The New York Giants’ defense was incredible last season. FootballOutsiders ranked them second just behind the Denver Broncos’ defense under Wade Phillips. In this video breakdown, I explained their scheme, how they use a NASCAR pass rush package, and what makes them so good.
The Giants’ defense is based on the 4-3 Over front. In this defense, the three-technique defensive tackle lines up on the strongside of the formation. In this alignment, he is usually responsible for the B-gap in run support. For New York, Jonathan Hankins mainly played this role. He left for the Indianapolis Colts this offseason, but it seems like Alabama’s Dalvin Tomlinson was drafted to be his replacement.
In the other interior position, the nose tackle lines up opposite of the weakside shoulder of the center. In this role is usually Damon “Snacks” Harrison. Snacks is an excellent run stuffer and uses his hands well to stack blockers. He takes on double teams which allow the pass rushers to have one-on-one match-ups on the edge.
When the Giants aren’t using their 4-3 Over, they use a 4-3 Under front with the defensive tackle lining up off the weakside three-technique position. The Giants use this formation frequently when the offense has 12-personnel (two tight ends) on the field.
In pass rush, the Giants sometimes use a NASCAR package. NASCAR is a defensive personnel grouping where New York remove their defensive lineman and replaces them with defensive ends. In the video, I show a few different ways they use this package to pressure and how they use blitzes like the “fire zone blitz.”
Overall, the Giants’ defense is so good is because there is little consistency in their formations. They formations are unpredictable and it makes strategizing against them even harder when they have so much natural talent on the field.