The two-time Pro Bowler and two-time double-digit sack guy at defensive end still is applying heat on the quarterback, according to the Giants. They say that’s what’s most important. But Jason Pierre-Paul has a sad sack total so far.
In fact, JPP owns only 2 1⁄2 sacks in 15 games since returning last Nov. 8 from the July 4 fireworks accident that mangled his right hand. He has 1 1⁄2 in this 4-3 start after shedding the protective club he used last season for a glove.
It may be that this is what the seventh-year pro is after the injury — effective, but not a dominant sack machine. It also could change quickly, as it did in 2014, when he posted nine in the final five games to finish with 12 1⁄2.
Will that double-digit sack guy ever be back?
Right now, the Giants are downplaying the situation.
Asked if they need Pierre-Paul to step up his sack production and if JPP still can be a double-digit type of player, coach Ben McAdoo said Friday, “We say it all the time: Stats are for losers. We need to make the quarterback uncomfortable. We need to make him move, make him chatter his feet, make him early or late with the throws. Numbers are numbers.”
The sack numbers aren’t good heading into Sunday’s game against Philadelphia at MetLife Stadium. The Giants are last in the NFC and second to last in the NFL with nine. Three came in their last game, a 17-10 decision over Los Angeles in London before the bye.
Olivier Vernon, the $85-million import at defensive end, has only one sack to go with seven quarterback hits.
Pierre-Paul, playing on a one-year deal with $8.5 million guaranteed, has had seven hits on the quarterback.
“I think what he’s doing is being disruptive in terms of disrupting the quarterback and making him uncomfortable in the pocket,” defensive line coach Patrick Graham said.
JPP, who has been switching sides with Vernon of late and playing more on the right, doesn’t seem to be sweating out his sack total. He sees them on the horizon.
“We’re doing a great job this year getting to the quarterback, stopping the run,” Pierre-Paul said. “It doesn’t show on film because of the sack ratings, but we know what we’re doing over here. Sacks come. I know sacks are coming.
“Until then, we’re just going to continue doing our job, and as long as we keep winning games, I’m fine with it. Our job here is to get to the playoffs that we’ve been missing for the last four or five years. That’s what we’re trying to do here.”
Notes & quotes: S Darian Thompson (foot) and DE Kerry Wynn (concussion) were declared out for Sunday. RB Bobby Rainey (calf), RT Marshall Newhouse (calf), QB Ryan Nassib (elbow) and S Nat Berhe (concussion) were listed as questionable. McAdoo said it still is “possible for [Berhe] to get cleared” by an independent neurologist.