found good success throwing to Andrew Hawkins in that role. 

Corey Webster and Prince Amukamara have not been nearly effective enough on the corners, which leaves the Giants vulnerable every week of the season. There aren't a ton of talents behind Green, but it's not like the Giants discriminate when it comes to letting receivers chew them up. 

The big caveat to all of this is the pass rush. The Bengals are not a good pass blocking team and Andy Dalton is not a good quarterback under pressure, two things that should make it possible for Jason Pierre-Paul and Justin Tuck to tilt the playing field in the Giants' favor if they decide not to make this one of their Sunday rest days. 

All of the secondary holes in the world won't matter if Dalton doesn't have a chance to throw the ball. And it just might lead to a game where the Giants can win with or without any heroics from their struggling quarterback. 

Josh Alper is also a writer for Pro Football Talk. You can follow him on Twitter.

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