Ryan Connelly
Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images

The New York Giants defense reached its “breaking point” with poor performances to begin the 2019 season, per linebacker Ryan Connelly.

The New York Giants defense has had a rough time this season. They’ve given up an average of 31.6 points per game through the first three games of the season, which has contributed to their 1-2 start.

The defense was not strong in the comeback victory against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, giving up 31 points, with Janoris Jenkins getting torched all game by Mike Evans.

However, they did hold firm in the second half, holding the Buccaneers to three points after the halftime whistle.

Speaking to the New York Post’s Paul Schwartz, inside linebacker Ryan Connelly had a pretty simple explanation as to why the defense improved after halftime: They were tired of getting beat down on.

“As a defense we just kinda [sic] got fed up with the way we were playing. We knew that wasn’t reflective of who we are. We hold ourselves to a higher standard and we knew we were better than we were obviously showing. Collectively as a group we reached our breaking point.”

Connelly stepped into the role of signal-caller after Alec Ogletree left with a hamstring injury, but did not struggle in the role. In fact, he downplayed the significance of what he did.

“As opposed to listening to the call, I just gave the call,” Connelly said.

There were reasons for optimism for the team’s defense. Connelly stepped seamlessly into the role filled by Ogletree. The pass rush that Jenkins blasted after the loss to the Buffalo Bills recorded four sacks. DeAndre Baker was less noticeable after struggling in his first two games.

The defense is by no means perfect. It can’t even be qualified as good yet, considering they’ve yet to hold a team under 25 points. But there are reasons for optimism, and the plan to keep improving on what they did in the last two quarters against the Buccaneers.

The defense will have a chance to continue their improvement Sunday when they host the Washington Redskins (1 p.m. ET, FOX).

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