Jason Pierre-Paul called it a “must-win game” and suggested the Giants “play like this is the Super Bowl,” so there was no sugarcoating from him on Friday regarding the circumstances of Sunday’s game against the Eagles.
“We know we need this game,” the defensive end said.
The question is how to get it. And the answer might well depend on how Pierre-Paul and his pals on defense play, given promising signs they have shown and the ongoing struggles on offense.
Pierre-Paul and fellow end Olivier Vernon totaled one sack of Detroit quarterback Matthew Stafford in a 24-10 loss on Monday night, but they did harass him regularly. And they just might have more luck against the Eagles.
Little-known fact: As much trouble as the Giants’ offensive line has had, allowing eight sacks and 12 quarterback hits, the Eagles have allowed eight sacks and a league-high 19 hits on Carson Wentz. Hmm.
Pierre-Paul said he expects a busy day in the heat forecast for Philadelphia — although he said the fact that he and Vernon are from Florida will help keep them from wilting.
“He’s a very good quarterback, very athletic,” Pierre-Paul said of Wentz. “So I know I’ll be chasing him around this week, probably a lot. We have to maintain our rush assignments.”
Coordinator Steve Spagnuolo just wants more of the same after Monday’s near-misses.
“I thought that JPP and OV, all day long against Detroit, were bringing it,” he said. “They were knocking those guys back . . . Pressure isn’t necessarily sacks, it’s not necessarily quarterback hits, it’s when you get the quarterback off the spot and make him move his feet.”
Pierre-Paul was not impressed with getting close to Stafford, saying, “It wasn’t close enough. We didn’t win the game, so it wasn’t close enough.”
It might be a different story against the Eagles, whose line woes are such that coach Doug Pederson lauded Wentz simply for working with and encouraging his teammates.
“As a game plan, we try to keep it simple for those guys and let them execute the scheme,” he said. “We’ve just got to keep working and keep practicing and showing small increases each week. It’s a long season.”
The Giants feel the Eagles’ pain. Their line also has been a sore point through two weeks.
“There’s nothing the defense can do on that side of the ball, but I’m pretty sure they’re going to come and play this week,” Pierre-Paul said. “You need to block up front. That’s just the point of the game.”
Notes & quotes: TE Evan Engram, who has been in the NFL concussion protocol, was removed from the injury report and should be good to go. WR Odell Beckham Jr. does not appear on the injury report, either . . . LBs B.J. Goodson (shin) and J.T. Thomas (groin) and OT Bobby Hart (ankle) are out . . . CB Janoris Jenkins (ankle) is questionable. Jenkins said his injury has improved since it occurred against the Cowboys Sept. 10. He has not practiced this week, but he said an X-ray on Tuesday and an MRI on Wednesday revealed no serious damage . . . Coach Ben McAdoo has not said whether he will give up play-calling, but he suggested outsiders make more of it than they should. “Play-calling is a part of the week; it’s not just one guy pulling plays out of a hat,” he said. “There are a lot of people who have their hand in play-calling. One guy spits the play out to the quarterback, but a lot goes into that.”