Even though the Giants have won five of their past six games, the season on a whole has still been a disappointment, and a major reason has been the lack of production from Jason Pierre-Paul.
The defensive end has struggled this season with his recovery from offseason back surgery and, more recently, with a shoulder injury suffered in Week 10 against the Raiders. The two injuries have combined to limit Pierre-Paul to two sacks all season, and the shoulder kept him out of Sunday's win over Washington.
"This season has been up and down for me," said Pierre-Paul in a meeting with reporters. "I'm not frustrated at it. At the end of the day I just have to get better and get healthy and come out and know what I can do best and that's play football."
Pierre-Paul is doing all he can to get back on the field, but he's not sure if he'll be able to do so before the season ends in four weeks.
"I'm taking it day-by-day," he said, "I'm in the training room 24/7. Even at home I'm doing rehab. I'm doing everything that I possibly can to put me back on the field."
With Phillip Rivers and the Chargers up next on the schedule, the Giants will need all the pass rushers that are available to them. Unfortunately, it's not certain that Pierre-Paul will be active on Sunday. If he's not, New York will have to rely on another heavy dose of Mathias Kiwanuka and Justin Tuck to generate pressure in San Diego.
"I'm pretty sure it's nothing that needs surgery on," said Pierre-Paul about his shoulder, "It just needs rest."
Pierre-Paul will get as much rest as he needs if New York doesn't win on Sunday to keep its slim playoff hopes alive.