The New York Giants are concerned about big plays. They've allowed five passing touchdowns (tied for second in the NFL) and 9.6 yards per completion (third most) through the first two weeks of the season. The Giants gave up five completions of 20 yards or more against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
"I don't think we did a great job of getting our hands on (receivers) some of the time," Giants cornerback Corey Webster told The Star-Ledger. "I think if we be cognizant of where the playmakers are, and put our hands on them, and just not let them run free off the line of scrimmage, that eliminates a lot of problems."
Why does this sound familiar?
The 2011 Green Bay Packers, who also were coming off a Super Bowl victory, had the same problem. The Packers, like the Giants, had a high-scoring offense and a Super Bowl MVP quarterback (Aaron Rodgers). Then the defense allowed a league-worst 411.6 yards per game and 71 passes of 20 yards or more (second most in the NFL).
The Packers proved that the way the Giants beat the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in Week 2 is a dangerous way to live in the NFL. They scorched the earth on the way to a 13-0 record before getting upset by the Kansas City Chiefs, but the big play was a weekly issue for the defense. Then the Packers were bounced by the Giants in the divisional round of the playoffs.
The ability to outscore the opponent on a weekly basis is nice, but there's no quicker way to lose than by giving up yardage in huge chunks. The Packers won the title 2010 but took a step back defensively in 2011 and didn't advance to the NFC Championship Game. The same can happen to the Giants if their defense doesn't tighten up.