When the New York Giants have succeeded in the past couple of years, it has been on the back of the pass rush from their front four. This season, though, that unit has struggled at times, leading to some suspect performances by the entire defense.
It is no coincidence that the Giants throttled the Green Bay Packers last week when the defensive line showed up, sacking Aaron Rodgers five times and pressuring him all day, with four knockdowns and 17 more hurries. Only one of those total pressures (Chase Blackburn's sack) came from a player that wasn't seeing most of his time with his hand in the dirt along the front four.
But the bottom line is that the Giants' defensive line has been inconsistent this year, and if New York wants to make another playoff run, that unit will have to improve. What can the Giants do to find more consistency on the defensive line?
The key to the Giants' pass rush in previous seasons hasn't been any one dominant pass-rusher, but rather a group of players all capable of winning one-on-one matchups across the formation. Pressure coming from one spot can often be negated by a great quarterback, or by scheme or additional blocking help, but if the pocket collapses in several spots, the quarterback has nowhere to go.