The New York Giants' defensive line displayed an explosive pass rush for the second consecutive week, as Big Blue came up with three sacks at home against the Washington Redskins in Week 7. Justin Tuck, Osi Umenyiora, and Jason Pierre-Paul each brought down the elusive Robert Griffin III on separate occasions, which enabled the Giants to keep pace with the Washington Redskins' explosive offense throughout the contest. After the game was over, Tuck expressed his approval for how teammate, JPP, has been playing of late.
JPP had four tackles and caused a sack/fumble on RG3 as the Redskins were threatening to score with seven minutes left in the fourth quarter. Eli Manning gave the ball right back with an interception on the next play, but JPP and the Giants defense held the 'Skins to a field goal on the ensuing drive. Needless to say, Pierre-Paul's presence had a huge impact on Sunday's matchup, and teammate Justin Tuck thinks the Giants third-year superstar has the ability to a special player.
"I think he had a lot of fun today," Tuck said. "I think he enjoyed being out there. I honestly think the whole 'Not having fun' [thing] was blown out of proportion. But it was good to see him coming out and making plays. That guy, I think he's going to change the league. If he continues to do what he's doing, he's going to be good for a long time."
Although the statistics say Pierre-Paul was relatively quiet throughout the first five games of 2012, the reality was the he was seeing constant double teams at the line of scrimmage. As the Giants began rotating Mathias Kiwanuka and Adrian Tracy into the defensive line rotation, the pass rush started getting going and the entire defense looked revitalized. To many it looked as if JPP was struggling through the first few games of this season, but he remained a stalwart defender against the run and made plays when the ball came his way. The reality was that he was seeing an increased amount of attention from opposing offensive lines, and team's generally tried to avoid him if possible.
However, with Kiwanuka seeing more time on the defensive line, there is no way JPP can be double-teamed on every play anymore. The Giants are rotating four explosive pass rushers and they are creating havoc for the opposition. The Redskins attempted to use option plays to slow down the Giants pass rush and it worked to an extent. There were times when nobody on the defense knew who had the ball. However, in the fourth quarter, RG3 inevitably made a bad read and found himself one-on-one against an unblocked JPP coming off the line. JPP had an opportunity to make a play and he came through.
Jason Pierre-Paul may not be putting up the gaudy statistics he displayed in 2011, but he is as dangerous as ever this season. With Mathias Kiwanuka and Adrian Tracy seeing more time on the defensive line, JPP has seen more opportunities and he has made the most of them.
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