EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (CBSNewYork/AP) — The New York Giants’ defense is going to improve and not finish the season ranked last in the NFL, defensive coordinator Perry Fewell said Thursday.
Fewell made a guarantee as the reeling Giants (3-6) prepare for Sunday’s game against the San Francisco 49ers at MetLife Stadium.
New York will be looking to end a four-game losing streak that has seen the defense embarrassed almost every game. The worst was this past weekend, when Seattle ran for a franchise-record 350 yards and finished with 510 total yards.
Now, the defense is ranked last in the NFL. It has looked confused at times, inept at others.
“I am personally responsible for everything, for all facets of the defense,” Fewell said. “I take it personally, sure. But all I know to do is go back to work, evaluate as best I can what our players are doing and what they do well and try to put them in position to have success.”
The Giants have not come close to winning the past month. The closest was being tied at 17 entering the fourth quarter in Seattle but the defense crumbled yet again.
New York has given up at least 423 total yards to each opponent during the skid. It is yielding an average of 404.9 total yards and 144.7 yards rushing, both ranked 32nd in the league.
The results have led to Fewell changing his approach. Players are being talked through assignments step by step, especially this week with 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick and an option-read offense coming to town.
Fewell said his message to his players is to just keep working. While he feels they are listening to him, they are not executing, and the result has been one big play after another.
The performance has put him on the hot spot with the Giants facing a third straight year out of the playoffs.
“Because we are at this plateau now — we’re at the 32nd spot right now — we have seven games to crawl out of that spot,” Fewell said. “We’ll crawl out.”
Safety Quintin Demps said Fewell has not changed. He has told them to stay hungry and play together.
“He’s told us to block out everything on the outside and hone in on the defense and fundamentals,” Demps said.
Defensive tackle Johnathan Hankins said everyone has been reminded to know their job and do it without worrying about others.
The second-year pro said he did not know about the No. 32 ranking until someone told him.
“We’re going to have to do something about it,” he said.
Veteran Cullen Jenkins said being last is something no one wants.
“We need to hit some switch or do something to get things going,” Jenkins said. “Not just going a little bit in the right direction, we need to get things to where they should have been from day one where we’re playing at a high level and we strike fear into other teams.”
NOTES: Special teams coach Tom Quinn said that Quintin Demps will return kickoffs with Michael Cox out for the season with a broken leg. …RB Peyton Hillis and LB Jacquian Williams missed practice for the second straight day with concussions. Williams is the Giants’ leading tackler. …G Geoff Schwartz (toe) took all the snaps he was assigned but doesn’t know if he will play Sunday. The team has until Monday to take him off recallable waivers.
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