New York Giants (bronze medal)
When deciding to play a 3-4 defensive scheme, it’s usually a good idea to have more than two good linebackers. This is especially true with you front three are not all that accomplished either.
So it is for the New York Giants. A franchise once rich with famous and talented linebackers, the 2018 version is… meh.
Vernon was given a five year, $85M deal two years ago in the hopes he would be a sack machine. While he does have 15 sacks since becoming a Giant, he’s never had more than 8.5 in New York. Finishing 21st in 2016 and tied for 47th last year has to be disappointing given his hefty price tag.
Another mid-twenties guy, Alec Ogletree was acquired via trade from the Rams. Ogletree is a prolific inside linebacker, however he is not a high-level run defender.
Therein lies the problem for this team. The New York Giants have finished at or near the bottom against the run all but once since 2014. It is hard to see how they greatly improve on that in 2018.
Their unit is an upgrade over last year, but likely not enough to matter much. It certainly is not enough to earn a medal here either.