After only recording five sacks through the first six weeks, the New York Giants exploded for six sacks in Week 7 against the Washington Commanders. New York’s defense held the Buffalo Bills to only 14 points in Week 6. Newer defensive assists appear more comfortable in Wink Martindale’s defense, and it’s safe to say the unit, as a whole, is trending in the right direction.
Despite missing explosive edge defender Azeez Ojulari and starting cornerback Adoree’ Jackson, the Giants' defense generated a season-high 26 individual pressures against Sam Howell. Dexter Lawrence, who recorded two sacks in the game, led the Giants with eight pressures, which is the most he’s had in a game since Week 10 vs. the Houston Texans last year.
Second-year pass rusher Kayvon Thibodeaux recorded five pressures and a sack-and-a-half. The trio of linebacker Bobby Okereke, and defensive linemen Jihad Ward and Leonard Williams were each thrice blessed with pressures. Williams added a sack on a beautifully executed twist with Dexter Lawrence.
Safety Jason Pinnock had a sack, and linebacker Micah McFadden had a half sack. The Commanders’ offense struggled to handle the Giants' defensive front all game. It was a dominating performance by the defense.
There was little to no room on the ground - when the Commanders did run the ball - and Washington just kept finding themselves in second/third in long situations, which played right into the hands of Martindale and his exotic sub-package pressure looks.
The defense, and the team in general, has positive momentum heading into a cross-town battle against the New York Jets. The 2023 Giants’ season hasn’t gone as planned. Still, a win against the Jets would provide the Giants a short step-stool out of the deep hole they’ve dug themselves into.
The Giants defense is about to see another young quarterback in Zach Wilson, who isn’t excellent against pressure. The Jets are a good - tough - football team; if the Giants are going to win, they’ll have to dial up pressure like we see in the video below: