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Jon Beason Has Been A Godsend For The Giants Defense

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Photo by Toni L. Sandys/The Washington Post via Getty Images.
Photo by Toni L. Sandys/The Washington Post via Getty Images.

This season the New York Giants did something they hadn't done since 1986: they made an in-season trade. In-season trades are fairly commonplace in other leagues like the NBA and MLB, but they happen to be quite rare in the NFL, and even rarer for the Giants, given the fact that they hadn't pulled one off in over a quarter of a century. Back on Oct. 4, the Giants acquired LB Jon Beason from the Carolina Panthers — less than two weeks after Beason's Panthers had embarrassed the Giants in a 38-0 blowout. The Giants were weak at the linebacker position, and were desperately in need of someone who could provide a spark and inject some fire and intensity into the defensive unit like Antonio Pierce or Michael Boley used to do.

Beason was coming off of a series of major injuries: a torn left Achilles', a torn labrum, and an injured right knee that kept him sidelined for most of the last two seasons. Earlier this year, he was replaced at the linebacker position by a familiar face: Chase Blackburn. Beason made an impact right from the start, racking up 12 tackles — 11 of them solo tackles — in his second game as a Giant in a losing effort against the Chicago Bears on a Thursday night. Since then, Beason's name has been prominent in just about every Giants radio broadcast and TV telecast, and he seems to be all over the field, swarming to the ball carrier, filling the gap and stuffing the run, and generally playing the role that the Giants hoped he would play when they traded a late-round draft pick for him.

He's made an impact not only on the fans but on his new teammates as well. Justin Tuck, when asked to describe the impact that Beason's addition has made on the defense, remarked "I don’t know if I can. I think he’s been a godsend for us.” Giants players and coaches have all said that the addition of Beason has been the difference-maker on defense this season, and he has helped turn a much-maligned unit into a respectable Top 10 defense in only half a season. He has been part of the reason why the Giants have been phenomenal against the run this season, thwarting the best running backs in the league and holding guys like LeSean McCoy, Adrian Peterson and Alfred Morris to a combined total of 102 rushing yards over three games.

Beason has stepped into his role nicely as the "quarterback" of the defense, aiding in the defense's on-field communication and creating more cohesion between the different defensive units. His 17-tackle performance against the Washington Redskins on Sunday night in Week 13 was a spectacle, and it almost seemed as if there were 11 different Beasons on the field at once, making tackle after tackle after tackle.

While Beason's future with the team beyond this season is uncertain at the moment, the Giants would certainly benefit from keeping him on the roster and securing him for at least a few more seasons. According to Beason, he has "another gear, another level, that this organization and these fans haven't seen yet," and while it's hard to believe he can play any better than he has for the Giants this season, the potential for more is certainly there and Beason can be the one piece that the defense has been missing.