The Giants missed several tackles in their loss to the 49ers on Thursday night, and Tiki called out the defense’s effort in the 30-12 defeat.
“That’s effort,” Tiki said. “There was one in particular, Elijah Mitchell had an outside zone run in the second quarter, and you just saw the rookie [Tre] Hawkins, he just turned it down. He didn’t even try. He tried to go low, but he barely made contact, and he clips off 18 yards and you get into scoring position. It’s effort. To me, that’s effort.
“I know cornerbacks don’t want to hit anymore. I know they don’t think they need to tackle on the edges and think they’re just there to contain and drive a guy inside. But when you’re the last line of defense, that’s an effort thing. That’s a want-to thing.”
Hawkins came into the game as a corner alongside Adoree Jackson after Deonte Banks went down with an arm injury, but Hawkins was far from the only culprit, according to Tiki. The numbers back it up, as Niners wide receiver Deebo Samuel forced six missed tackles alone, and the team missed 16 in total, according to Pro Football Focus.
“When someone’s running at you full speed, and he’s got some heft to him, and you know you have to hit him, you just have to hit him. That’s the game. Period,” Tiki said. “That’s what you’re paid to do. If you turn it down, bad things happen, and I think that happened a lot for the Giants yesterday.
“I hate to call guys out on effort, but that’s just what I saw. I can’t explain missed tackling other than, they just didn’t want to do it. Period.”