Can Giants fix their defense?

January, 31, 2013
1/31/13
12:36
PM ET
The New York Giants do love their stay-the-course reputation. While they were disappointed that this season's 9-7 record wasn't good enough to get them into the playoffs after 2011's 9-7 record had been, the Giants' first instinct is to stick with their plan and believe that consistently putting themselves in position to contend is the best way to go. Fine. Those two Super Bowl titles they've won under Tom Coughlin and Eli Manning have established for them some benefit of the doubt.

But as Ohm takes a look today at the Giants' defense and some of the issues that need to be addressed this offseason, you do wonder if the Giants might need to apply a more drastic approach than the one to which they are accustomed. Ohm lays out the position-by-position issues and concludes with this:
This is the same defense and same defensive coordinator that won a Super Bowl just one year ago. And if the defense had played better late in any of the losses to the Redskins, Steelers or Eagles, the Giants would've been playoff-bound. If they had shown up in Baltimore or Atlanta, the Giants might've been able get into the postseason as well.

If the Giants are going to get back to the Super Bowl, they need Fewell and his players to regain that all-in mentality, steady and clutch play that they had when they won their final six games last year. And they need to add a few more pieces to a core that knows what it takes to get to the Super Bowl.

I think the fact that they got their act together and played at a championship level in January and February of 2011 might be obscuring some deeper issues, and staying the course on defense might not be the best way for the Giants to approach things this offseason. The defense finished 31st in the league this past regular season under defensive coordinator Perry Fewell. They finished 27th the year before. A hard look at what they have and where they're going at cornerback, linebacker and on the defensive line is likely in order, and it might be a good idea for the Giants to start from the position that their defense simply isn't as good as they believed it would be.

Dan Graziano

ESPN New York Giants reporter

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