Giants Can't Keep Playing Without a Pass Rush - NBC New York

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Giants Can't Keep Playing Without a Pass Rush

Eight sacks in five games isn't enough for the Giants



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    On Monday, our look back at the Giants game included a note about the continuing absence of their pass rushers from the 2012 season.  

    We suggested that the team should put the pictures of Jason Pierre-Paul, Justin Tuck and Osi Umenyiora on the back of milk cartons, a suggestion that the Post jumped on in Tuesday's print edition. Tom Coughlin didn't join in the fun, but he made it pretty clear that he's also sick of sitting up and waiting for the return of the team's biggest defensive strength

    "How could we be satisfied? We didn't touch the passer again," Coughlin said. “We have to look hard at how we can get this thing resolved and get some pressure on the quarterback."

    They need to do it right away. The Giants are 3-2 without any serious contributions from their three hyped defensive ends, a record that would be much worse if the Buccaneers and Browns were any good. 

    The five teams the Giants have played this year have a combined record of 7-16 and things aren't likely to start trending in a more positive direction for most of them over the rest of the season. The rest of the schedule is much more imposing and the Giants probably aren't going to be able to rest on the mediocrity of the division saving them this year since they already have an 0-2 record against NFC foes. 

    What makes it difficult is that there aren't too many easy answers to the problem staring the Giants in the face. Their entire defensive philosophy is predicated on creating pressure with their four down linemen because blitzing would leave their ravaged secondary ripe for the picking by a quarterback who has even a second to throw the ball down field. 

    That issue is even more troubling because the Giants can't stop the run with any consistency. If the Giants keep run stuffers in the game, their pass rush suffers and the alternative opens the door to the secondary getting picked apart the way that Tony Romo picked it apart in the opener. 

    Basically, it just comes back to the three defensive ends needing to raise their game to a higher level because the Giants aren't built to do things a different way. The need for them to stop their dallying will start this weekend when they finally step up in class and head to San Francisco for another date with the 49ers. 

    Alex Smith showed last Sunday that he can put up huge numbers when given time to throw and, unlike last year, Smith actually has plentiful targets for his throws when he puts them up in the air. The running game is even better, which means that the Giants absolutely have to stuff the 49ers' passing attempts if they are going to give themselves a chance to win the football game. 

    The big boy part of the season starts in Week Six. Now's the time for the Giants' supposed big boys to start their season as well. 

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

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