I know what A.J. Green meant, and I can assure you it was nothing more than a passing comment.
But when New York Giants safety Antrel Rolle decided to up the ante with his response to Green’s assessment that the Giants have “a lot of holes” in their defense he opened a can of worms he may well regret this Sunday when the two teams meet in Cincinnati.
You see Green, the humble second-year wide receiver from the University of Georgia, doesn’t really do much talking in these situations. He generally lets his play speak for itself, and that’s why Rolle may want to reconsider his comments.
A.J. Green is following up his spectacular rookie season, in which he caught 65 passes for 1,057 yards and 7 touchdowns, with another Pro-Bowl caliber season (51 receptions, 735 yards, and 8 touchdowns through eight games); and while all signs point to Green continuing his success against a New York Giants secondary that ranks 25th in the National Football league Rolle obviously missed the memo.
Now, I know what bulletin board material can do for a team. How many times have we seen someone fly off at the mouth on one side and walk home with their tails between their legs the next? I also know that if any defense is capable of doing this it is the defending Super Bowl champion New York Giants.
What I don’t have faith in, however, is a secondary that gives up 264 passing yards per game and have yet to show any signs of life against a teams number one receiver even when they know he’s coming. It has been a an All-Pro parade of wide receivers that have scorched the Giants secondary this season. Look at some of these statistics:
- Dez Bryant- 195 yards on 13 receptions in two meetings
- Miles Austin- 206 yards on 13 receptions, one touchdown
- Desean Jackson- 99 yards on six catches and a touchdown
- Vincent Jackson- 128 yards on five catches and a touchdown
- Mike Wallace- 66 yards on three catches and a touchdown
That list doesn’t include Kevin Ogletree’s week one performance (8 catches, 114 yards, 2 touchdowns), Santana Moss in week seven (3 catches, 67 yards, two touchdowns) or Steve Smith in week three (4 catches, 86 yards).
After a while, you have to call it what it is: a secondary that is struggling to do its job. So why am I supposed to believe that A.J. Green won’t get his this weekend? Because Antrel Rolle, of all people, said so? Has anyone seen what Rolle has done this season? Here let me put it out there for you: four passes defended, ZERO forced fumbles or recoveries, two interceptions, and 42 tackles and 42 yards on those interceptions.
That tells me everything I need to know about Antrel Rolle, who, statistically, doesn’t rank anywhere close to a top player at his position (even on his own team Kenny Phillips and Stevie Brown have flat-out outperformed Rolle).
So while Rolle, who signed a five-year, $37.5 million dollar contract in 2010, continues to run his mouth on fair assessments of his units performance thus far in 2012 (he was also quoted giving praise to the Giants front four as “one of the top” in the game), Green will continue merrily on his way to the end zone.
Oh, and just wait until Goodell gets a hold of those comments.