Alec Ogletree
AP Photo

Veteran linebacker Alec Ogletree believes the New York Giants defense can transform into a top-five group in 2019.

Everyone likes to blame Eli Manning, some like to blame the offensive line for the New York Giants‘ disappointing 2018 season. A 5-11 record after a 3-13 campaign in 2017 will definitely cause fans to be frustrated and impatient.

However, a big aspect of the organization to blame is the defense. Last season, they were 23rd in passing defense with 252.8 yards allowed per game, 20th in rushing defense with 118.6 yards allowed per game, and 24th in total defense with 371.4 yards allowed per game. Not to mention, they were ranked 23rd in the NFL in points allowed per game, with 25.8.

Speaking to the media on Wednesday at training camp, Giants linebacker Alec Ogletree confessed his high expectations for the defense this season.

“I do believe this defense will be better, and we will be better,” he said, per Jared Schwartz of the New York Post. “Our job is to go out there and make plays as a defense. Give our offense the ball back as soon as possible. Like I said, there’s no reason for us not to be a top-10 defense, top-five. We are going to be a great defense. We’ve got the right pieces here. We have to come out here and put in the work, do things better than we did last year.”

Big Blue acquired Ogletree in a trade from the Los Angeles Rams prior to last season. The Giants received Ogletree and a 2019 seventh-round pic. In exchange, they gave away fourth and sixth-round picks in the 2018 draft.

Ogletree finished last season with the second-lowest Pro Football Focus grade on the Giants with a score of 50.7. Despite that low grade, his stats were decent. In 13 games, Ogletree racked up 93 combined tackles (second-most on team), one sack, five interceptions (led team), two pick-sixes (led team), and eight pass deflections (second-most on team).

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Ryan Honey is a staff writer and host of the Wide Right Podcast.