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New York Giants' defense scares its own players

Giants safety Antrel Rolle intercepts a pass against

Giants safety Antrel Rolle intercepts a pass against the Patriots during the first quarter of their preseason game. (Sept. 2, 2010) Credit: Getty Images

The day after the Giants destroyed the Texans 34-10, someone asked Antrel Rolle what a future opponent might think after watching the Giants’ defensive tapes of the last two weeks.

“Honestly,” the safety said Monday. “I’d be scared [to death].”

Rolle’s got a point. The 3-2 Giants’ defense is on a tremendous roll right now, not only making the lives of quarterbacks miserable, but also stopping the running game. Against Chicago and Houston, the pass rush recorded 13 sacks and held their opponents’ combined ground game to 84 yards. And that includes the 25 yards they allowed the Texans’ Arian Foster, who entered the game with more than 500 rushing yards over the first month.

Just as important is the unit’s ability to get off the field. They didn’t allow Chicago a single third-down conversion. Houston converted just 18 percent of their third downs.

“That’s a tribute to not allowing something to happen on first down that make those third downs shorter,” coach Tom Coughlin said.

Osi Umenyiora has been especially active, recording five of his team-high six sacks over the last two weeks.

The defense, which struggled mightily against Indianapolis and Tennessee, has finally come together after a couple of weeks of internal turbulence.

“I like the way our team is developing,” Coughlin said. “We’re there for each other now.”

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