The Giants kept their playoff hopes alive with a crucial win over the Dolphins on MNF but all is not right with Big Blue. While their offense performed as it should, their defense left much to be desired with plenty of missed tackles including at least 5 on Lamar Miller’s 38-touchdown run for the Fins. One of those misses was by Jason Pierre-Paul who managed to get his non-club hand on Miller but could not corral the running back in time with his injured, club-wrapped hand. The non-tackle led to an intense social media discussion with many wondering aloud whether JPP would have made the stop if he were at 100%.
JPP turned in an otherwise sturdy performance that saw him register one hit, four hurries and a crucial fumble recovery. Pierre-Paul has yet to record a sack in the five games he’s played this season but is looking increasingly comfortable and confident playing on either side. Considering the Giants take on the undefeated Panthers next week and still need to run the table to win the NFC East, they’ll need him to be at his very best with regards to pressuring the passer.
Having missed pre-season camps and the first 8 games of this season due to his hand, Pierre-Paul is slowly shifting gears and getting back his game speed. His first two weeks were relatively pedestrian with a total of two tackles and one defended pass but he has since amped up. In the last three weeks, he has managed a combined total of 13 tackles, 2 fumble recoveries and one defended pass. The coaching staff will be pleased with JPP’s continued ascension but his lack of sacks will be a major concern for Steve Spagnuolo who will be looking for ways to get his star DE to the opposing quarterback.
The dearth of sacks are a team-wide phenomenon as the Giants rank second-to-last in the NFL with 16, beating out bottom-dwelling Atlanta by 1. Curiously though, the Giants are league-leaders in total tackles with 986. Something will have to give if the Giants plan to win their division and sustain a lengthy postseason challenge and that something begins first and foremost with their unquestioned defensive spark, Jason Pierre-Paul.