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D-Gaps: Inside Giants sack attack

Filling you in on what you may have missed on the "other" side of the ball this week

Week 4 brought its share of misery, with Michael Vick suffering a brutal rib injury against the Washington Redskins, Chris Johnson getting repeatedly stuffed by the Denver Broncos' front seven and Bills fans watching their defense give up 38 points for a second straight week.

But nobody had a worse week than Jay Cutler, who was sacked nine times in the first half of the Chicago Bears' loss to the New York Giants before leaving the game with a concussion. Cutler is the first quarterback to be sacked nine times in a game since the Giants got to Donovan McNabb an NFL-record 12 times on Sept. 30, 2007.

Giants Pass Defense vs Bears
By Number of Rushers

The Giants defense finished with 10 sacks against the Bears -- that’s more sacks than 24 teams have thus far in 2010.

New York didn't rely on complicated defensive schemes or exotic blitzes to repeatedly get into the Bears backfield. They recorded eight sacks when rushing four or fewer defenders and just two when sending at least five rushers.

New York's pass defense was nearly impenetrable when dropping at least seven players into coverage, as the Bears completed just three-of-nine passes with a pair of interceptions against that look.

Ravens pass defense off to historic start

Through four weeks, no unit has exceeded expectations like the Baltimore Ravens' secondary. Widely expected to be Baltimore's Achilles' heel this season, the Ravens defense currently leads the league in fewest pass yards per game (119.0) and touchdown passes allowed (one).

Over the last 35 seasons, the Ravens are one of just three teams to allow fewer than 500 passing yards and one touchdown pass or fewer in their first four games of the season. They join the 1997 Redskins and 1982 Seahawks, neither of whom finished the season leading the league in pass defense nor reached the playoffs.

Phillips records NFL first for Chargers

PhillipsShaun Phillips played the best game of his seven-year career on Sunday, recording four sacks and scoring on a 31-yard interception return as the San Diego Chargers blew out the Arizona Cardinals, 41-10. Phillips became the fourth player in NFL history with four sacks and an interception in the same game, and the first player to ever score a touchdown in a game where he registered four or more sacks.

Phillips will look to build on that performance this week against the Oakland Raiders. His 11½ sacks against Oakland are his most against any opponent and the sixth-most by any player versus the Raiders.