Watching the New York Giants on Sunday afternoon was painful enough. Hearing today's news about the New York Giants' defense was, somehow, even worse.

ESPN's Jordan Raanan, a friend of The Drive with Charlie and Dan, broke the devastating news earlier today that middle linebacker Blake Martinez had suffered a torn ACL, ending his 2021 season. As Raanan pointed out, Martinez had been an absolute stalwart on defense, racking up over 140 tackles in each of the last four seasons before this one. Martinez had 23 total tackles this season through two games and change, after having been named a defensive captain in his second year in New York.

With a team that is already floundering, news like this can be a knock-out punch.

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The Giants have given up an average of just over 370 yards of offense for opposing teams this season, which is slightly below average, but better than a number of "top" offenses in the league, like Washington, Seattle and Tampa Bay. Martinez's 23 total tackles were tied for 24th in the NFL, and second on the Giants, behind Logan Ryan.

Plain and simple, this loss is a major problem for Joe Judge and the Giants. The team is trying desperately to turn the tides on a 2021 season that is already quickly slipping away, and losing a captain, a star defender and an anchor of a young group is a terrible loss for the team.

This does, however, open up a window for 2nd round draft pick, outside linebacker Azeez Ojulari. The rookie linebacker has played in all three games, starting just one, and has seven total tackles. He received incredible marks for his play against the Atlanta Falcons, including these grades from USA Today, and the Giants may be able to use this loss as a chance to see what they have in the promising rookie.

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