Two wins in a row is good, but three is a streak according to middle linebacker Jon Beason who was inactive for the Giants’ first two games of the season, both losses, but has played a part in the team’s recent successes. While all phases of the Giants’ game have been hampered by injuries, the linebacking corps has faced the most uncertainty with key players and leaders constantly finding themselves on the Physically Unable to Perform list (PUP).
This persistent shuffling in the backfield has forced the team to practically adopt football’s famed next man up philosophy. Beason made light of the injuries when he spoke to reporters on Thursday.
“Guys have been getting nicked and a lot of us have our role now and everyone’s played," said Beason. "We feel comfortable, so whoever goes in there, we represent the New York Giants defense. That’s it. Next man up.”
Devon Kennard and Jonathan Casillas are the team’s recent LB casualties and will most likely miss Big Blue’s match-up against the San Francisco 49ers with the former tweaking his hamstring and the latter his calf. This just means more playing time and responsibility for Beason who is refusing to take the 49ers lightly despite their relatively mediocre record of 1-3.
“A lot of those guys played in the Super Bowl a few years ago, Kaepernick led the team to the Super Bowl," admitted Beason. "High respect for Anquan Boldin; they’re loaded with Hyde; their offensive line is complete; their tight end Vernon Davis, is a big problem. You can’t look at the record or what they have because we know they have the potential of being very explosive. We’ve got our work cut out for us.”
The Giants’ defense has so far shown itself to be very bipolar; ranking first in rush defense by allowing only 69.8 yards per game while also coming in dead last in terms of pass defense as they have allowed opponents to throw for an average of 316 yards per game. These factors will come to a head on Sunday as the team meets a talented running back in Carlos Hyde as well as a receiving threat in tight end Vernon Davis.
The journeyman Beason was full of praise for Hyde.
“He’s physical, he’s fast, he can make that big cutback, catch the ball out of the backfield, noted Beason. "I think he makes their offense go.” “He can really, really stretch the field. He’s a receiver in a tight end body, actually probably a Greek god body. He’s a special player, he’s been around for a long time, he can definitely hurt you.”
Beason is expecting Davis to keep moving around and getting different looks such as deep overs, swap boots, and as much one-on-one as possible. The Giants know this is a golden opportunity to climb out of the early season hole they dug themselves into but they know it won’t be easy.
“Great opponent, huge platform and it’s a huge game,” noted Beason.