by Sipro Kasabian @nyspawtsguy_spi
The Free Safety Miscalculation
Curtis Riley was not brought to the Giants to be a game-changer or a starter. The New York Giants took a flier on Riley, assuming he would be a depth player at Cornerback and/or Free Safety. When Andrew Adams and Darian Thompson failed to impressed James Bettcher in the offseason mini-camp and training camp, the Giants turned over the starting Free Safety position to Curtis Riley.
I think we are far enough along in the season to say that this might be Riley’s one and only starting season with the New York Giants (and probably in the NFL). He has 59 tackles on the year and 2 INTs, but those numbers are deceiving. Riley has constantly been caught taking the wrong angle on “attempted” tackles and has missed several interceptions due to bad angles or bad hands. When you are the last line of defense, that can’t happen.
Riley was a dart-throw/depth signing to start and has completely exposed in the run and pass defense. The fact that the Giants are still using Landon Collins as a coverage safety says it all because those duties should fall on a Free Safety.
This offseason, Free Safety needs to be a priority for Dave Gettleman. Landon Collins’ coverage issues are in direct correlation with the FS position being what it is. Riley is currently ranked the 80th safety (out of 88) by Pro Football Focus. That ranking shouldn’t be held as gospel, but it is VERY telling.
Side Note: Just to pour salt in the Giants’ wound, Andrew Adams had 3 interceptions off Cam Newton last Sunday.
Sunday vs the Chicago Bears
Curtis Riley had another terrible game Sunday vs the Chicago Bears. The most egregious error was a dropped interception that an NFL Safety should simply NEVER drop. The play looked as Chase Daniel was throwing to Riley and not WR Taylor Gabriel.
Call it lack of concentration or horrible hands, but that cannot happen. The Bears marched down the field on that same drive and converted the opportunity into a touchdown.
With the Giants up ten points in the 4th Quarter, Tarik Cohen made a diving catch at the Giants 30-yard line and went to the ground. In an attempt to hit or tackle Cohen, Riley hit Janoris Jenkins instead. Cohen was incorrectly ruled down by contact. Contact never occurred. Riley was lucky, as that play would have resulted in a touchdown.
At this point, the Giants coaching staff and fans have seen enough. Riley is slowly losing snaps to Shaun Chandler. Riley is not the answer for the Giants at Free Safety and easily wins the “Dud of the Week” award for Week 13.