The New York Giants have seen a lot of improvement in their team the past six games. During this six game stretch, the Giants are 5-1 and have seen great play from their offensive and defensive units respectively. Besides playing well on offense and defense, the Giants have played well on special teams as well. New York's special teams unit has been solid as of late and has shown much improvement from early on in the season.
Punter Steve Weatherford has back to his pro bowl form in the punting game, and the Giants special teams unit has not allowed big returns or returns for touchdowns in the kicking game. Now with a sense of confidence in their play, the Giants are ready to take on the task of defending the high powered special teams unit of the San Diego Chargers.
Giants' special teams coordinator Tom Quinn spoke about how talented the personnel on the Chargers special teams units are.
"They're very solid all the way across the board," noted Quinn. "I think Kevin Spencer does an outstanding job. They had a bunch of different returners due to some injuries, but whoever they put in has done well. I like Danny Woodhead, how he's just vertical and tough to get a bead on because he's in and out of his cuts.
"They're well coached and they're outstanding specialists with Novak and Scifres. I've never done a hit chart like their punter's. Eight years… The hang time is tremendous, so he's really done a nice job and that aides their coverage."
The Giants who last year did a great job in the return game, so far this season have not had much success on getting great returns. Quinn on the troubles the Giants are having getting big returns on kickoff return.
"We just haven't got into a groove with it," noted Quinn. "It's been frustrating. We felt the last two to three weeks there's been some opportunities here and there to get something started and you're one block away. So we're focusing on just finishing our blocks and doing our job to hopefully get some field position for the offense."
One reason that has added to the Giants being unsuccessful in getting big returns is the injury to running back David Wilson. Wilson, who was the Giants kickoff returner last year, was a stud averaging close to 27 yards a return with one return for a touchdown.
With the injury to Wilson, the Giants have replaced him with rookie Michael Cox as their kickoff returner. So far Quinn has liked the decision Cox has made on taking the right kickoffs to return.
"He did a good job of getting over to the one closest to the sideline, but he's aggressive to get it and he hasn't really had to face that because of the weather change as far as, 'Am I going to take it out or am I going to keep it in?'," noted Quinn.
The Giants will need their special teams units to play well this Sunday against the Chargers, in order to get the win and keep themselves live in the NFC Playoff hunt.