Jon Beason in the middle of Giants ‘D’ turnaround

PHILADELPHIA — If you are a Giants fan you are well aware of the numbers: 36, 41, 38, 31, 36 and 27.
No, these were not winning Pick Six lottery numbers. They were the scorn of the once-proud Giants defense, points allowed — in order of games en route to an 0-6 start — to the Cowboys, Broncos, Panthers, Chiefs, Eagles and Bears.

Two weeks ago, the Giants were fast-tracking to a franchise record for defensive futility — and that includes the calamitous 1987 strike season during which replacement players were on the field for three games.

On Sunday at Lincoln Financial Field, in a 15-7 win over the same Eagles who handed them a 36-21 defeat three games ago, the Giants’ defense pitched its second consecutive shutout. As the Eagles’ lone touchdown Sunday game on special teams, so, too, did the Vikings’ only points last Monday.

The Giants defense has not allowed a point since the second quarter of their 27-21 loss to the Bears on Oct. 6.

Two days before that loss in Chicago, the Giants traded with Carolina for linebacker Jon Beason, who has become a rock in the middle of their defense.
“I think we got away with a steal there,’’ defensive end Mathias Kiwanuka said. “He’s been a phenomenal player who also has a lot of ball left to play and we appreciate having him. He fits in really well and he’s elevated the level of play tremendously.’’

It has been Beason in recent weeks who has gotten the entire Giants’ defense to show up to work a half-hour early, at 7:30 a.m., for a players-only film session to complement the work they do with the coaches.

Rarely does a new player come to a team, assert himself and be received with open arms by his new teammates the way Beason has with the Giants.
“He’s made a great impact,’’ cornerback Terrell Thomas said.

“We’ve had the meetings before, but having Jon there has added more structure to it, it added a voice to the meeting,’’ linebacker Spencer Paysinger said.
“Beason has been phenomenal; he’s something that we needed,’’ Giants safety Antrel Rolle, who had an INT Sunday, said. “We needed a voice from the linebacker position — the middle-linebacker position. We needed someone who was going to stand his ground, we needed someone who was going to get everyone lined up, make it real snappy, no BS-ing around, let’s get it right.’’

Beason, according to his teammates, has gotten things right.

“I’m a big believer in if something’s wrong you fix it,’’ Beason said. “If you go out and a certain result happens that’s not what you want then do something different. The guys have put the onus on each other. Sometimes you can be given a technique by a coach, who said, ‘This is what we’re going to do,’ but sometimes guys see it differently.’’

The players assemble in the defensive meeting room at 7:30 a.m., about 30 minutes before team meetings take place, and go over film and scenarios.
Giants safety Will Hill, who had an INT Sunday, said it was a “sense of urgency on this team’’ that caused Beason to gather the defensive players together for the early meetings.

“We had an intervention as a defensive unit,’’ Hill said, “We sat down and said, “Look, what’s not working? What can we do to make it better?’ The players came together, then we went to the coaches and players came back together.’’

The Giants players do not believe there is any coincidence to Beason’s arrival and the defense playing better.

“When you earn the right to go out and win, when you put in that extra work, you expect it. You don’t hope,’’ Beason said. “You don’t go out and say, ‘Man, I hope we win this game.’ ’’

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