The arrival of Jon Beason has been looked at as the main factor in the turnaround for the New York Giants' defense. That is justifiable, since the Giants gave up more than 30 points in their first five games and now, with Beason starting the last three games, they have not given up a touchdown in 10 quarters.
The insertion of Beason at middle linebacker in place of Mark Herzlich is not, however, the only change on the Giants' defense. A look at the snap counts from Sunday's 15-7 victory over the Philadelphia Eagles reveals more.
Look at the players who played every defensive snap. Beason, Jacquian Williams, Prince Amukamara, Antrel Rolle, Will Hill and Terrell Thomas were on the field for every play. Ryan Mundy, Spencer Paysinger and Keith Rivers -- mainstays most of the season -- did not play a single snap.
That's a faster, more athletic group of players on the field. It also indicates much less personnel shuffling than the Giants have done much of the season. Other than rotating linemen to keep them fresh that shows more of a commitment to putting one group of players on the field and simply letting them play. Williams, Beason, Hill, Thomas and even Trumaine McBride make the Giants faster and more athletic on defense.
Takeaways: The big thing here is the 59 snaps played by Peyton Hillis. Rookie Michael Cox played 12.