Giants' defensive rise may have saved Perry Fewell's job
Perry Fewell probably won't be interviewing for any head coaching jobs, as he was in the offseason of 2010 before he took Tom Coughlin's offer to be the Giants' defensive coordinator.
But at least his unit has put him in position to come back to a paycheck in 2012.
Based on the Giants' performance over the last two games and their achievement of a playoff spot, it's unlikely the team's management will insist on a change. The defense is now a turnover and pass-rush machine, with three interceptions and 11 sacks over that span. After a season of general ineffectiveness, the unit can now secure Fewell's future with a strong wild-card playoff performance against Atlanta on Sunday.
Given the team's no-show performances against the Seahawks and Redskins and last-drive losses to Philadelphia and Green Bay, that wasn't always a given. But even heading into a playoff berth as one of only seven teams in history who made the postseason while allowing more points than they scored - the Giants rang up 394 points and gave up 400 - Fewell's squad has since taken on a different form.
"We really didn't know what our identity was, and now I think we have the best of the best guys on the field," said safety Antrel Rolle a day after he recorded his second interception of the season in a huge spot against the Cowboys.
"There is no selfish ball out there - everyone is taking care of their assignments and their own job.
"Whomever eats at the end of the day is going to eat as long as we're victorious," Rolle added. "That's all that matters."
Fewell did have his accomplishments as the Giants fought off a slew of injuries, starting with the loss of physical cornerback Terrell Thomas in training camp.
His greatest success was turning backup defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul into a bona fide, 161/2-sack Pro Bowler during Osi Umenyiora's injury-marred season.
Pierre-Paul joined Michael Strahan and Lawrence Taylor as the only Giants to garner more than 16 sacks in a season.
About the only thing that might endanger Fewell's position now is a total breakdown against Atlanta. But Justin Tuck didn't think that would happen.
"We held a team that's been averaging 25 points to 14," Tuck said. "I don't know what our identity is, but as long as we keep progressing like we have the last two weeks, I think we will and I know it's just going to be something good."