In the past few years there have been several teams that have won championships on the strength of their defenses. The Broncos did it last season. The Seahawks did it two years before that. That’s not to say the offensive production of those squads amounted to zilch, but they were certainly carried by their defenses.
Could the Giants be the next team to do that?
“We’re good enough,” cornerback Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie said.
Linebacker Jonathan Casillas agreed that the Giants are moving in that direction.
“A championship defense doesn’t happen in the first half of the season, it gets built,” the defensive captain said on Tuesday. “We’re building right now. We’ve got our foundation down, we’re going in the right direction.”
A few things would have to happen for the Giants to accomplish that feat of winning a title on the backs of the defense. First, the Giants need to keep winning. Despite the two-game winning streak and good vibes heading into the bye week, they’re still a last-place team in the NFC East.
Second, the unit needs to continue to improve. They’re pretty good right now and so far they’re the ones that have been most responsible for the success of the team. They’re the ones that have allowed just one opponent to score more than 24 points, have allowed the Giants to win three games in which they scored 20 or fewer points, and are one of only eight NFL teams that have not allowed any opponent to score 30 or more points in a game this season.
“We’ve got all the right pieces,” Rodgers-Cromartie said. “We’ve got everything. We’re kind of young when you look at it from years of experience, but we have guys who understand playing lights out and playing 100 percent. Once everything really jells, it’s going to be scary.”
And third is that the offense has to remain stagnant. No one expects that to happen.
“A lot of people say ‘defense wins championships’ and all of that, but with the weapons we have on offense we know once everything starts clicking we’re going to be tough,” Rodgers-Cromartie said. “With everything they have on that side of the ball, I know it’s not going to last like that. I know the guys over there and we have guys who can change the game at any point.”
So maybe the Giants defense won’t have to drag the team along. Still, coming off a season in which the defense dragged the team down, finishing last in the NFL, it’s nice to know they’re at least capable of doing their share of the effort — even if right now it isn’t a fair share.
“We’re still coming together,” Casillas said. “This is the first time we’re together.”
“You have to understand, man, it’s like a family,” Rodgers-Cromartie said. “You have to come together and continue to grow with each other . . . I’ve been seeing it. I know at some point in time it’s going to click and when it does, we’re really going to get rolling. Our best ball is still ahead of us. We’re heading in the right direction.”