Giants run defense must improve against 49ers

The front seven was exploited in the worst way against the Seattle Seahawks and things need to change in a hurry if the Giants hope to pull the upset against the 49ers.

There’s no way to sugarcoat it. The Giants’ run defense was horrible during the team’s 38-17 loss to the Seattle Seahawks on Sunday afternoon. Quarterback Russell Wilson and tailback Marshawn Lynch each gained over 100 yards on the ground en route to a Seattle record of 350 rushing yards. Although the Giants were able to keep the game close through three quarters thanks to takeaways and an effective passing attack, the Seahawks proved to be too much in the end.

“They are emotionally drained by losing a game like that,” said head coach Tom Coughlin about his players, “And having, quite frankly, how do you explain that particular thing after a game that is just as disappointing as that was. You are so excited, thinking legitimately that you have a real good chance to win.”

From watching the game, you’d think that the Giants had never seen a zone read option before. Wilson ran it about as effectively as any quarterback ever has. He handed to Lynch when he could, but also made the right decision to dash to the outside when the Giants committed to Lynch. Coughlin said that the team is doing its best to move on from the miserable performance.

“I think that the meetings, as far going over the tape, went well,” said the coach, “I think the guys were attentive and they were good about adjustments and corrections and owning up to errors and all of that. They did a good job with all of that today. The point of the matter is what we have to do is we have to stick together as a team and continue to work hard. I talked a lot about improvement last week. Obviously, there is more that has to be done. We need to find a way to win a game.”

Winning will not come easy during the next two weeks. Next up, the Giants face the San Francisco 49ers and Colin Kaepernick, a quarterback who, like Wilson, is not hesitant to pick up yards on the ground. After that, it’s a rematch with the rival Dallas Cowboys. Coughlin knows the team must improve its run defense to have a chance to bounce back.

“There were occasions where we didn’t have anybody in position to contain the quarterback,” said Coughlin, “He got the ball outside too easily and made yardage. When they did go conventional, they made some yards in their conventional lead blocker concept-type of runs. The ones that hurt us, I think, are the quarterback keeps and the option dives.”

The 49ers are no doubt looking forward to exploiting the Giants on the ground, so run defense must be a top priority in Giants practice this week.

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